Drag queen story hour faces increasing costs in Pittsford

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. Supporters say it’s an event to promote inclusion. Opponents say it’s not appropriate for children.

A drag time story hour in Pittsford scheduled for next week might not happen if the organizers can’t come up with $8,500 for the extra security town leaders say is needed.

Over the past several months, drag time story hours around the country have become a hot button issue and Rochester is no exception, especially after a recent announcement by the Pittsford CommUNITY Center of increased costs for an event scheduled for April 15.

When it comes to drag time story hour, Pittsford town supervisor William Smith Jr. said it just comes down to the numbers.

 “We are not in the business of canceling these things,” Smith Jr. said. “However, this is an event where the reasonable security costs should not have to be borne by town taxpayers.”

The local chapter of the right-wing group Gays Against Groomers is fiercely opposed to the event, Tweeting “We fully understand that drag, to some, is a form of art and artistic expression, but what exactly is this obsession with wanting to read explicit material and twerk in front of young children.”

 This is a characterization that Tiffany Porter with the advocacy group Blacks in the Burbs said she couldn’t disagree more with.

 “It brings us together as one and we are breaking down the stereotypes and the stigmas that are attached,” Porter said.

A non-profit called Pittsford CommUNITY Center reserved the space at the local center. The Pittsford town supervisor said that the event will take place but the non-profit must pay $8,500 for security.

 “The security has to do with discussions with the sheriff’s department and concerns expressed by the event organizers themselves,” Smith Jr. said.

But no matter the cost, Porter said the cause is worth it.

 “We have to keep advocating for more visibility because the more that this is out there,” Porter said. “We can educate more people in the community and there won’t be such a backlash.”

News10NBC reached out multiple times to Gays Against Groomers, but did not hear back from them.