The Pulse

N.C. elected officials issue statement condemning threats to drag shows, LGBTQ community

By: - December 15, 2022 9:00 am
Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC

LGBTQ elected officials and their allies issued a statement Wednesday condemning the recent rise in anti-LGBTQ threats and violence.

The statement comes in the wake of recent threats against a drag show in Southern Pines and the attack on the power grid in Moore County. State and federal authorities are still investigating that crime and trying to determine if it was related. As Policy Watch has reported, it was far from the only recent threat to the state’s LGBTQ community.

A recent GLAAD report puts North Carolina at the top of a list of states that have seen protests and significant threats to drag shows, with ten recorded incidents so far this year. Nationwide, the report documented 124. Only one state – Texas – had as many as North Carolina.

“At a time when our communities are vulnerable, we’re so pleased to see the strong support for our rights from elected officials,” said Kendra Johnson executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group Equality NC. “Especially those who are a part of our own LGBTQ+ community. It’s crucial that our elected officials speak out against the hatred being spewed at marginalized communities – our people deserve safety and respect.”

Wednesday’s statement acknowledges threats from both organized right wing groups mounting protests and issuing threats of violence against LGBTQ events and the targeting of the community by legislators.

From the statement:

Our community has suffered violent attacks from extremist right-wing groups; hateful rhetoric from elected leaders and candidates at all levels of government; attacks on our rights from legislators and decision makers; and ongoing media attacks from right-wing news outlets spewing hateful and disparaging messages.

Across North Carolina, we saw hateful, racist threats being used to instill fear in organizers of Drag Queen Story Hour and other drag events, at times causing them to be canceled or relocated to protect young people. We saw vandalism of venues that hosted drag performances. We saw Pride events canceled or rescheduled due to death threats and security concerns. We saw organized efforts to harass and intimidate drag artists, organizers of LGBTQ+ events, advocates, leaders, and even attendees of these events. We saw municipal officials and state legislators attempt to take away the rights and protections of LGBTQ+ people. And within the last month, we saw a transgender policymaker resign from her position after intense harassment by right-wing groups.

Signatories to the statement include members of the N.C. House and Senate, the mayors of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Raleigh as well as the Durham district attorney, city and town council members and other municipal and judicial officials across the state.

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Joe Killian
Joe Killian

Investigative Reporter Joe Killian's work examines government, politics and policy, with a special emphasis on higher education, LGBTQ issues and extremism.