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'Drag 101' Class Goes On In Delaware With Community Support

Supporters of drag show event in Delaware.
Jo Ingles
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Supporters of drag show event in Delaware.

Several library events for Ohio teens have been mired in controversy. Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder sent a strongly worded letter last week to the Ohio Library Council, telling it to stop libraries from holding future events featuring drag queens.

But one community decided to hold their event anyway in a different location. 

The Delaware County District Library canceled its "Drag 101" class because of safety threats a couple of weeks ago. Controversy about the teen program had erupted on social media, following a video by a Republican state senator candidate.

Still, a local comic book store, Secret Identity Comics, decided to host the event anyway.

Drag queen Selena T. West, who was scheduled to lead the event at the library, went to the new location. She explained the history of drag, answered questions about makeup and talked about the theater of drag performances.

Delaware residents who supported the event showed up outside the comic store, holding signs and making their opinions known.

Selena T. West led the re-scheduled Drag 101 class at Secret Identity Comics in Delaware.
Credit Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio
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Ohio Public Radio
Selena T. West led the re-scheduled Drag 101 class at Secret Identity Comics in Delaware.

Delaware resident Nichole Moats organized the demonstration, which attracted around 200 people.

“We are family oriented and we love our kids and we want to celebrate diversity here," Moats said.

Householder had issued a statement saying taxpayers don’t want their dollars being used to teach teenage boys how to become drag queens. But when reporters asked him about those comments or the Delaware demonstration, he didn’t elaborate on the subject.

During the weekend, some House Democrats from Franklin County issued a joint statement, calling Householder's comments "unfortunate."

“What I said is what I said, and that’s it," Householder said.

The Ohio Library Council issued a statement saying federal guidelines do not allow libraries to discriminate against anyone.