'Shop 'Till You Drag' Event Reveals Hate, Supporters Respond with Love
Rosedale Center and Flip Phone events faces hateful backlash after announcing their family-friendly “Shop Till You Drag” event. Allies are flooding the comments section with love and support. But does this signal a deeper issue?
“Shopping doesn’t have to be a drag!” That’s what it says on Eventbrite’s Shop ‘Till You Drag: A Mall Drag Show event page organized by Minneapolis’ Chad Kampe of Flip Phone Events in partnership with Rosedale Center.
The event hosted by Carson Kressley, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Get a Room, will feature performances from Drag Race royalty such as Trinity Taylor, Bebe Zahara Monet, Monique Heart, Blair St. Clair, and more. Can we say, yaasss Gawd?!
But as the event is being promoted on Rosedale’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, hateful anti-LGBT+ comments have been popping up and deleted. Here are the receipts, henny:
Members of an extremist right-wing group named Child Protection League Action says they have declared “war”. It is unclear what “war” they’re fighting, since the only hostility happening online has been coming from them.
Supporters of the event have responded to the posts – Not with vile or hateful language like their critics, instead, supporters are fighting back with messages of love and inclusivity.
Coco Peru, Will & Grace, RuPaul’s Drag Race, weighed in as well stating on Rosedale’s Facebook page:
“Kids love dressing up! I've worked with Flip Phone and they do wonderful work for the community, and not just the LGBT community. Stop with the fear! My 92 year old mother loves her drag queen son as do my young nieces and nephews. Diversity is best!”
On surface level the issue seems like another bigoted attack against the LGBT+ community and the art of drag as a whole, but this points to a deeper issue.
People who are part of, and support groups like the Child Protection League Action have ultimately been misinformed and fear-mongered. In addition, they willingly refuse to learn, understand, and love their neighbors as themselves.
This is not saying they’re the victims. Their bigotry is inexcusable and causes great harm. Anti-LGBT+ language and sentiments have been well documented in causing depression, anxiety, loss of faith, suicide, and suicidal ideation amongst other consequences.
Before I was out and attending an anti-gay church, I remember sitting in the pews hearing a traveling preacher rail on against the LGBT+ community. He was angry and charismatic about what he thought about people like me. He went on to say how twisted, sinful, and predatory people like me were. I was the cause of all the world’s problems. I would be cast in to eternal hellfire.
He then pointed to the giant screen hanging on the wall where he had collected a handful of images from gay kink and fetish events and projected them saying, “look, they are coming after your children!”
The LGBT+ community and allies know that is a fabrication, but to the people sitting in the pews, it was the moment homophobia, transphobia, and any other kind of phobia were planted even deeper in their thinking. People like the traveling preacher instill phobias in people with charismatic and emotional sermons, and in turn, the people in the pews begin to do the same in their day-to-day lives.
As somebody who came out of the extreme right-wing conservative movement, I grieve for my queer brother and sisters who to this day face this toxic mentality. I also grieve for those sitting in the pews who have allowed themselves to be manipulated by fear, and in turn cripple their faith and view on God’s diverse creation.
Perhaps if they studied the life and words of Jesus the Christ, they would come to realize that they were wrong, and that they’ve been lied to. Perhaps they will understand that the God they claim to worship is Love. Perhaps they’ll remember that the next time they sing, “they will know we are Christians by our love.”
Religious or not, the people showing love and inclusion in their responses are reflecting the character of God wether they intended to do so or not.
There is a big divide in our country right now. A great chasm has been formed, and we must do what we can to build bridges whenever possible. Some will want to take the first step to understand their phobias, while others will stay put and wallow in their anger. It is written, “now these three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” If we don’t have love, we have nothing.
A wise woman once said, “when they go low, we go high.”
A wise queen has been quoted to say, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell can you love somebody else? Can I get an Amen?”
And all of God’s creatures said, Amen.