INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Fountain Square bookstore Indy Reads told I-Team 8 they are rethinking their security because of a bomb threat on Sunday morning.
They say the threat was made because the bookstore hosts a monthly drag story hour, where a drag performer sits in a theatrical chair and reads books. On Saturday, they read “A is for Awesome! 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World.”
“Someone reads the story and it’s animated and performed sitting in a chair. People are laughing and they’re smiling and that’s really it,” said Ruba Marshood, chief executive officer of Indy Reads.
Indy Reads didn’t share the specifics of the bomb threat email because they don’t want to give the sender a platform to spread hate.
“It looked like spam until we opened it,” said Marshood, adding that what stuck out most from the email was the violence and language. “It was very unsettling,” said Marshood.
After opening the email, the store immediately called 911. Investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told I-team 8 they searched the area and found no bombs.
Indy Reads told I-Team 8 they think someone sent them the bomb threat because they don’t understand what happens during a drag story hour.
“For this to be the response, I think that there’s generally fear around and lack of understanding around drag, but it doesn’t surprise me that what we stand for and what we do could upset some people,” said Marshood.
The focus of the house is to celebrate diversity. “There are so many different ways of being and there are so many different perspectives, cultures, colors, styles, and fashion senses. We’re all human and we all belong,” said Marshood.
“Are the children who come and watch, they are brought here by their parents, right? You guys aren’t dragging them off the streets and forcing them to watch drag story hour,” asked I-Team 8.
“It’s not ‘drag’ in that way. That’s not the use of drag. It is completely by choice of parents and guardians who decide this is going to be a fun way to start our Saturday, that this is something of value for their children who want to teach values of inclusivity,” said Marshood.
Indy Reads said IMPD is investigating to find the person who sent the email anonymously.
“More than anything it’s just so unfortunate that people resort to violence just for disagreeing about something,” said Marshood.
Indy Reads said they don’t know what improving security will look like because they want to make sure they remain a welcoming safe place in the community without scaring people away by restrictive security measures in place.