hate crime

Vandals chalk “groomer” outside politician’s home, break inside over support for drag queen story hour

New York City council member Erik Bottcher
New York City council member Erik Bottcher (Photo: Twitter)

A openly gay city council member has shared the actions of a hateful group of protestors outside his home.

NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher represents District 3, which covers Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea and West Village. On Saturday, the Andrew Heiskell Library in Manhattan hosted a drag queen story hour for children. Like similar events in other parts of the country, it attracted a small band of protestors.

Bottcher, 42, attended to show his support and film the protest happening outside.

“Today I witnessed pure hatred and bigotry outside Drag Queen Story Hour at a public library in Chelsea. Inside, I witnessed a loving and peaceful reading of children’s books to kids,” he said in an accompanying caption.

Watch the video below.

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Bottcher later posted another tweet along with a photo from inside the event.

“Reading encourages skills like language and literacy, plus cognitive development and social-emotional growth, too,” Bottcher said. “Thank you to Drag Queen Story Hour for bringing your program to Chelsea!”

His postings drew supportive comments but also a wave of anti-LGBTQ tweets.

Bottcher says the protests are now targeting him personally. First there was graffiti outside his district office.

Two arrests

Last night, he shared that a hardcore minority had scrawled “groomer” and “child predator” on the sidewalk outside his apartment. Even more alarming, two people even gained entry to the building. A superintendent called the police and they were arrested.

“Tonight the Drag Queen Story Hour protesters came to my apartment building and gained entry. My super called the cops and two of them were arrested for trespassing. I’m safe. I’m sorry my neighbors had to see filth these people wrote on the sidewalk. This is pure hate, unmasked. If they think this is going to intimidate us, they’re mistaken. This has only strengthened our resolve. We won’t be cowed.”

“Completely outrageous”

NYC Mayor Eric Adams was among those to express horror at the vandalism and trespassing.

“This is outrageous. Completely outrageous,” Adams tweeted. “Erik, you stand up for our city every single day and these cowardly bigots have no place here. Thank you to the NYPD for your quick work and sending the message that this hate will not go unchallenged.”

NYC Rep. Jerry Nadler also tweeted his outrage.

“I stand with my friend @ebottcher, Drag Queen Story Hour, and the LGBTQ+ community against this disgusting display of hate. Elected officials have a responsibility to condemn this false, dangerous rhetoric that’s being used as a new way to discriminate against the community.”

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