An Ohio library plans to host a “drag 101” program for teenagers to explore the “art of drag” and meet with former Miss Gay Ohio America Selena T. West.
“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. We will learn about the application of makeup and creating characters, as well as the history of drag,” an online description for the event states. “All genders welcome. Teens only, please.”
The event is set to take place on June 5 at the Delaware County District Library’s Orange Branch as part of a number of summer programs for teenagers.
The library’s Board of Trustees hosted a public meeting Tuesday night to discuss the event, but its recording of the meeting cut off just ten minutes in.
“We are experiencing some technical difficulties in network and signal out here in Ostrander,” the library claimed on Facebook. “We’re going to try to record remaining comments and post.”
The library later claimed that “the service at the facility was poor and we have no more recordings from this.”
The recording, however, did manage to capture West’s remarks during the meeting.
“When I was in high school I didn’t have a program like this,” West said. “I came today in drag to show people who have an opposite viewpoint that it’s not scary, that drag queens are humans, they’re people. We’re not that much different than you, and this is a character.”
“My program is going to be about hair, makeup, nails—the history of drag. It’s not going to be about sex, it’s not going to be about gender,” West continued. “It’s going to be about the basics of how to get in drag.”
Melissa Ackison, a Republican candidate for the Ohio Senate, addressed the issue in a recent video posted to Facebook.
“Guys, when as a nation are we going to come together and throw the political ideology out the window, and just say what’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong?” she said. “Why would we be using our taxpayer funded dollars to invest in these types of things? This isn’t making any sense. It’s a political ideology that’s being pushed on the public and that’s never acceptable.”
Oddly, this isn’t the first controversy surrounding drag in Ohio. Just last month, Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) introduced a bill that he says would close “a loophole in child exploitation laws” that allowed a nine-year-old boy to perform in drag at a bar just outside of Columbus.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Selena T. West” by Selena T. West.