PFLAG Galesburg under fire for Drag Queen Story Hour

The PFLAG chapter in Galesburg is standing firm after haters started ranting about a Drag Queen Story Hour the Galesburg Public Library.

Chapter President Holly McDorman said that the story hour is part of a social event the chapter is hosting.

“There will also be door prizes and fun activities,” she said. “Less than 24 hours later, the post had gotten haters.”

A flyer for the event was shared on Facebook and quickly got hostile responses. Comments calling it “depraved” or “disgusting” were common and there were calls contact the library to get it cancelled. And people have.

“The library has received complaints about the event as well as expressions of gratitude for allowing the event to take place,” said Noelle Thompson, library director. “Libraries are for everyone and we have a meeting room policy in place that prevents discrimination or personal biases from interfering with the community’s access to the meeting room.”

Thompson said the library is not leading or sponsoring the event. The library provides a meeting room for community groups to use, and PFLAG had reserved the room as they have before.

“The library welcomes the use of its room for educational, cultural, civic, and public information meetings, and for programs of non-profit groups within the city of Galesburg,” she said. “PFLAG and their use of the room meet the criteria for the room reservation.”

The community, though, has been resilient.

“We have seen an increase to our Facebook group,” McDorman said. “We have had supporters tell us they are excited for the event. A local group called United Against Hate posted a message of support.”

To support PFLAG Galesburg, you can join the Facebook group or join the chapter. Membership is open to anyone, even outside of Galesburg, with a membership fee of $30 annually per household. Half the membership fee goes to support events like the story hour locally with the rest going to PFLAG National. However, events are open to everyone even if they aren’t a member.

The Drag Queen Story Hour is part of the Spring Forward with PFLAG Galesburg event. The event is at the Galesburg Public Library on at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12.

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