Putnam Valley residents protest program that brings drag queens into libraries to read to children
Putnam Valley residents protested the Drag Queen Story Hour program Saturday that brings drag queens into local libraries to read stories to children.
The Story Hour is a growing nationwide organization with some local chapters in the Hudson Valley.
Through the program, drag queens read children's stories to kids in local libraries, schools and bookstores.
Angel Elektra, a widely known "queen" of the Hudson Valley, was in front of about 40 children at the Putnam Valley Public Library.
"We started off singing the ‘Heels on the Drag Queen,’ which is a remix of the song 'The Wheels on the Bus,' then after that, I went on and read my first book, which was ‘Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,’" Elektra said. "We're just here to spread love, acceptance and tolerance, we're not here to change nobody's lifestyle."
Meanwhile outside the event, dozens of protesters attempted to shut down Story Hour.
"I'm here to pray to end this nonsense…this is no place for children," said Sara Koshofer of Putnam Valley.
"They do provocative dancing and they dress provocatively. This is not something you expose children to," said Croton resident Ed Riely.
A similar event schedule for next weekend in Rye was canceled because of the protests. In turn, Rye mother Amanda Timchak create a petition.
"We decided we should show our library that it would be something we would like to see brought back," Timchak said.
Due to emotions from both groups for and against the event, the Putnam County Sheriff's Department stepped up security along the entrance and inside the library.
Elektra says she hopes she can be someone that children can look up to.
"I'm just here to be that role model that I didn't have when I was growing up," Elektra said.