Families with young children walked through a ring of rainbow colors as they entered Drag Queen Story Hour on Saturday morning at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton.
Around 75 people, many waving rainbow flags, stood at the six entrances to the outdoor event to make sure the children felt safe and enjoyed the activity. About two months ago, protesters shouted and disrupted a similar event in downtown Silver Spring. Last month, activists created a safe space at Kensington Library for story time.
Drag Queen D’Manda Martini read three books that shared the theme of acceptance. “It’s good to be different,” she told the children several times.
A few protesters approached the event but when greeted by the activists and asked why they were there, they turned away and left.
— Suzanne Pollak (@SuzannePollak) August 13, 2022
Bee, a former Gaithersburg resident, saw what happened at a previous event and wanted to help make sure no children were scared or harassed.
Rifka Handelman from Silver Spring showed up to let the kids have some fun. “It’s really fun and awesome,” Handelman said. His mother, Kate Epstein, also joined the queue, saying: “I love watching the kids go by.”
Kristin Mink, who recently won the Democratic primary for the District 5 council, said, “We like that there is diversity here. We want to celebrate diversity and support diversity.
Mink wore a tutu and mingled with children and supporters. She helped organize the community to show that the LGBTQ+ community is welcome and supported in Montgomery County, she explained. She called the hosts the Parasol Patrol DMV.
As she stood in the queue, Garrett Park’s Erin Hurst wished this had happened years ago. Hurst grew up with lots of questions about LGBTQ+ issues, but no one to ask. “I had to figure that out on the internet.”
Montgomery County welcomes, celebrates and protects the LGBTQ+ community!
The new Parasol Patrol DMV had over 100 people (again)!
— Kristin Mink for Montgomery County Council (MD) (@KristinMink_) August 13, 2022
Uninterrupted, the Drag Queen story time in Kensington went wonderfully