Youth drag performance canceled at Pride event after threats made to Clock Inc.

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:48 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - The youth drag workshop and performance at Saturday’s Pride at Bass Street Landing event has been canceled after threats were made to Clock Inc., a local LGBTQ+ community center. The Project of the Quad Cities is the official host of Pride at Bass Street Landing.

“Clock Inc. was receiving different messages from individuals who were very much expressing their feelings about that type of activity. About drag youth, and it just escalated to the point where we wanted to make sure we could keep the participants and youth safe. That is our first and foremost priority is making sure our attendees and whoever, feel safe in that environment,” said Tyler Mitchell, Marketing Communications Director with The Project of the Quad Cities.

Mitchell explained what the youth drag workshop would entail.

“It’s an afternoon workshop where the youth are working with the adult drag performers to put together outfits and their looks and then once that is done, they come over here to the stage and they do performances where they dance and sing to songs that really mean something to them. It’s a great opportunity for LGBTQ youth to be able to express themselves in an ideal safe environment. That’s what we want to be able to offer to them and we will certainly be exploring options to make sure that we are able to do that in the future in a safe way,” Mitchell said, “It’s very innocent. I would like to point that out. I think there are a lot of perceptions about what that type of event looks like but kids dress up at home all the time and dance around to goofy music and its similar to that at least for some of the participants, gives some of them the opportunity to express who they are in their LGBTQ identity.”

The Project said it was in the best interest of safety to cancel.

“As youth is going up on stage to perform in front of people, there is already so much anxiety mixed in with that. So, adding the possibility of a protest into the mix, it didn’t feel quite right for that particular part of the program,” said Mitchell, “This is why pride exists though. LGBTQ people have existed for as long as human beings have existed. We will continue to exist for as long as human beings exist and pride while it is a celebration of the immense progress that has been made, it’s also a reminder that there are still barriers in the way to achieving that full equity.”

Pride at Bass Street Landing is still happening Saturday, June 18. Adult drag performances start around 5 p.m. The party will include drag shows, live music, and food. Admission is free.

Moline Police say they will have officers at the event.

One Human Family QCA, a local anti-hate organization, responded to the cancelation with the following.

“It is with heavy hearts that we of One Human Family QCA have learned of the emails received by Clock, Inc., threatening their planned Youth Drag Show. Such threats reveal some of the darkest corners of the soul of our nation. It is a stain upon our community that there are those among us who would offer such threats. Directing threats against our youth is an outrage that strikes at the hearts of all Quad Citians of conscience.

We applaud Clock, Inc.’s decision to cancel the Youth Drag Show, putting the safety of its youth above all else. We encourage you will support their important work.

We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ neighbors! Refusing to be intimidated by those so filled with hate that they would threaten to attack children, they are moving ahead with the PRIDE PARADE & PRIDE EVENT, scheduled for this coming Saturday. Now more than ever, support these events as an act of defiance and resistance to the forces of hate that lurk in our community. As our local LGBTQ+ community refuses to buckle under such threats, Quad Citians of goodwill should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

The Pride Parade starts at the TaxSlayer Center at 4 p.m. and ends at the Bass Street Landing Pride starting at 5 p.m. One Human Family will be at both events furthering education and outreach as we seek to live up to our mission statement: to welcome and protect the life, dignity, and human rights of all people in all places in our community.”

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