A mayor in North Carolina announced Saturday that a proposed LGBT Pride “Drag Queen Story Hour” event has been canceled after backlash from the community.
Apex Mayor Jacques Gilbert, a former captain of the Apex Police Department, said in a Facebook message that the event was shut down after he relayed feedback from the community to the festival commission hosting the event.
“Given that this part of the event was not originally presented when the event was proposed, I met with representatives from the organizations hosting the event, the Apex Festival Commission, and presented the feedback I have received from citizens,” Gilbert wrote. “Today I was notified that the Apex Festival Commission has taken the feedback into careful consideration and has decided to remove the Drag Queen Story Hour from the event.”
“It continues to be my goal to ensure that all voices in our community are represented,” the mayor told his constituents, adding that he had “received a variety of feedback regarding the Drag Queen Story Hour.”
The comments on the post were a mixed bag, and eventually disabled this week by Mayor Gilbert over “hate speech.”
“This was THE Pride event I was planning to attend with my toddler,” one woman posted. “Very disappointed in the event organizers who were swayed by hateful, misguided comments.”
“Mr. Mayor, if your goal is to ensure that all voices in our community are represented, you should speak out against the silencing of this segment of the local community,” she added.
One man commented, “I think this is a reasonable decision for a public venue. I wish well the event and attendees, but this performance (stage names, etc.) is too adult for a children’s activity. Thank you, mayor and festival committee.”
Gilbert on Monday said he appreciates “the engagement regarding this matter,” but “will not tolerate disrespectful comments attacking others and hate speech on this page.”
“Therefore, effective June 6th at 10:20 am, I will be disabling comments on this post after several days of observing hate speech on this post,” he told the public.
“Despite the misinformation represented throughout the comments above, I will continue to love all members in our community as represented in the Pride proclamation that I was the first mayor of Apex to sign,” the mayor added. “I have very close family members of the LGBTQIA+ community who I love dearly.”
Last week, a “family friendly” drag event scheduled to take place in Jasper, Indiana, was canceled after backlash.
“‘Pride in the Park’ was advertised as being an ‘all ages’ event,” The Daily Wire reported. “The flyer, which [popular Twitter account] Libs of TikTok shared in the post, said tips were greatly appreciated since drag ‘is not cheap.'”