ROCKFORD — Drag Queen Story Hour took place at Rockford’s East Branch Library on Saturday, despite more than 100 protesters across the street.
The Rockford Register-Star reported that people came from other states to protest the event, which is part of Rockford’s first Pride celebrations.
From the Rockford Register-Star:
“It teaches children to ignore what’s natural,” Rockford resident Stephanie Loehr said. “It is not natural for a man to say he’s a woman and for a woman to say she’s a man. That ignores basic biology and, if you really want to educate children, they should be educated on truth and not on some lies based on how somebody feels.”
Jean Weymier traveled to Rockford from West Bend, Wisconsin, to protest the event.
“It’s indoctrinating the kids,” Weymier said. “They don’t need to be sexualized. Story hour should be an innocent thing, not teaching kids how to be hypersexualized.”
A smaller but vocal contingent of counterprotesters were also on hand to support the Drag Queen Story Hour.
“We have to teach our children to be accepting of others, regardless of their sex, their age or who they love,” Jennifer Ames of Roscoe said. “This is the first step. If you want people to be accepting of others, you have to start when they’re young.”
Several police officers, including Chief Dan O’Shea, maintained order in the parking lot as the two groups occasionally shouted insults at each other.
The headline attraction, a transgender woman named Cass Downing from Madison, Wisconsin, read books to a packed room of children and parents inside the library.
Downing, 47, goes by the entertainer name of Cass Marie Domino, and was clad in a powder blue floor-length, beaded dress with a matching crown.
The protesters didn’t deter those who came for the stories. Many got in line for photos afterwards.
While this was Rockford’s first DQSH, they have become a regular occurrence in other parts of Illinois such as Chicago and Decatur.