The Memphis Museum of Science and History is facing backlash after news emerged that it will hold a drag show for people of all ages on September 23.
“Presenting the Museum of Science & History’s grand culmination of our Summer of Pride programming and a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, the FIRST EVER MoSH DRAG SHOW!,” says an advertisement on the museum’s website. “This historic show will star a diverse cast of performers featuring different styles, expressions, and identities, showcasing some of the infinite ways in which we can manifest the art of drag. After the show, we’ll kick off our intergenerational dance party, where everyone is invited to come together and dance the night away. Join us for a night of art, music, dance, and community at the museum.”
The event features a cash bar.
The event has sparked backlash online.
“[The museum] bills itself as a ‘learning center’ with ‘history and science attractions.’ Which does this event fall under? Science or history?” said commentator Matt Walsh on Twitter.
A dance party with alcohol that goes until 11 at night wouldn’t be appropriate for “all ages” even without the drag queens
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 10, 2022
“A dance party with alcohol that goes until 11 at night wouldn’t be appropriate for ‘all ages’ even without the drag queens,” he said.
“Weird science…” tweeted radio show host Matt Rooney.
Weird science… https://t.co/K2QX0Ypw3p
— Matt Rooney (@MattRooneyNJ) September 11, 2022
Another prominent radio host, Ben Ferguson, called the event “child abuse.”
— Ben Ferguson (@benfergusonshow) September 11, 2022
The event is part of the organization’s broader support for LGBT issues.
The website also brags of honoring the resilience of LGBT people in the South with an exhibit that has been displayed since June.
“The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community taps into the heart of our region. Memphis Proud examines the history and culture of the city’s LGBTQ+ population and explores how LGBTQ+ Memphians of different backgrounds and experiences have come together to form thriving communities and provide powerful voices for change and acceptance in Memphis,” the exhibit’s description says. “Through a large collection of local artifacts, photographs, and stories, Memphis Proud tells the story of how our LGBTQ+ community responded to national challenges, such as the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and the AIDS crisis, and the community’s own unique successes and challenges.”
The museum has also celebrated a “Summer of Pride,” mostly featuring films geared towards the LGBT community.
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