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Bomb Threats Target LGBTQ+ Events Across the U.S. Over the Weekend

Bomb Threats Target LGBTQ+ Events Across the U.S. Over the Weekend

Tara Lipsynki and the SLC Police

A sinister pattern has emerged as multiple cities witness threats against LGBTQ-friendly events.


In a dark continuation of events, several LGBTQ+ gatherings across the United States were targeted with bomb threats last weekend. The orchestrated attempts to induce fear and disrupt peaceful groups reflect a grim reality in a political environment that has seen Republican lawmakers and pundits create culture wars against vulnerable groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. This year alone has seen more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures in the U.S., many of which have targeted trans youth and drag queens.

Brooklyn Library Evacuation

On Saturday, the Cortelyou branch of Brooklyn Public Library received a menacing threat shortly before hosting Drag Story Hour NYC, a popular event where drag queens read books to children.

The New York Post reports that the threat forced the event to relocate to a nearby Connecticut Muffin coffee shop. The New York Police Department later confirmed the receipt of an email threat from an unknown source in Buffalo, alongside a 911 call, asserting an explosive device would detonate inside the library at 11:30 a.m.

Though the police’s canine and emergency services units found no suspicious items after a brief evacuation and search, the unsettling incident left parents and organizers distraught.

Parent Dayna Sedillo-Hamman noted that this was the second time a Drag Story Hour NYC event she attended in Brooklyn had to be relocated due to a threat. “It’s just frustrating,” she lamented. “People are really small-minded.”

Utah Literacy Event Canceled

Similarly, in Utah, a bomb threat disrupted a drag story time event at The King’s English bookstore in Salt Lake City on Sunday.

In a disturbing incident, a summer reading series event organized by Tara Lipsyncki, a local drag artist in collaboration with the nonprofit Brain Food Books, was disrupted due to harrowing bomb threats. The episode not only quashed a singular community endeavor but underscored a broader issue menacing the drag and LGBTQ+ community. Lipsyncki shared the chilling details of the incident in a recent interview with The Advocate.

Lipsyncki has been at the forefront of organizing reading series and other community gatherings to foster inclusivity and literary appreciation.

In January, Lipsyncki event became overrun by armed Proud Boys members who menaced attendees, resulting in a cancelation.

The summer reading series was part of these efforts, uniting people over a shared love for storytelling. However, the ominous bomb threats abruptly halted the series, bringing a wave of concern amongst residents and the LGBTQ+ community.

Recounting the traumatic events of that day, Lipsyncki said, “We’ve been doing story time all summer... But got a call as I was about to leave, had the keys in hand, ready to go. And they called and said we had a bomb threat; please don’t come.”

The repercussions of the threats were far-reaching. The immediate event had to be canceled, but the threats also cast a long shadow over the prospect of organizing future community events. Furthermore, Lipsyncki highlighted that the scare led to the early closure of other local businesses, impacting the local economy and the sense of community.

Lipsyncki expressed her disheartenment over the cancellation and the ensuing disquiet that enveloped the community.

The threat prompted a police investigation and a temporary closure of nearby roads. Although no harmful devices were found, the bookstore was closed for the day, causing disappointment among attendees.

While the reading event was to be the last of the summer series at The King’s English, Lipsyncki expects to open her own bookstore in Provo by the end of October.

Families will be welcomed to the new space, Mosaics, on Halloween Weekend, she said.

Connecticut Pride Event Targeted

In Connecticut, a mass email threatening a bomb explosion led to the evacuation of the New Haven Pride Center on Saturday, as the New Haven Register reports. The threat coincided with a scheduled block party for the 26th annual Pride New Haven festival. Again, the hazardous device unit found no danger, but the incident marked another episode of terror targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

Drag events and Pride celebrations have been targeted by right-wing extremists in recent months. In addition, schools and hospitals that are affirming transgender kids have also been targeted with bomb threats.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreAdvocate Magazine - Gio Benitez

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