Homophobic backlash has forced a library to cancel an event for children hosted by drag queens

A photo of drag collective, Glitter Hole, at one of their children's performances.
Bryan Wall

An Irish drag collective has had its upcoming story-time event for children cancelled after a homophobic backlash.

Glitter Hole was due to hold the event at Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown (DLR) library on 26 June. According to the library, it was to be the “first ever Drag Story Time event” held there. But DLR library has since cancelled the event. It said “this event will not now go ahead at this time”. Initially, it suggested this was because of concerns about “age appropriateness”, though it later said homophobic abuse was responsible.


Glitter Hole explained on Facebook that DLR library contacted them last month about putting on the show. DLR organised it as part of Pride celebrations. But the group revealed:

As a result:

And now, according to Glitter Hole, the library has also admitted it called off the event because of:

the high level of degrading, inappropriate comments on social media about the performers and library staff.

Public reaction

Many people are not happy with the decision. A journalist with the Irish Examiner called on people to “Spot the difference” between drag performance and pantomime:

Others voiced their regret and “disgust” with the cancellation:

One person noted the dishonesty of those who got the event cancelled:

Another also picked up on this:

Someone also sarcastically pointed out the dangers of reading:

The far right

Glitter Hole also brought attention to the irony of the cancellation:

The irony is that we were booked for Pride and yet after having hate speech directed at us all weekend, DLR have responded to that by deciding that we are incapable of providing an age appropriate family event.

The attack on the group is a clear reminder of the level of hatred that exists in supposedly liberal Ireland. In spite of the legalisation of gay marriage and legalisation of abortion, the far right is making gains in the country. Anyone they consider ‘different’ is a target. In this case, Glitter Hole is that target.

It won’t be the last time that ignorance like this is on display. And if we want to create a more inclusive society, we must fight such ignorance every time it appears.

Featured image via Glitter Hole (used with permission)

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