A few days after an online petition was created on Change.org to stop the children’s Drag Queen Story Time at the Brownsville Public Library, a counter petition was started by Michelle Contreras to keep it.
The petition to continue Drag Queen Story Hour, which was created Monday, states The “Drag Queen Story Hour” phenomenon is responsible for teaching children that they can grow up to be whatever they want, showing them that people can be different and like different things.
“These story hours use the library’s privileged position in the community, as a source of knowledge, to introduce children to LGBTQ+,” the petition reads. “It is common knowledge that with exposing children to this, you can expect less suicides, less depression in children who will grow up trying to figure out their sexuality and identity… it also helps get rid of the ugly stereotypes of the LGBTQ+ community.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition to keep Drag Queen Story Time had 354 signatures after only a day of being created. At the same time, the petition to end Drag Queen Story Time at the library had 1,478 signatures after a week since it was created.
The library is celebrating Pride Month and is hosting Pride Week at the library with various events.
The City Commission earlier this year created the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer of LGBTQ Task Force to inform the public of policy and program considerations that encourage inclusion within the community. At last week’s City Commission meeting, a proclamation was issued celebrating LGBTQ “Pride” month, The Brownsville Herald reported Monday.
“As mayor, I feel it is important to celebrate diversity among all of our citizens, including the LGBTQ community. The City of Brownsville was the first city in the Rio Grande Valley to have an LGBTQ task force, which is a symbol of the commission’s goals of being inclusive for all of our citizens. Nobody should be discriminated against and every resident of Brownsville deserves to have an equal voice,” Mayor Trey Mendez said.
City officials said the city prides itself on being an inclusive and respectful community and that it supports the LGBTQ employees and residents. “Having the opportunity for individuals to read stories helps others understand diversity and further unites us as a community. This is happening in other parts of the state and the country. Drag Queen Story Hour is an optional program that parents may choose to sign up for,” the city stated.