Online outburst over Drag Queen Storytime at Redemption Rock overcome by positivity

I never figured a dress-up story session for children could draw so much ire, but certain people, mostly trolls and bots, always end up badly misconstruing Drag Queen Story Time, a kaleidoscopic afternoon of charismatic drag performers reading stories about acceptance, diversity and inclusivity to kids.

In 2018, the Worcester Public Library found itself besieged by waves of hate-spewing Facebook commenters reacting to the library hosting the event, created by the local campaign Love Your Labels.

“Worcester wasn’t going to stand by and watch the library get mobbed,” former Worcesteria columnist Bill Shaner wrote after the attack. Several hundred residents jumped to defend the library, soon drowning out the vitriol with messages of support and empowerment. 

For the last four years, Redemption Rock Brewing Co. has happily hosted Drag Queen Story Time. Dozens of families flock to the popular Sunday event, which feels right at home at the colorful brewery. Just like the themes in the children’s books read by the drag performers, Drag Story Time largely inspires bursts of love and acceptance, and not only within the LGBTQ community. Redemption Rock has not experienced anything like what the library dealt with. But in these polarized times, you can just about set your clock to the next hateful outburst on social media. 

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