DELAWARE, Ohio — Following an outpouring of phone calls and emails — and in light of safety concerns as a few were allegedly deemed to be “veiled threats,” a public library in Ohio has cancelled a scheduled class with a “drag queen” that was meant to teach teenagers how to adorn themselves in drag.
On June 5, the Delaware County District Library was scheduled to hold “Drag 101” at its Orange branch, featuring Kyle Gayle, 29, who goes by the performer name Selena T. West. Gayle was named “Miss Gay Ohio America” in 2012 and “Miss Gay Heart of America” in 2018.
“Curious about the art of drag and no idea where to start? Come learn the basics with former Miss Gay Ohio America and local queen, Selena T. West!” the event description, posted to the library system website, read. “We will learn about the application of makeup and creating characters, as well as the history of drag. All genders welcome! Teens only, please.”
However, according to local radio station WOSU, the system received “hundreds of phone calls and emails” about the offering — some supportive, and many others of outrage.
“I have concerns that it is taxpayer funded, and there may be many taxpayers that do object to tax money being used for controversial programs,” one area resident told reporters.
“My first concern was, ‘Are there background checks for this program, and how are they vetting candidates who come in for something like this?'” also asked Melissa Ackison, a candidate for U.S. Senate.
Library Director George Needham said that he didn’t have issue with the drag class, telling local television station WTHR that “I see this as an event tied into the theatre, tied into something the young people are interested in.” He said that teenagers had requested the event.
Gayle similarly argued that the event had nothing to do with sexuality or gender identity, but centered on “[h]ow to build a character, how to style a wig, how to make a costume, how to do makeup, and to go through the history of drag from Shakespeare to pop culture in TV and movies.”
According to a press release from the library system, because a “small number” of the deluge of phone calls or emails were seen as “veiled threats,” staff members met with the Delaware City Police Department and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and decided to cancel the offering due to safety concerns.
“Let me be clear that this is in no way a victory for anyone,” the Delaware County District Library opined. “But the library will continue to serve as a safe space for the entire community — not just the majority or a minority. Please continue using the library to engage your curiosity, expand your opportunities, and improve your quality of life.”
The class will still be presented for teens next Wednesday, but elsewhere. According to reports, it is now scheduled to be held at Secret Identity Comics.
As previously reported, Christians and Jews believe that it is offensive to God for men to dress as women, as outlined in the Law, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
1 Corinthians 11 also explains God’s desire for men and women to be distinct, with verse 14 outlining, “Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him?”
1 Timothy 2 likewise outlines that women are to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety” and as is becoming to “women professing godliness, with good works.”