Supporters and protesters clashed outside a “Drag Queen Story Hour Read-a-Thon” hosted by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James Sunday, multiple outlets reported.
“I don’t know a lot of children harmed by drag read-a-thon. But I know a lot of children harmed by guns, so why don’t you focus on that?” James said during the controversial event.
James was flanked by city council members who brought along their sergeant at arms security squad, the New York Post reported.
“The council security team goes to all these events where the council members go and there’s a chance of someone being hurt,” Councilman Erik Bottcher (D-Manhattan) told the outlet.
Outside the event at the LGBTQ community center venue in Greenwich Village, protesters, supporters, and people dressed in Proud Boys clothing clashed.
One person was reportedly arrested as the rowdy crowds faced off from opposite sides of the street. In one of the videos shared online, a person dressed in Proud Boys gear is led away from the event as protesters chant obscenities.
“Drag Story Hour is a fun opportunity to get our kids excited about reading! Thank you to all the families who came out today for our incredible read-a-thon,” New York’s attorney general tweeted.
The AG included a photo of the event featuring her on a platform alongside a drag queen reading a book. The colorfully costumed individual’s T-shirt read, “I don’t want to look or be cis.”
The performers at the event read stories about gender identity and similar topics to the families in the audience.
“I am proud to have been joined by my colleagues in advocacy and government today in celebration of the love, joy, and family fun that Drag Story Hour brings to our communities. Hate has no home in New York, and I will always fight to ensure our LGBTQ+ siblings’ rights are upheld and defended,” James said in a press release Sunday.
A second children’s book event meant to counter “Drag Queen Story Hour Read-a-Thon” was canceled amid “threats of potentially unsafe and inappropriate behavior, Chaya Raichik, who runs the @LibsOfTikTok account, had planned to hold a story hour sponsored by the New York Young Republican Club, but her publisher, Brave Books, recommended canceling it due to safety concerns.
Watch WABC’s coverage of the “Drag Queen Story Hour Read-a-Thon” below.