The Red Oak Community School Holi-Drag Storytime event scheduled for Saturday, Dec 3rd has been canceled.
Watch the full statement from the Red Oak Community School below…
Statement from Stonewall Columbus’ Executive Director
In this moment I believe that our LGBTQ+ community agreed that the health and personal safety of young people, their families, and the entertainers who were to be in attendance was first priority–our queer community, and allies, are already in pain, as we are freshly reeling from November’s mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado and as we perpetually mourn the 30+ transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender expansive individuals who have been brutally taken away from our community in this year alone.
What the LGBTQ+ community across Columbus seemingly did not agree on was the method by which the health and personal safety of the young people, their families, and the entertainers would be maintained. It seems that there was a similar discordance in the maintenance of the health and personal safety of those in attendance between the entertainers, the event organizers, and a community based safety team engaged by the event organizers as it related the presence of the Columbus Police Department as a facet of security for this Holi-Drag Storytime event.
As additional details come forward we will see and hear different perspectives and then we must do the critical work of deciding who and what we believe. In the end it seems that our LGBTQ+ community’s cornucopia of identities, intersectional at that, were unable to come together to find a workable space to exist within that allowed each to be present, to be seen, to feel safe.
How do we move forward together–in community–if we cannot listen to each other in our own queer community? If we cannot make space for difference and disagreement to exist while still ensuring we are all seen and heard then we are doing a disservice to our own community, our intersectional identities, and our desire to live out boldly on our journey to happiness and liberation.Densil Porteous, Executive Director - Stonewall Columbus