Drag queen cancels story hour at Pennsylvania church after backlash

A drag queen known as Miss Amie reads during a story hour video uploaded to YouTube in June 2020.
A drag queen known as Miss Amie reads during a story hour video uploaded to YouTube in June 2020. | YouTube/Amie Vanité

A drag queen story hour event that was moved from a library venue to a theologically progressive church in Pennsylvania has been canceled.

Vision of Hope Metropolitan Community Church of Mountville planned to host a drag queen performer known as Miss Amie for a gathering described as a “tea party” on April 27.

However, the church announced Monday morning that the event is canceled, citing “unforeseen circumstances and news media publishing content without fact checking."

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An earlier social media post from the church stated that the decision to cancel the story hour ultimately came from Miss Amie.

Vision of Hope MCC describes itself as “a safe and sacred space for authentic worship for the LGBGTQIA Community and all who would walk with us.”

“We endeavor to be a church of radical inclusivity and transformative love where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and practiced; a place where all are empowered, encouraged, engaged, spiritually fed and made to feel loved, free and whole in the love of God,” the church added.

Last month, the Lancaster Public Library canceled the story hour event featuring Miss Amie due to backlash, which included multiple threats and someone leaving a suspicious package at the facility.

Lancaster Police said the Pennsylvania State Police bomb squad was called out to the library and the facility was cleared as a precaution, with the threat alert lifted a few hours later, reported CBS News.

The library also saw financial backlash, as East Hempfield Township voted to pull its funding of the establishment following the controversy over the story hour event, while Mountville Borough Council voted to defer their donation over making sure that the facility promises to operate as a nonpartisan entity.

Mountville Borough Council Vice President Richard Spiegel explained that they hoped “that events expressing or intending to promote a divisive cause or point of view, especially a controversial one, will not be scheduled.”

In recent years, drag queen story hours at public libraries have been a source of division within communities. Critics view the events as inappropriate for children, while others see it as promoting inclusiveness.

Last week, the Community Church of Chesterland, Ohio, filed a lawsuit against an extremist group tied to vandalism of the congregation for their decision to host a drag show in 2023.

According to a Rasmussen Reports study released in November 2022, 60% of adults in the United States believe that drag queen story hours are inappropriate for children, while 29% said they were appropriate and 10% were unsure.  

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