Monash Drag Storytime event cancelled after threats of violence


LGBTQIA counter protesters at Monash Council meeting supporting Drag Story Time
LGBTQIA counter-rally at Monash Council chambers to support Drag Story Time

The Monash Council’s Drag Storytime IDAHOBIT event, a celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, has been called off due to a safety briefing given by Victorian Police. The police warned the Council of potential risks to the safety of the attendees, staff, and Council facilities, prompting the cancellation of the event in the interest of public safety.

The cancellation follows in the wake of a confrontring scene last week, in which far-right protesters turned up at a Monash City council meeting regarding the event.

Protesters reportedly hurled slurs at and called councillors ‘paedophiles’, before turning on LGBTQIA+ activists and abusing them also.

And now, after a week of rapidly escalating tensions, the event will no longer proceed.

Monash CEO says the cancellation is ‘incredibly disappointing’

In a statement, Monash CEO Dr. Andi Diamond said that they made the decision in consultation with Victoria Police due to repeated threats of violence and intimidation against Councillors, families who had booked to attend the event, the performer, and Council staff.

“This event has attracted significant attention with hateful and threatening commentary and misinformation spread online, via email and directly over the phone,” he says.

“It is incredibly disappointing to have to cancel an event designed to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia but we were left with no choice after Victoria Police advised Council of the risks associated with holding the event.

“Councillors and staff have received messages that nobody should be expected to receive in their workplace, as have our LGBTIQA+ community.

“In recent days these threats have escalated to direct threats of violence involving the event itself.

“Our drag storytime event was designed to introduce children to diverse role models and encourage acceptance, love, and respect of our LGBTIQA+ community.

“It is so disappointing that some people have a long way to go before this is achieved.”

Sharing the disappointment

Dr. Andi went on to state that the Council will remain committed to delivering more inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ communities, despite the collective disappointment.

“We understood this was not for everyone and scheduled it outside our regular library programs so that parents planning to bring their children were making a deliberate choice to attend,” he says,

“Unfortunately, some in the community were not willing to allow that choice.

“In the end we were unable to guarantee that we would be able to hold the event safely.

“I apologise to our LGBTIQA+ community for this outcome. I hope they understand we did not make this decision lightly and we share their disappointment; Council remains committed to delivering on the outcomes and goals of our recently endorsed LGBTIQA+ Action Plan.”

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Nate Woodall

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

2 Comments

  1. Michael
    5 May 2023
    Reply

    I’d love to see how well we’d last standing outside these crumbs wicked Hate Palaces protesting THEIR IMMORAL nonsense, so we can eventually eradicate them back into the putrid outhouse they escaped from!!!! The amount of lies, these types have allowed to indoctrinate the world over. Culture Club’s Top Shelf classic “Church Of The Poisoned Mind” still explains these people. Being sadly as ever relevant in its message, rather than it remaining a tremendous pop anthem, you don’t want to stop singing or grooving along with the second it begins. “Freeze Speech” is their hysterical Cancel Culture agenda, NOT!!! “Free Speech”. But they can just turn up & hurl violent abusive intent! Why isn’t that grounds enough for enforcing them to be moved on, or Police will take them to the nearest Watch house for inciting violence? I am sure that would be our penalty, if we visited this IMMORAL bull! Outside their hideous homes or Hateful Congregations!

  2. Peter Turner
    6 May 2023
    Reply

    I agree totally.
    It is the job of the Police Force to actually “police” these events.
    They should have shown up in sufficient numbers to protect those attending from any violence.

    Score one win for the protesters!

    Our community deserves the same protection these half wits would demand at their far right wing rallies.

    We need to take the fight to them not just roll over every time they threaten us.
    When they actually turn up it’s usually only iñ small numbers anyway.

    Their hateful bigotry and misinformation cannot go unchallenged.

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