SECURITY staff were drafted in, while there was also a police presence, when a drag queen artist read stories to children at a library in Powys this week.

Aida H Dee was at Newtown Library on Monday, August 8, entertaining children and families as part of the Drag Queen Story Hour UK summer tour – a UK-wide initiative providing fun and interactive kids shows with talented drag performers.

The tour is in Wales this week and called at Newtown and Brecon’s Y Gaer on Monday, with the event largely praised by parents and families of children who attended and had a fantastic time.

Powys County Council, however, confirmed they did draft in security staff for the Newtown stop after around 15-20 protesters turned up and stood outside the library, unhappy about it being held, while Dyfed Powys Police confirmed they also sent officers to the scene to make sure the event ran smoothly.

“Took the grandchildren they could not stop laughing, it was a story about acceptance with some pantomime thrown in,” said one local resident, Faith Anne.

“The message he (Aida H Dee) wanted to convey is be kind to all and don't bully anyone for being different – a good lesson for all.”

Shannon Stacey added: “We took our children today, it was so much fun, the children loved it, very much pantomime energy and the story was about acceptance of differences and sticking up to bullies, which these protestors are.”


A similar event in Norfolk was postponed last week after protests outside, while one in Reading in July saw two people interrupt the session while another 25 protested outside the venue. Footage from Reading Central Library on July 25, where Dee, a 27-year-old author known off-stage as Sab Samuel, had also read to children, captured him being harassed with ‘paedophile’ chants and homophobic slurs.

The crowd were said to have shouted insults into megaphones so they could be heard through the library windows, while the crowd also heckled families as they entered the library.

Speaking about the protesters at the Newtown event, Roxanne Williams said: “Obviously, the protesters’ parents never taught them to judge other people by how they treat you rather than their appearance.

“It's quite sad really that it seems there will forever be an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality in most walks of life.”

Amy Durston added: “Standing outside a library to protest a drag queen talking about acceptance? And THIS is what is wrong with the world!

“Maybe the protesters should have actually listened to the lesson being taught by the drag queen.”

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “The Drag Queen Story Time events are part of a national tour, and story-times have been held in libraries across England and Wales over the past two weeks and will continue into September.

“Two events have been enjoyed by our younger Powys Library members at Newtown Library and Y Gaer in Brecon on Monday. The event is aimed at children and provides a fun and interactive show that promotes an understanding of different communities.

“Unfortunately, some people decided to protest but security was put in place to reduce the risk of threatening behaviour towards the artist involved, parents and children, and our staff.”