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HomeTop NewsTigard’s Drag Queen Storytime canceled due to threats; Poison Waters says ‘giving in is not an option’

Tigard’s Drag Queen Storytime canceled due to threats; Poison Waters says ‘giving in is not an option’


The Tigard Public Library canceled a Sunday book-reading event featuring one of Portland’s best-known drag queens out of public safety concerns, Tigard police said. The event was canceled due to “repeated threats of violence,” according to a statement posted on social media by the Tigard Police Department. The library will be closed Sunday out of “an abundance of caution,” police said.

Tigard police spokesperson Kelsey Anderson declined to say what the threats were or whether they knew who was responsible for them, citing an ongoing investigation. Plans for a sit-in protest of the reading, and a counter-protest in support of the event, circulated online in recent days. Anderson said there will be an “increased police presence” at Tigard’s community Pride celebration and parade, which is scheduled to take place from 2 p.

m. to 5 p. m.

on Saturday. Drag Queen Storytime, sponsored by the city of Tigard, was going to feature Poison Waters reading stories about acceptance and diversity in celebration of Pride Month. Kevin Cook has performed drag under the stage name Poison Waters for decades and served as the .

Cook said the decision to cancel the reading is disheartening, but that he understands the need to prioritize public safety. He said threats have come in for many of his shows over the years, but few of them have had any problems. “We still continue to do them because giving in is not an option; letting somebody’s negativity win is not an option,” Cook said.

“But this one was a little different, just a little stronger, and I’ll just say, uglier. ” Several of the families planning to attend the reading have already reached out to find other upcoming family-friendly events featuring Poison Waters, Cook said. “These events wouldn’t exist if there weren’t families wanting them,” Cook said.

Cook added: “I’ve never done an event where a child didn’t come up and say, ‘That story reminded me of my brother,’ or ‘That story reminded me of my friend in school,’ or ‘That story speaks to me,’” Cook said. “That’s the purpose of these events, to normalize, and I hate that word but, for lack of a better term, that there are all different walks of life out there. ” Gabriel Buehler, chair of the Washington County Republican Party, said the local GOP has planned a “celebratory flag wave” in front of the Tigard Public Library during the time the reading was scheduled to take place.

He said the party was not involved in organizing the planned sit-in protest. He said he believed the threats of violence came from individuals planning to participate in the counter-protest. “I’ve seen all across the media waves today, ‘threats of violence,’ and it’s kind of insinuated that parents were threatening violence,” Buehler said.

“That’s not the case, this was Antifa. ” The Tigard reading is the second family-friendly Pride event in the Portland area to be canceled because of threats. In May, officials at Atkinson Elementary School canceled a scheduled Pride Fest, an optional after-school event intended to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

— Nick Gibson; ; 971-393-8259;.

From: oregonlive
URL: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2023/06/tigards-drag-queen-storytime-canceled-due-to-threats-poison-waters-says-giving-in-is-not-an-option.html

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