Nicolette started the Facebook page 500 Drag Queen Strong after reading about a local group, calling themselves "500 Mom Strong", who were planning on protesting a Drag Queen Story Hour event at the Spokane Public Library.
Andrea had a vision when she approached the Spokane Public Library about doing a Drag Queen Story Hour event during PRIDE month-- but I doubt she could have ever imagined the crazy journey she would have to make to get there.
The propaganda produced and distributed by 500 Mom Strong was in and of itself misogynistic and racist. Shawn Vestal at the Spokesman Review wrote an excellent article calling out 500 Mom Strong's vile rhetoric:
Though it did very little to stop her. In fact, she responded to his article with a deeply disturbing piece of rhetoric titled:
Push back from religious extremists caused the Spokane Public Library to schedule a Community Discussion on Understanding Drag.
Anna, the "leader" of 500 Mom Strong (which I think ended up just being her and her Mom by the way...so more like 2 Mom Strong), refused to attend, and instead published veiled death threats against Andrea and others.
Suddenly, our news feeds and inboxes were filled with stories of Death Threats and Hate Speech. Our whole community was under attack. People were being harassed at work, on the streets and online.
We still are.
Bigoted protesters and religious extremists showed up with huge signs displaying graphic images of aborted fetuses and Anti-LGBTQ propaganda. Underneath the no parking sign you see William Hulings, the leader of the Spokane Chapter of the Proud Boys, a Southern Poverty Law designated Hate Group.
We had a party! People from all corners of the community showed up to support Drag Queen Story Hour and celebrate inclusive educational events that promote diversity! Supporters far outnumbered the hateful protesters. We filled our side with free bubbles, balloons, and bookmarks!
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