A family-friendly storytelling event in Salisbury, England, was forced to relocate due to safety concerns after being targeted by members of the far-right group Patriotic Alternative. Drag Queen Story Hour, performed by Aida H Dee, was due to take place at The Winchester Gate Pub on Saturday. The event was intended to educate young people about bullying and to promote inclusiveness through a non-heterosexual lens.
According to Jamie Lillycrop, from The Winchester Gate, up to 11 protesters from Patriotic Alternative staged a protest outside the venue, holding banners that read “Stop sexualizing our children.” The hostile atmosphere was deemed a threat to the safety of attendees and event organizers were forced to relocate to another location. Aida H Dee was to perform a family-friendly storytelling session that aimed to explain non-heterosexual emotions to young people, but the protest outside the venue disrupted the event before it could take place.
“It’s sad, but it’s a reminder of why we’re doing this,” said Aida The Storytime Drag Queen. Despite the protesters’ claim that the event had been cancelled, the event was relocated and continued with a positive, open, and accepting atmosphere. “It’s meant to be a positive, open and accepting event,” said Jamie Lillycrop. “Staging a protest and wearing balaclavas is quite literally the opposite of what the event’s meant to be.”