Drag Queen Story Hour draws protesters in Port Jefferson

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PORT JEFFERSON -

People lined outside the Port Jefferson Library Saturday to protest an event that is designed to teach children about diversity through literature.

Drag Queen Story Hour, organized by Harmonica Sunbeam, aims to help students learn about love, acceptance and tolerance.

Sunbeam read to children ages 4-8, made a craft with them and took photos.

Parents who brought their children to the event say it was about inclusion and celebrating diversity.

"It'll teach them that they can be who they want to be," said Owain Morgan. "They can be different. A little bit of glitter never hurt anyone."

Others outside the library say it was inappropriate for young children to be exposed to drag queens.

"I don't think we should push this ideology and statements to a 4-year-old," said Pastor Julio Carrion, of Port Jefferson. "But if they want to continue the conversation with an adult, I'm here now."

Employees at the library say they expected some backlash when they booked the event. They say some people who are against the event have been calling more than two weeks.

Despite the protests outside the library, children who took part in the event seemed to enjoy it.

"I think it's pretty cool," said 8-year-old, Rachel Robedeed.

Library officials say they considered the first event a success and plan on having more of the Drag Queen Story Hour in the future.

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