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Drag Queen Story Hours in UK Disrupted By Anti-LGBTQ Protestors

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(CNN) -- An ordinary red-brick library in the southern English town of Reading is an unlikely backdrop for the latest front in the battle for equality for the LGBTQ+ community.

But  in scenes later repeated across the country-- Covid-19 conspiracists and far-right supporters lobbed homophobic and transphobic slurs at parents and children to try to stop the kids from meeting drag queens.In footage shared online, anti-vaxxer Michael Chaves ​is seen berating parents -- some of whom are carrying infants -- arriving for Drag Queen Story Hour UK, an event at which books promoting compassion and inclusion are read to children.

Chaves goes on to falsely accuse Sab Samuel, who was performing that day as drag queen Aida H Dee, of being a pedophile. CNN has reached out to Chaves for comment; he has not responded. ​He told local newspaper The Reading Chronicle, that he was protesting the tour as it was "sexualising children."As protesters unfurled a banner reading: "Welcome groomers" outside the library, two women who had pretended to be attendees disrupted the reading inside the building, calling Samuel an "adult entertainer" as they terrified parents and children in the process, according to Samuel.

At least one mother was seen crying after the incident, Samuel said.The term "groomer" is a homophobic stereotype used to falsely smear queer people and their supporters as child sex abusers.At the end of the session, Samuel left the library with police protection as demonstrators hurled abuse.​Recent angry confrontations around events involving drag queens in the United Kingdom follow a disturbing precedent from the United States, where right-wing extremist groups ambush similar events and conservative politicians have pledged to.

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