The King’s English Bookstore in Salt Lake City faced a tense situation on Sunday when police evacuated the premises and cordoned off the surrounding roads in response to a bomb threat. The threat was reported as “a suspicious circumstance” by the Salt Lake City police, who later determined that there was no imminent danger to the community.
Drag Queen Storytelling Event Disrupted
The incident unfolded on a day when the bookstore had scheduled a drag queen storytelling event for children. These events, where drag performers read children’s books, have increasingly become the target of protests by far-right activists in recent months.
Calvin Crosby, a co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop, expressed disappointment over the disruption, stating, “The right thing to do is to put books into kids’ hands, to those without regular access and to normalize diversity.”
Act of Domestic Terrorism
Tara Lipsyncki, a drag performer slated to read at the event, condemned the bomb threat as “an act of domestic terrorism.” She courageously declared her resolve to continue fighting for a society where everyone can feel truly safe, refusing to be intimidated by such threats.
Community Solidarity and Future Plans
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall denounced the bomb threat, emphasizing that “EVERYONE belongs in Salt Lake City” and pledging to work with the bookstore to ensure the event takes place on a future date.
This incident adds to a disturbing trend of threats and attacks against LGBTQ individuals and spaces in recent months. The rise in anti-LGBTQ demonstrations, often targeting drag events, is a concerning development in the fight for LGBTQ rights and acceptance. The Crowd Counting Consortium, a research group tracking political protests, reported a significant increase in anti-LGBTQ protests, with 46% specifically linked to drag events, from June 2022 to May.
As the investigation into the bomb threat continues, it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges the LGBTQ community faces and the need for continued support and solidarity to ensure their safety and well-being.