2022 saw a sharp spike in provocative events hosted by drag performers and geared toward audiences of all ages — specifically and most controversially aimed at children.
While supporters say these are important opportunities to introduce young people to alternative lifestyles, critics warn that they expose kids to mature themes and inappropriately explicit behavior.
For her part, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has repeatedly made it clear which side of the cultural debate she supports. Ahead of a “drag story hour” at a library in Queens, the far-left lawmaker shared a post calling on the public to “protect” the event’s organizers against “violently loud bigots” who might show up to protest.
According to the library’s statement: “Queer community members and allies will be there to show the fascists they are not welcome, but that kids and drag queens are. Let’s show NYC’s unwavering support for Drag Story Hour and for queer and trans people, and make a safe, encouraging, and joyful welcome for kids and their grownups as they enter the library.”
After using her platform as a public figure to amplify the reach of this post and interest in Thursday’s event, protesters and counterprotesters arrived at the library and clashed.
This was not the first time that such a controversial event ended in a brawl. In October, a Eugene, Oregon, pub invited a preteen to perform in drag, sparking backlash from the community.
Reports indicated that demonstrators on both sides of the issue resorted to throwing projectiles at each other.
In this case, the call by the controversial congresswoman to “defend” the event by showing up to it seemed to imply something more than simply supporting it. And some of those who responded to the call were reported to have brought weapons to this event organized for children.
It is relevant that the New York Democrat was quick to call out her political rival for allegedly inciting violence with a social media meme he posted in November 2021.
Responding to a video that portrayed her as a cartoon character being defeated, Ocasio-Cortez called for action against Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), declaring: ”What I believe is unprecedented is for a member of House leadership of either party to be unable to condemn incitement of violence against a member of this body. What is so hard about saying this is wrong?”
Gosar was subsequently censured and stripped of his committee assignments — something we are unlikely to see in this situation that ended with actual violence from her supporters.