A “Drag Queen Story Hour” in Hoboken led to protestors “promoting traditional right-wing propaganda” outside the venue, prompting the city’s only gay council member and the mayor to denounce their actions.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Harmonia Sunbeam, an LGBTQ advocate in the tri-state area, was at Little City Books on Saturday afternoon for a children’s reading referred to as the Drag Queen Story Hour.
Sunbeam, the founder of the North Jersey Chapter of the Drag Queen Story Hour, holds readings for children at public venues that are LGBTQ friendly.
However, this weekend’s event was met with protestors from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property holding up signs that said things such as “God made them male and female.”
1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, the chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s LGBTQ Caucus, spoke out in support of Sunbeam, also indicating that he will help host a drag queen breakfast in June.
“This kind of divisive language and intolerance has no place in Hoboken, Hudson County or anywhere in our country. We should be teaching children to embrace diversity and acceptance, not spreading hateful rhetoric that aims to set us back on the strides we have made to get closer to full equality,” he said in a statement.
“I am incredibly proud of all the Hoboken parents and families who took a stand against the intolerant actions of these protesters and hope we can join together for a community dialogue to discuss these prejudices and injustices.”
The Hudson County LGBTQ Caucus will be hosting a drag queen breakfast, where all members of the community are welcome to kick off Pride Month.
The event is a way for Hoboken and Hudson County to come together for an open dialogue about teaching inclusiveness and equality to younger generations and will be held at Roost Outpost, 55 First St., on June 1 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Additionally, in his own subsequent statement, Mayor Ravi Bhalla joined in denouncing the “hateful rhetoric” shown by the ASDTFP.
“While free speech is protected under our Constitution, let me make it absolutely clear that Hoboken will never stand for any hateful rhetoric targeting our LGBTQ community,” Bhalla stated.
“Hoboken is and always will be an inclusive and welcoming place that is accepting of people of all identities, sexuality or gender expression. We stand firmly behind Little City Books, Harmonica Sunbeam, and all those who help teach our children the importance of diversity.”