The Goulburn Mulwaree Council has been forced to cancel Rainbow Story Time, a children's book reading by Bathurst drag queen Betty Confetti, following threats received by the council as well as the performer.
Rainbow Story Times have been happening all over Australia, designed to be an "all singing, dancing and storytelling celebration of [a] commitment to diversity and inclusion".
In a statement released by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council, chief executive Aaron Johansson said the cancellation happened as a result of being "unable to guarantee the physical and psychological safety of council employees".
"Over the course of the last week, council staff have been subjected to direct and indirect intimidating behaviour from members of the community," the statement said.
"Threats have been referred to the relevant authorities."
Drag queen Betty Confetti, who was scheduled to read at the event in Goulburn on Saturday, June 3, said it's not the first time she has experienced negativity like this.
"Comments started reaching [the multiple hundreds] just on the advertisement for the event," she told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately its not something that I'm not accustomed to, I do kind of expect some hate and things like that.
"I was actually praising Goulburn for being really progressive in the sense that they are a regional area, but the event was unfortunately still cancelled due to threats against myself, and a people working with the council. It was very disappointing it was cancelled due to that."
She said was "really looking forward to the reading" as a means of extending LGBTQI+ visibility in regional areas.
"The council contacted me and asked me to do a bingo and a drag story time, and I was like, 'absolutely, lets do it, this is going to be so much fun and great for visibility'. That's really the heart of why I do a lot of the things I do," she said.
"I've got a thick skin, and I can just bat it off and not look, but when the threats of physical violence and all that go against the council, it's no wonder they pulled it.
"It's really disappointing that people would go that far to prove their point."
Ms Confetti said things had gotten to the point where there is now an assigned "gay and lesbian liaison officer" in her home town of Bathurst to deal with treatment like this when it does occur.
"We had even put a contingency plan in place, because we know it can be quite divisive in terms of what people say and what people do," she said.
"They were there to prevent someone riling up or anything like that for both children and families.
"But when they go after these staff, it ties everyone's hands."
Despite the onslaught of negative comments on social media, Ms Confetti said she has been receiving even more messages of support as a result of the event's cancellation.
She said drag might not be for everyone, and it doesn't have to be.
"I love having discussions with people who have opposite views to me, because that's the way that I learn and the way a lot of society does as well," she said.
"To the people that say I don't feel comfortable going to that event, then it's really simple - you just don't come.
"There are people that beg for events like this to come to regional communities and bring the visibility we don't often see in those areas."
Goulburn Mayor Peter Walker said the booking was the council's idea as part of its "normal library program" but was state government funded. The decision to cancel was made after staff received "threats and accusations".
"We had to look first and foremost at protecting staff," he said.
"The remarks were extremely poor and downright disgraceful. We were also contacted by people in support.
"As part of the Australian laws on inclusivity there are certain expectations so it's extremely disappointing it's come to the stage of threats and allegations against staff."
Despite Story Time's cancellation, Betty Confetti's evening 'bingo' session, including interactive entertainment will go ahead at Goulburn Library on the same day for people aged 18 and over.
The cancellation also comes after backlash following internationally known Australian drag queen Courtney Act appearing on Play School late last year.