I am heartbroken to announce that Bookmans has been forced to postpone and relocate our March 25th Drag Story Hour event from our Northwest location at Ina and Thornydale. Our intention was to host a children’s literacy event in a way that is inclusive of our entire community. I truly believed this was still possible in Tucson without the risk of violence, but the events of the last week have forced me to acknowledge that, at least for now, this is not the case.

Bookmans and Drag Story Hour-Az have held many well-attended performances over the years without incident. However, as many of you are aware, an organized harassment campaign spearheaded by The Bridge Church and adopted by the local Proud Boys chapter has been launched targeting this event. There has been an alarming surge of calls on social media platforms to encourage attending and disrupting the event in large groups. This would overwhelm our ability to ensure the safety of attendees, staff, and other businesses in our shopping center.

Combined with the recent FBI-involved bomb threat at another Drag Story Hour event in Tempe on February 19, 2023, this very real risk of violence could not be ignored. As a result, we have opted to postpone and relocate the event in order to address these security concerns. The goal is to return the event to its appropriate context as a celebration designed to foster a love of literacy in children.

It’s tragic that we are living in a moment where we are forced to postpone a popular children’s reading event due to irrationality and threats of violence. We all have to ask ourselves what can and should we do to stop this trajectory of violence and hate.  Bookmans will continue to do all we can while prioritizing the safety of our community above all else.

We are enormously grateful for the outpouring of positive support that the Tucson community has shown to us and to Drag Story Hour-Az at this time and in times past. We appreciate everyone who took the time to extend support in person at our stores and with emails and phone calls. The volume of positive support we have received from the Tucson community in the last few days has been truly overwhelming.

The decision to make any changes to this event was an extremely hard one for Bookmans. I am in disbelief that I am being forced to postpone and relocate, and I want to be absolutely clear as to the reason. Threats, protests, and bullying were not factors in making the call to move the event. We fully support and will continue to support Drag Story Hour-Az. The choice to relocate and postpone this Drag Story Hour event was based solely on ensuring the safety of the attendees, performers, and all members of our community.

Thank you for your continued support of Bookmans and your patience as we navigate this situation.

Sean Feeney,
President, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

Photo of Bookmans President Sean Feeney

To read Bookmans’ press release regarding the postponement of the Drag Story Hour event at our Northwest location, please click here.