News » Crime

Armed Man Escorted by Police from Houston Library During Drag Queen Storytime

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday February 1, 2019

A conservative radio host was removed from a Houston library on Jan. 26 after he entered the building armed with a gun, evidently in response to a "Drag Queen Storytime" event, reported UK newspaper The Independent.

James Greene, Sr., described in the Independent article as a "Trump supporter," had previously been barred from the library, media reports noted. Greene took video of his encounter with several police officers who arrived after Greene was seen by a staffer and refused to leave when requested to do so.

In a video posted at YouTube, Greene refers to himself as a "taxpayer," and "member of the press," and tells police officers escorting him from the premises, "We have a bunch of homosexuals that are molesting children," before telling the police, "They are doing it with your help."

BookRiot reported on the story, noting that Greene had been banned from the library for, in part, taking video of other people's children without permission.

Greene later posted a video to Facebook in which he could be seen wearing a MAGA hat and claiming his "First Amendment Rights" had been "violat[ed] on multiple levels."

Elsewhere on Facebook, reaction to Greene's conduct was less than sympathetic.

Various media outlets underscored the fact that Greene was armed and described the incident in terms that characterized his entrance into the public space as forceful, but also acknowledged that Texas law permits concealed carry into public spaces, including libraries.

The police who intervened and removed Greene for trespassing relived him of his weapon without incident, media sources said.

In contrast, the story time proceeded peacefully, with drag performer Regina Blake-DuBois and writer Dennis Arrowsmith reading from a children's book Arrowsmith had co-authored, "The Armadillo's Dream."

"While his intention might have been to ruin the day for everyone involved, it completely failed," DuBois told the media, adding, "we had no knowledge it even happened until we were done."

Drag Queen Storytime has been enormously popular since its inception, BookRiot noted, and anti-LGBTQ protestors have been outnumbered by supporters of the library's program.

The program sparked a lawsuit from right-wing Christians claiming their religious freedoms were being violated by drag performers reading to children at public libraries, the Independent recalled. That suit was tossed out of court.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.