As a Conservative rabbi, I serve in a denomination whose leaders hold a variety of approaches to GLBTQ equality. However, most of my rabbinic colleagues would agree that there is no place in our faith for the harassment, bullying, and shaming of GLBTQ individuals, or obstructing the right of private business owners to support and dignify their neighbors.

I am proud of Ellen Richmond, owner of the Children’s Book Cellar, for her integrity and courage in bringing greater diversity to Waterville (“Waterville children’s bookstore gets backlash for drag queen event,” May 13). Attempts to harass her or the families who choose to attend Drag Queen Story Hour are beyond the pale. Encountering a drag queen does not confuse children about their gender. Children understand costumes, performance, and diversity of expression quite well. My children will be more perplexed about why enraged adults will protest outside their favorite bookstore.

If we are really concerned about the welfare of our children, let us look to facts. The real children at risk are GLBTQ youth who often doubt their own worth and their right to respect and safety. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 51% of trans male youth attempt suicide in their lifetime. Finding supportive adults is often what makes a crucial difference to these children, and will convince them to choose life. Central Maine Pride shows our children that there are caring adults who embrace them.

As this program will be held on our sabbath, my family and I will walk to join the festivities at the Children’s Book Cellar. We will relish the opportunity to celebrate pride, literacy, and community with beloved friends and neighbors. I encourage my fellow Waterville residents to join us, and show our children that the actions of a few hateful individuals should not intimidate us in the sacred journey toward a more perfect union.


Rachel Isaacs


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.