Small Town Story of Love Conquering Hate

My friend Avery Gilbert, who lives in a neighboring town from me in the Hudson Valley, has two amazing gender creative kids. When I introduced myself to her youngest, who’s always embraced masculine clothes and expressions, I said, “Hi, my name is Lo. I use she and her for my pronouns. What do you like to use for yourself? She and her, he and him, or they and them?” Avery’s child thought about it for a second — because no one had ever asked before — and then said confidently, “He and him.” He’s used those pronouns ever since.

Avery, who’s the president of the Board of Trustees of the Morton Memorial Library, worked with another friend of mine, Sandy Bartlett, the Director of the library, to host a fun, gender-spectrum-positive online library event for kids. With the help of KeyOfQ.org and Kingston’s LGBTQcenter.org, they planned a Drag Queen Story Hour with Angel Elektra for Wednesday, June 24th.

The point of such story hours, according to DragQueenStoryHour.org, is to give kids the chance “to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish…” Awesome, right?

But on the day of the story hour, three people with closed minds and a lot of time on their hands drove for more than an hour from several towns over to protest the event outside the little library.

Word spread throughout the hamlet and soon a counter-protest was formed by local friends and neighbors, with quickly made signs and a lot of love. They outnumbered the protesters at least 6 to 1, if not more.

Love won! And during Pride Month no less!