Jackson Heights, New York – NYC Council Member Shekar Krishnan, NYS Assembly Members
Catalina Cruz and Jessica González-Rojas, and NYS Senator Jessica Ramos held a community
rally to show solidarity for Drag Story Hour and the Queens Public Library, amidst a troubling
surge in anti-drag and anti-LGBTQ harassment across New York City in recent months.
Anti-drag protesters recently defaced NYC Council Member Krishnan’s district office, and
shouted anti-LGBTQ epithets at drag performers at a September reading at Elmhurst Library
and at a street fair organized by Assembly Member Cruz.

Drag Story Hour NYC (formerly Drag Queen Story Hour NYC) produces storytelling and creative
arts programs for children and teens, presented by local drag artists, in libraries, schools, and
other community spaces in all five boroughs of New York City, and virtually.

Council Member Shekar Krishnan said, “We have seen four incidents of hate and
homophobia in our community in recent weeks, including one at my own office. Our neighbors
are being targeted and we won’t stand for it. Here in Jackson Heights, we show our children to
stand up for each other; we teach them that all are loved. We are proud to support the beautiful
storytellers of Drag Story Hour, because their love and joy will always drown out the hate.”

Drag Story Hour NYC Executive Director Oliver Click said, “We are so grateful for the
outpouring of support that Drag Story Hour NYC has received in the wake of heightened
national backlash and media attention. This support – from parents, teachers, libraries, city
officials, and local community organizations – has enabled us to not only continue our
programming as usual, but to expand our outreach and bring our mission of celebrating
creativity, empathy, and joyful self-expression to the communities that need it most.”

Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott said, “Queens Public Library
has hosted Drag Story Hours since 2018. They inspire a love of reading, while teaching deeper
lessons on diversity, understanding, and appreciation of others. Given the ongoing attempts
across this country to silence and devalue ideas through hateful behavior and book bans and
challenges, the Library’s role is exceedingly important. We provide free access to knowledge,
opportunity, and diverse – even dissonant, uncomfortable, or provocative – voices and points of
view. We are committed to continuing Drag Story Hour, and I want to thank Councilmember
Shekar Krishnan for his support of the program. Queens Public Library stands firmly behind the
LGBTQ+ community in our borough, in our city, and across the country, as well as with our
dedicated library staff at Jackson Heights Library and elsewhere who are committed to inclusive
service for all.”

Assembly Member Catalina Cruz said, “The culturally rich and diverse history and composition
of the Jackson Heights community is what makes us the most unique in the State, and possibly
the country. We stand united here today with a clear message – hate has no home here. We
proudly welcome the Drag Story Hour to our community, and remain committed to programming
that enhances and educates our families and neighbors.”

Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas said, “There’s no place for LGBTQIA+ hate in our
community. The neighborhoods that I represent in Queens aren’t only racially, ethnically, and
religiously diverse, but diverse in gender identity and sexual orientation as well. We must
celebrate and uplift diversity in all its forms and combat hate whenever we see it. I’m proud to
continue my fight in the district and Albany for LGBTQIA+ justice, and I’m honored to have stood
in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community at today’s Drag Story Hour.”

State Senator Jessica Ramos said, “There are many parents, myself included, who are
choosing to raise their children in Jackson Heights because we want our children immersed in
diversity. I’ll welcome the joy that Drag Story Hour offers over the bigotry of a loud, select few
any day.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said, “Drag Story Hour enriches our
children’s lives with their engaging and exciting stories while teaching them the values of
empathy and respect for others, as well as themselves. I am beyond proud to say that this
incredible program, and our LGBTQIA+ community across Queens, will always have the
unabashed support it deserves from my office. When we say all are welcome in Queens, we
mean it, and we will continue to lead by example.”

LGBT Network President Dr. David Kilmnick said, “Right wing extremism has made its way
into Queens and is rearing its ugly and destructive head. This hate has no place in our
communities, in our towns and in our libraries and schools. We will fight with every ounce we
have to make sure that all of our community is represented and their voices are lifted and
amplified. We will not back down, we are doubling down to create these much needed safe
spaces for LGBTQ people and families. Thank you to Councilmember Krishnan for bringing us
all together in solidarity to show and prove that love always wins in the end.”