As I write this letter, we are just seven days into Pride month, a time to recognize the struggles, and celebrate the beauty and humanity of LGBTQ+ people worldwide. Sadly, there are those who believe we don’t deserve to share this world with them, and have increased their rhetoric of hate, propaganda, and violence against LGBTQ+ people and our allies.

Maine is not immune to such attacks; most recently being displayed at a Drag Queen Story Hour in Waterville, where a small group of right-wing protesters tried to disrupt an otherwise great event. Their arrival was not completely unexpected, though we were disgusted and shocked by some of the epithets and gross language hurled in our direction as we stood in front of a children’s bookstore. They had a lot to say about how they view us, and what they believe our goals and objectives are. None of those things deserve repeating here, and they likely would not be published. However, what they did not have was any truth or accuracy for the claims they made, and they did not come to protect the children, as they said. Sadly, many will not see an accurate depiction of the Drag Queen Story Hour because the only media present gave a lackluster write-up that only served to play to sensationalism.

What I saw were families, children, friends, neighbors, and visitors enjoying a story and community at a local bookstore. I saw love, acceptance, care, excitement, and happiness! What I saw were strangers standing arm-in-arm, new friendships being made, old friendships being rekindled and a bunch of kids enjoying the gift of a great story time! These are the diverse gifts that make our community great and we should continue to embrace. Hate has no home here.


Matthew Crane


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