No counter-protest at Talcott Library, Rockton Pride plans party instead


Leaders of Rockton Pride hold a June 26 march, something they aren't planning to repeat on July 14, 2023.

Amidst plans to hold protests for and against a drag Q&A event for youth at Rockton's Talcott Library, the library changed the July 14, 2023 event to virtual-only. A Rockford group opposing the event scheduled a protest at the library anyway. A local group supporting the event has canceled their plans to hold a counter-protest.

Now the most vocal opponents - the Rockford Family Initiative - say they will be "praying and rallying outside the Talcott Free Library" from 6 -8 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday - as well as 3 p.m. Friday, during the 3:30 p.m. event. The library reportedly will close at 1 p.m. on Friday because of the protests, but is normally open until 8 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and until 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.

The library's Facebook event listing for July 14 says, "Join us in welcoming drag artist, Krystal Ball, who will be stopping in to show off makeup and costuming skills and to answer questions about the art of drag. This program is LGBTQ+ friendly and anyone interested can attend."

More about the drag event

Drag Q&A Event Protests and Pride Party

Talcott's Drag Q&A: where and why

No counter-protest at Talcott Library, Rockton Pride plans party instead

Drag event at Rockton library will be virtual

Talcott Library board votes 4-2 to proceed with Drag Q&A

Divided opinions on Drag Q&A at Talcott Free Library

Talcott Library Board Meeting


Public comments and speeches from the Talcott Library board meeting

Towards a united and proud Rockton, not division

On Behalf of the Old Stone Church

Clearing The Air

Talcott Library Drag Queen

Rockford Family Initiative says, "Concerned citizens in Rockton and the surrounding area will be praying and rallying outside the Talcott Free Library on Monday through Wednesday next week, from 6PM to 8PM each night. Monday, July 10th through Wednesday, July 12th. We will be praying that the "Drag Q&A" gets completely canceled. Please join us! We will have signs and banners. Let's show our community leaders that we will not tolerate children being used as pawns and tools of those promoting the sexualization of children!"

At a June 26 meeting, the library board voted 4-2 to support plans for the event, which was initiated by the library's Teen Advisory Board. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Rockton Community Center, which holds less than 100. If the library was caught off-guard, it may be because no visitors have ever attended a library board meeting before.

The library has set new rules and issued a statement:

“Protesters will be allowed around the building as long as they ensure that walkways to the entrance of the library and parking are not impeded. Protesters may not block the entrances to the building.”

Rockton residents, though they may disagree about drag queens at the library, are united in support of the Dairyhaus next door. But owner Brent Murray told us, "No help needed, we’ve spoken with those involved."

Saturday morning before the Rockford Family Initiative announcement, Kelly Kulak, one of the leaders of Rockton Pride, told us, "We’re no longer counter protesting on the 14th. The library will be closed for the day at 1 pm, the live stream will be happening from an undisclosed location, we’ll be partyin in the park, and RFI [Rockford Family Initiative] will be screaming at an empty building and the police department."

Kulak added, "We do already have a location for the event, but are actively working with the Rockton police, and will release it to the public early next week once they’ve updated their mutual aid team."

The location of the Rockton Pride Kickoff Party will be announced on July 10, but it won't be at the Talcott Library.

In a Saturday morning Facebook livestream, Jessica Green, Rockton Pride's chief spokesperson, told supporters, "Please spread the word that no one who is supporting the event is showing up at the library." She added, "Our purpose is not to go to the library and argue with the counter-protesters. Because that doesn't really accomplish anything for us." She said by making the change, the group is "basically completely separating ourselves from the situation." She noted that the police and library have their own plans in place to deal with any crowds on that day.

Though many Rockton residents are not comfortable with the drag queen event, many of the most vocal opponents are from outside Rockton: the Rockford Family Initiative.

Kevin Rilott, director of the organization, says "we were approached by a lot of Rockton residents and asked for our assistance." He told us that parents should know about the "degrading, sexualized, and even perverted social media posts" made by the event's presenter, whose performs under the name Krystal Ball. For example, "in one video he is wearing lingerie then pulls a knife out of his bra and sticks it in the faces of some audience members."

Krystal Ball admits, "I love being able to tap into my spooky side every now and then!" Opponents have publicized the performer's real name and say she is originally from Boone County. She performs most frequently in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Rilott adds, "The Rockton residents who have asked the Rockford Family Initiative to be involved in this have told us they will be praying, witnessing to the love of Jesus, and sharing information on [the drag queen]'s past public statements in downtown Rockton on Monday July 10th. The reason for doing this is to ask God for His protection of all children and to give the public the facts so they can decide for themselves."

The Rockford Family Initiative says the three days of "praying and rallying" will involve signs and banners. But without LGBTQ+ supporters around, they would have fewer people to express their opposition to. However, the Dairyhaus will be open next door, so they could get ice cream instead.

Rockton Pride leader Kelly Kulak poses with Rockford Family Initiative leader Danniel Pribble at the June 26 protests. Pribble did not pose.

Historical tidbit: July 14 is also Bastille Day, the anniversary of the key event of the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

More News from Rockton
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified