WV library cancels drag queen event after violent threats

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP, WDTV) — A West Virginia library says violent threats prompted it to cancel an event where drag queens were going to read to children.

The Morgantown Public Library System announced it was canceling its Drag Queen Story Time event in a Facebook post Friday.

The statement cited “multiple threats of violence against the volunteer readers” as the reason for the cancellation. A voicemail left at the library wasn’t immediately returned.

The library’s statement says it “remains committed to fostering a love of reading for all ages."

Libraries and bookstores across the country have had similar events where men in drag read stories to kids, with some drawing protests.

West Virginia University student Faith Keener says growing up in West Virginia, drag performers are not something she was used to seeing until she moved to Morgantown.

"Just moving here from a small town I wasn't aware of how much there is, and what I'm exposed to here has opened my mind drastically,"

Keener says she wasn't sure how she felt about drag performing, until she met a drag queen herself.

"One of my really good friends does that," Keener said "I was really shocked at first and I didn't know how to feel about it but now I'm like it's whatever, they;re happy with it, and I think it's really good for people to be exposed to new things like that,"

Keener says as long as the story hour is optional, she doesn't see it as a problem.

"As long as they're not pushing it on people, but it's an open thing," "And I think that's great,"

The library will instead have its staffers read for the event Saturday morning.