- They wrote slogans on the sidewalk outside his home, and shouted racial slurs, while the councilman's children were inside.
New York City Councilmember Shekar Krishnan faced the wrath of protesters outside his home in Queens last week, for supporting drag queens reading out to children in public libraries.
In a tweet, the civil rights lawyer and a long-time community activist wrote that he found the homophobic and transphobic protesters outside his door after returning from an event to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He said they vandalized the sidewalk and shouted slurs with my children inside while his children were inside the home.
A CBS News report noted that “for years, New York libraries have been hosting story hours with drag queens and kings reading books to children.” However, since earlier this month, anti-drag protesters have been protesting at libraries and offices and homes of lawmakers.
In a follow-up tweet, Krishnan said that the city council is committed to Drag Story Hour. “With every display of hate, our commitment to love and inclusivity only grows.”
This is not the first time for Krishnan. In mid-October, the Drag Story Hour protest came to his district office with graffiti. He told CBS at the time that “the vile messages also clog his social media and phone lines” because he supports Drag Story Hours.
In November 2021, Krishnan made history by becoming one of two South Asian American candidates elected to the New York City Council. The son of immigrants from Kerala and represents East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in District 25. He defeated Republican Shah Shahidul Haque, the president of the World Human Rights Development, by a significant margin.
During his campaign, he noted that his expertise on housing touches on the three main issues in City Council District 25, which are hospital resources, community centers and open spaces, and bilingual education.
Krishnan is co-founder of Friends of Diversity Plaza, which is located on the border of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights and has become a national symbol of how public space can bring people together. It now serves a critical function in neighborhood organizing efforts and building solidarity across communities. He has also engaged in inclusive political organizing and grassroots community dialogue in support of progressive causes.
He is also co-founder of Communities Resist, a legal services organization highly acclaimed citywide for its community-rooted, intersectional approach to housing and racial justice in North Brooklyn and Queens. He represents tenants and neighborhood coalitions in fair housing litigation and anti-displacement advocacy in some of the most gentrified neighborhoods in NYC.
Krishnan began his legal career with the landmark Broadway Triangle fair housing struggle against the City of New York, a successful fair housing case challenging the rezoning of one of the largest plots of vacant land in Brooklyn.
He and his wife Zoe, an immigration public defender and reproductive justice advocate, have two small children.