Since its inception, The Love Library has always gotten its fair amount of attention. Our store is located in the small conservative town of Rome, GA and controversy has naturally followed.
In 2021, The Love Library became the official sponsor of the Sizzling Sisters Drag Shows in downtown Rome, GA. They have been enormously successful, and we have supported them since day one. The success of these fun and entertaining drag shows laid the foundation for what recently became Rome’s first Inaugural Pride Celebration. Between the generous sponsorships and a very dedicated committee, the event was a huge success and has already outgrown Heritage Park for 2023! Although our monthly shows cater to a more adult crowd, this event was family friendly, and included a Drag Queen story time.
Men dressing in drag is quintessentially American. Examples include Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in “Some Like it Hot,” Monty Python, Tyler Perry as Madea, Flip Wilson, Eddie Izard, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens- to name a few- are part of our culture and experience in comedy and entertainment.
But, the local celebration of Pride caught the attention of our local congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (“MTG”) She proceeded to invoke some of the most nasty and vile things about the event, the LGBTQ community, our business, and worst of all, one of our employees.
Courtney Chanel Stratton, who was set to do story time, is an employee at our store. MTG outed her real name, Facebook photos and their employment information on her podcast and encouraged those on her platform to harass Courtney, and our store. In the following days she continued to post anti-gay propaganda meant for us.
We received tons of calls, Courtney received numerous death threats, and our store Pride flag was burned and slashed, with a replacement flag being stolen shortly thereafter. We were called child molesters, pedophiles, groomers, etc. Of course, these are ALL LIES.
Although we held our heads high during this whole ordeal and killed hate with kindness, it has been a heavy burden on all of us. We have been genuinely concerned for the safety of our staff, other vendors, performers, and attendees. For a public official who took an oath to serve her constituents, to then put a target of violence on the backs of those same people, is truly disheartening and disgusting.
All of us at the Love Library would like to extend a thank you to our local government and police force. Not only did our local city commission declare June as Pride Month, but the police we dealt with were true allies and made us all feel much safer. We are proud that The Love Library is a part of a big and much needed wave of change coming to Rome, Georgia!