Drag 101 Class Canceled at Delaware County Library Branch, Reason Given Was ‘Threats’ but May Be Just ‘Crying Wolf’?

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DELAWARE, Ohio – The Drag 101 class sponsored by the Delaware County District Library that was to be held Wednesday, June 5th, has been ‘canceled.’  Kyle Gale, the drag queen known as Selena T. West and a former Miss Gay Ohio America, was being paid by the library to provide the class to teens.  At a press conference given Wednesday, May 29th at the Orange Township Branch where the class was to be held, Library Director George Needham announced the cancellation by reading a prepared statement.

Director Needham claimed the cancellation was due to ‘threats’.  After stating “Hundreds of people expressed their support or concern”, he said:

However, there were also some hostile and angry messages.  A small number of those messages appeared to threaten the safety of our staff, our patrons, ‘Selena’ and the teens and caregivers for whom we strive to provide a safe space.

Notably, Needham’s prepared remarks distributed to media beforehand, however, did not mention the threat to West/Gayle.

Information about the Drag 101 class began filtering into the community a couple of weeks before when at least one local school district sent home the information with students.  That information was shared with a local mom’s group.  Then the flood gates opened and the news was shared throughout Delaware County, the state and eventually nationwide.  Stories have appeared on such news sites as The New York TimesThe Blaze, The Hill and even Time Magazine online.

Worried residents began meeting and sharing information locally, while concerned statewide groups began investigating. Ohio Value Voters and Melissa Ackison, a central Ohio candidate for State Senate and outspoken opponent of exploiting children, helped ramp up opposition.

“The idea that the general public is going to stand down and simply allow our children to be part of a leftist social engineering project is the furthest from the truth,” Ackison shared.  “I have exhausted myself and my resources in the media to share truths about what’s happening and I’ll do it again to shut this down and send a strong message that we will not back down.”

Mrs. Ackison is the person who caught the Library Director, George Needham, in an audio recording confirming many parents’ worst fears: that this class was not  about “art” and “theater.”  He said, “It’s about the whole thing about sexual questioning.”

Drag 101 – Delaware County Library

Delaware County Library Director tells local reporters that "Drag 101" is to "add to childrens' education" but he tells Melissa Ackison it's really about "sexual questioning." Is this a sex education class? OHIO TAXPAYERS: Contact the Delaware Library at 740-549-2665. Let them know that you are opposed to using tax-payer funded libraries for the purpose of hosting this program!

Posted by Ohio Value Voters, Inc. on Friday, May 24, 2019

 

When the news broke Tuesday night, May 28th that the class had been cancelled, Selena T. West announced it on Facebook.  He accused opponents of “celebrating a death threat,” and announced the new venue: Secret Identity Comics in Delaware, Ohio.

At a press conference the next morning, Selena was asked about whether or not there was concern for his safety with the public announcement of the new location.  He stated, “You know, it’s something that I spoke with the owners of the establishment with… It is going to be at Secret Identity Comics; it’s going to be on June 5th from 2 to 3. It’s going to be the same time and place to make it seamless for the teens that wanted to participate here, so it’ll be really easy for them just to go to that location…as far as being concerned, we are and we are taking steps to make sure everything’s safe there.”

After contacting both the Delaware County Sheriff’s office, who was responsible for the Orange Township Library Branch, and the Delaware City Police, who now have jurisdiction over the new venue, it was confirmed that no police reports have been filed with either office.  The Delaware City Police stated they had, “No understanding of any threats,” and “What people perceive as threatening on social media may not equal a legal definition of a threat.”

One local resident asked, “Could this be another ‘Jussie Smollet‘ tactic, claiming ‘death threats’ to shut up and malign conservative Christian parents and grandparents?”

The class is still scheduled for the new venue.  Gale noted that although the new location was smaller, it would allow more drag queens to participate and they were already planning to offer more classes throughout the summer.  He is currently aware of 10 teens whose parents signed them up for the class.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.
Photo “Selena T. West” by Selena T. West.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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