Group wanted to spread hatred

Last night, I had one of the most unfortunate experiences of my time in Nashua. A group of vocal naysayers showed up to our library trustee meeting to share their concern for the Drag Queen Teen Time coming up Saturday. As a newly elected official, I appreciate even our most passionate citizens. I believe that raising your voice for or against something happening in our city shows active participation and awareness that is rare and most welcome.

But that discourse must be civil. It should be rooted in fact – and it must be a dialogue, not a diatribe. Last night, the group at our library spoke over trustees. They interrupted. They were disrespectful and unyielding in their protest. Make no mistake, this group was there to spread hatred. They used ill-researched and downright incorrect arguments to vilify the LGBTQ community.

Why? Because this group was adamant that glorifying a drag queen is immoral.

What I find immoral is making a group of already-marginalized people feel unwelcome in their own city. I find it cruel and unbecoming of our city that the drag queen in question, Monique Toosoon, didn’t feel safe enough to conduct an interview without blurring his face. His Facebook page detailed being “ripped apart” this past week.

But despite all that, he will still go on.

Because our community desperately needs Monique. Our teens need the opportunity to explore and question who they are and who they want to be. They deserve the support of bold role models and thoughtful parents.

As one of the organizers of Nashua’s first-ever Pride parade, I can tell you that this is not indicative of the greater Nashua sentiment. During the planning, we dealt with a small, passionate group of opponents, and I’ll admit I was unsure what to expect come parade day. But when thousands of people gather to celebrate love in nearly 100-plus degree weather, you have a resounding story of tolerance and love. That is the city I love.

Come Saturday, you’ll find me at the library. I believe our teens and our city deserve the opportunity to experience a bold, passionate expression of our human right to be unapologetically whoever we want to be.

Shoshanna Kelly serves as an alderwoman at large in Nashua.