Ophelia Nichols, also known as “Mama Tot,” has canceled an appearance at Oyster City Brewing Co. in Mobile after receiving backlash for planning to participate in a drag queen story hour.

Nichols, who has nearly 13 million followers on TikTok, was scheduled to read “Finding My Rainbow” on July 12. The author, Josh Coleman, from Cullman, also planned a book signing during the event.

The book is based on Coleman’s childhood and “coming out journey.” Coleman says he hopes it “helps a young person find their own rainbow.”

However, not long after the book reading event was posted on Facebook, people began to come forward with comments such as “This is sick” and “Hell nah!”

Many Mobile-area residents were concerned about the business and Mama Tot bringing children to a brewery to expose them to sexual ideologies.

Nichols pulled out of the event without explanation and was replaced by a drag queen named Columbia Taylor.

Coleman is still having the book signing and is calling on the LGBTQ community to come together for the event. He blamed “MAGA Republicans” and “ultra-conservative Christian groups” for halting the event. He said Nichols could not attend the event for fear of “severe personal threats” to her and her family.

The event will benefit AIDS Alabama South. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay and bisexual men accounted for 70% of new HIV infections in 2019.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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