With Pride Month underway, libraries and arts centers across the country have been hosting Drag Queen Story Hour, including here in Boston. The show has persisted, despite Republican political attacks and ambushes by alt-right groups at events across the country.

Ms. Patty, who leads Boston’s Branch of Drag Queen Story Hour, and Allison MacLaury, the director of education for the Mosesian Center for the Arts, joined Boston Public Radio to discuss their “Let’s Say Gay! A Community Pride Event” at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown Saturday.

“The power of drag is that you can be anything you want to be,” Ms. Patty said. “You can express yourself. There's drag performers that look all kinds of different, crazy, fun ways, and we think in my community that that's a great thing to show kids, that it shows kids that they can choose their own destiny.”

In a moment where many Republicans are promoting the idea that teaching about gender and sexuality— and even just LGBTQ people themselves — are dangerous to children, Drag Queen Story Time pushes back. The event name “Let’s Say Gay!” plays off Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

“What ‘Let's Say Gay’ is about [is] saying that it's okay to talk about these issues with kids,” Ms. Patty said. “That's not something that's going to harm them. It's not something that's dangerous to them. It's something that lets them know about the reality they live in.”

Ms. Patty pointed to the positive reactions she gets from children during story time. “They're like, ‘Oh, my God, you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen,’” she said. “It's very easy to explain drag to kids. They don't tend to be very judgmental about it in the way that adults are.”

Despite pushback across the country, MacLaury said she has seen her community rally around the event. “It’s sad that I was surprised, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see how well our community has responded to us holding this event,” she said. “Families have said, ‘Thank you. We're glad you're hosting this.’”

As a bisexual educator, MacLaury said she did not always feel comfortable being out, which makes “Let’s Say Gay! A Community Pride Event” even more meaningful.

“We want everyone to not just feel safe coming to us and being part of our community, but feel like they belong, feel like they're celebrated, feel like they can share their truth as much as they want to,” she said. “I get a little emotional, but it is the most important thing we are doing right now. It is both fun and light and exciting and also just the safest, most loving space you could create.”