NASHUA — A week ago, drag queen Monique Toosoon almost canceled her library reading event for teens at the Nashua Public Library.
She said some people who opposed her scheduled appearance turned to social media and called her “horrible things.” Requests were made to cancel the event and objections were raised by Cornerstone Action, a conservative advocacy group.
But in the end, Toosoon decided to go through with it.
“This is not for me,” she told a packed auditorium of about 100 people Saturday afternoon. “This is for the teens.”
Attendees represented people of all ages, from grade-school age kids who came with their parents to senior citizens. Most came in support of Toosoon, who is a married gay man and small-business owner.
But a handful of non-supporters, some of whom Toosoon recognized as the same people “bashing” her on Facebook, also turned out.
Jenn Hosking, the library’s assistant director, said the event had one of the best teen turnouts the library has had and the young people were engaged.
Hosking said they did not hire a police detail but three patrol officers were present during the event. At one point a woman was escorted out by police, but later allowed to re-enter.
One protester held a sign outside that read “reject degeneracy.” He would not give his name.
Hosking said Toosoon coordinated the narrow scope of the event with teen librarian Ashlee Norwood. There was no sexually explicit material during the show.
Toosoon began by reading a few poems and passages that highlighted diversity and inclusion. She riffed and joked with the mostly supportive audience.
Most of the event was a question-and-answer session.
Toosoon said a large part of her performance is comedy. Drag queens are a lot like clowns, and anyone can be one, Toosoon said. She’s been doing drag performances for about 20 years, she said.
“Bringing happiness to people is what drag queens do,” she said.