Loyalist Jolene Bunting sued for disrupting drag storytime event in Belfast

Former councillor Jolene Bunting has been sued by a drag queen for £5,000.00 in relation to the protest held at the event.

Photo of Jolene Bunting, who was recently sued, during a protest against drag storytime.
Image: Via Twitter - @jolenebuntinguk

Yesterday, August 12, former Traditional Unionist Voice councillor Jolene Bunting shared a post on Twitter to reveal that she has been sued by one of the drag queens who were present at a recent Dragtime Stories event she helped disrupt.

A self-described loyalist, Bunting resigned from the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) in 2017, when she wasn’t selected by the party as their candidate in north Belfast. Her name was at the centre of another controversy in 2014, when she was forced to publicly apologise after some sectarian rants that she had posted online resurfaced.

On July 31, she was involved in a protest organised by a group that calls themselves ‘Parents Against Grooming’ against a Dragtime Stories event, where they brought banners that read “Hands off our children”.

During the event, held in the MAC theatre to mark Belfast Pride 2022, known local drag queens were reading books to children, but they faced serious backlash for it. Drag artist Cherrie Ontop, who participated in the event, shared that she had experienced more abuse after that event than in her entire life.


Now one of these drag queens has apparently sued Jolene Bunting, as she herself reported on Twitter, saying that she had been “served legal papers” and that a drag queen was suing her for £5,000.00 in relation to the protest held at the event.

Last month, after what happened at the event, Northern Ireland’s Minister of Justice Naomi Long spoke up about such a display of hate and wrote on Twitter: “People hating on drag queens reading stories to kids have little to do”.

“As a kid, I recall annual panto where the principal boy was a girl and the panto dame was a man and no-one felt the need to hold an exorcism at the theatre.#NoPlaceForHate.” she concluded.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Cherrie Ontop spoke out about the fascist protests that are happening more and more at drag storytelling events. “These are events for wee tiny kids. They shouldn’t have to hear fascists screaming: ‘Stop sexualising our kids’ … They don’t hear that inside.” she said. She added that these protestors are recycling homophobic tropes from the past, such as: “‘Why would a gay man want to be around children?’ That kind of thing.”

“It’s 80s shit,” she commented.

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