Then West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath in a file photo in West Hollywood, Calif., on June 5, 2021. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Foundation for the AIDS Monument)
A library storytime for children featuring a drag queen in San Fernando, a suburb of Los Angeles, was canceled Oct. 25 after dozens of protestors blocked entrances and shouted at participants.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, who organized the event—featuring the drag queen known as Pickle—said protestors pounded on doors of the San Fernando Library, shouted obscenities and slurs at her staff and library workers, and used strollers to block vehicles.
“What was meant to be a celebration of love and inclusion turned into the opposite,” Ms. Horvath said in a lengthy post Wednesday night on X, formerly Twitter. “These disgusting tactics and efforts to incite violence prevented Pickle and Library patrons from even entering the building.”
The county supervisor apologized to families who she said were excited but could not get into the event, which was planned “as part of LGBTQ+ History Month.”
During the protest, demonstrators chanted, “Leave our kids alone!” while standing outside the library. One used a megaphone saying, “No pervert pedophiles are going to train our kids to be perverts like you.”
Several San Fernando police officers responded to the protest and stood between demonstrators and the entertainer.
The same group demonstrated at Ms. Horvath’s library storytime in Sherman Oaks last April, which also featured Pickle, according to the San Fernando Sun.
A child listens as a drag queen reads a book during a drag time story hour in a file photo in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 26, 2023. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Pickle, who was named West Hollywood’s first Drag Laureate in June, did not respond to a request for comment.
According to a video posted on the drag performer’s Facebook page, Pickle is an organizer with the L.A. chapter of Drag Story Hour, an international movement in over 40 cities across the world. During library storytimes, Pickle reads books to children, generally on progressive topics, such as inclusion, gender identity, and queerness.
One of the books is “Aalfred and Aalbert” by Morag Hood about two male aardvarks who find love, Pickle said in a January 2020 video on the Facebook page.
One of Ms. Horvath’s constituents responded to her social media comments about the drag storytime Wednesday, saying it was a misuse of public funds.
“As a gay man in your district, I’m disgusted by your incessant pandering,” wrote the constituent on X, formerly Twitter. “Not only is it a misuse of public funds to hire drag queens for your own entertainment, it’s appropriating a product of gay nightlife culture that kids should not be exposed to.”
San Fernando police told the local newspaper the department was advised of the protest, and around 10 officers were dispatched to the library, along with a few Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.
No violence was reported and police made no arrests at the demonstration, according to the San Fernando Police Department.