Level 57 Taco Wizard
ST. PETERSBURG — As people argued in front of Community Cafe, Naomi Wright pulled up behind the building in a Jeep Compass and slipped in the back door unnoticed. She wore a glamorous floral gown and earrings the size of small chandeliers. A girl asked if she’d come in her limousine. “I wish,” she thought.
She’d traveled from Tampa with apprehension and excitement. Growing up one of the oldest in a large family, she had a lot of experience caring for children and was excited to take her turn at story hour.
Wright sat in an armchair and introduced herself as Viktoria Sommers. About a dozen children sat on the floor and couches around her. A couple of kids knelt near the side of the chair and propped their chins on the arm. The room quieted.
“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish," she began, pausing to display the classic Dr. Seuss illustrations, a giant bracelet sparkling on her wrist.
“Why would a fish drive a car?” a boy called out.
“Why not?” Viktoria said.
A monthly Drag Queen Story Hour has been going on at Community Cafe, a private business in what’s been called one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in America, since September. Religious protesters, many from a small fundamentalist church in Pasco County, have been there from the start.
Some months, those protesters outnumbered the children inside. Other times it was vice-versa.
Protesters and counterprotesters made a scene along Central Avenue on Saturday as a drag queen read Dr. Seuss to children inside.