June 30, 2019
Pittsburgh Library Cancels 'Drag Queen Story Hour' After Threats Made Against Similar Programs

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library has canceled its final Drag Queen Story Hour after threats were made against similar programs, The Pittsburgh Current reports.

The final installment of the series, in which men in drag read stories to children, had been scheduled for Friday morning (June 29), after previous installments of the series had gone off without a hitch. However, after threats were made against similar programs, Carnegie Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes said that Saturday's event was cancelled. She did not mention any specific threats or where they purportedly came from.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, Drag Queen Story Hour will not be presented this Saturday, June 29, at CLP-Main. CLP is proud to join other libraries around the country to offer programming to families that explores diversity and encourages empathy, kindness and understanding," read a statement from the library. However, Thinnes said that the program will be coming back next year.

"Drag Queen Story Hour" Is A Thing At Libraries All Over The World

For some time now, according to the Drag Queen Story Hour website, libraries in the U.S. and elsewhere have been inviting drag queens to read to children. Libraries in cities large and small have invited drag queens to teach youngsters about gender fluidity and acceptance.

"[Drag Queen Story Hour] captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models," says the website.

The programs aren't always met with enthusiasm. Several libraries have been met with protests and criticism for hosting the events, according to The Seattle Times. While some libraries have held the events in spite of the protests, others, like Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library, have cancelled theirs.

A Florida Library Cancels "Pride Prom"

Though not connected directly to the Drag Queen Story Hour movement, homophobia caused another LGBTQ event at a different library to be canceled this week as well. As reported by The Inquisitr, Jacksonville's public library was to hold a "Pride Prom" for area LGBTQ youth. However, after getting pushback from religious groups in the community, and after the library's director claimed that the institution was getting threats, the event was cancelled.

Elsewhere In Pittsburgh

The Carnegie Library wasn't the only Pittsburgh institution to cancel an LGBTQ event over security concerns. The Pittsburgh Children's Museum had also planned a drag queen-related event for Friday; however, the museum, citing unspecified safety concerns, canceled that event.