Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

The Library Is Open : Grand Marshal Monica Moore Leads the 2023 Carnival Parade

by Steve Desroches

It’s been a wild whirlwind of a year for Jason Carter. He went from the quiet anonymity of his life in Taunton, a small city in southeastern Massachusetts about two hours from Provincetown, to being thrust into the national spotlight at the center of one of the biggest battles in the current culture wars and right-wing bigotry: drag queen story hours. The 23-year-old Carter is part of the growing popularity of drag and drag performance nationwide, and in particular the nascent South Coast drag scene largely focused in New Bedford. Performing as Monica Moore, Carter reveled in the opportunities that drag can provide for artistic expression as well as representing the LGBTQ community. That’s why when he was asked to read to children for the Taunton Public Library’s first drag queen story hour he jumped at the chance, thinking what a difference it would have made to him if an event like this was around when he was a child. He wouldn’t have felt so alone. And that first event went off beautifully.

The second drag queen story hour went differently, however. On January 14 of this year Carter got in drag as Monica Moore and arrived at the library to read The Mitten, a children’s book by Jan Brett that was his favorite growing up. After the reading the plan was to lead the children in attendance in an arts and crafts project where they would create and decorate their own mittens out of construction paper, glitter, and crayons. But while Carter was reading the story a group of men in combat regalia and balaclavas stormed into the room and began shouting at Carter, calling him a “pedophile,” “rapist,” “groomer,” and various homophobic slurs. They were members of NSC-131 (National Social Club-131), a neo-Nazi white supremacist group based in southern New England. Monitored by the Anti-Defamation League, NSC-131 is well known for anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic actions throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including disrupting drag queen story hours and Pride events in the region. But their appearance at the Taunton Public Library came as a shock and surprise. The 40-plus children and parents in attendance were terrified as first they thought it might be a mass shooting. While no one was physically hurt, children in attendance began to cry and some were afraid to go to school on Monday morning worried that “the bad guys” would be there. Library staff and parents tried to keep the situation calm until the police arrived. The event finished and Carter needed an escort to his car as the men continued to harass him in the parking lot (surprisingly, no arrests were made). The incident made national news. For the following week Carter couldn’t shake the fear he felt that day.

“It was so disturbing,” says Carter. “To see something so innocent and so positive turn so quickly. You see these things on the news, but never think it’s going to happen in your hometown, happen to you. It took a long time to feel safe again.”

What happened next is proof that the only real way to fight hate is with love. The City of Taunton rallied around Carter, with Mayor Shaunna O’Connell strongly condemning the “hateful” and “cowardly” acts of the NSC-131 members, and the community in general voicing their support for Carter. Over the months since then, Carter has received support from the South Coast LGBTQ+ Network, a grassroots organization to support the queer community in the region, as well as being invited by the New Bedford Harbor Hotel to host regular drag shows in the historic fishing port. And the Taunton Public Library booked future drag queen story hours with him.

When word of the incident reached Provincetown, the Provincetown Business Guild (PBG) went into action, inviting Carter as a special guest for Provincetown Pride in June and then naming him as the grand marshal of the 2023 Carnival Parade.

“Jason is a courageous example of the many community advocates and activists who are on the front lines of the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and protests occurring across the country,” said Stephan Hengst, executive director of the PBG. “Most don’t think something like this can happen in Massachusetts. So, when the staff and board of the PBG heard about Jason’s story, we instantly knew we wanted to find a way to honor him and surround him with love and support as only the Provincetown Carnival Parade can do.”

All of this love and support not only changed the trajectory of Carter’s year, but his life. He read for over 100 attendees at a drag queen story hour at Town Hall for Provincetown Pride and received the star treatment the whole weekend. “Oh my god, that was probably the best thing I’ve ever experienced,” says Carter. “Everyone was so welcoming. It was amazing. I was so moved. It was definitely the best experience.” And then when he was asked to be the grand marshal, that dark day in January gave way to the joy of being celebrated for exactly who he is. He’ll appear on the PBG’s float which has a Jem and the Holograms theme, though young Carter confesses he had to Google the reference as it’s a little before his time.

“This whole experience has been, I don’t know, just…it’s been a lot,” says Carter. “It’s helped me learn to be stronger and to really figure out who I am and be happy. I cannot wait to get to Provincetown and I can’t wait for the parade. These past months have just been, I don’t know, so crazy! But so many people have given me nothing but love. And Provincetown, what can I say? Provincetown is amazing.”

Monica Moore will appear as the grand marshal in the Carnival Parade, Thursday, August 17 starting at 3 p.m. at the Harbor Hotel and working its way down Commercial Street to Franklin Street ending at about 6 p.m. For more information visit

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657