Downers Grove Public Library cancels Drag Bingo event after cascade of threats

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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The Downers Grove Public Library said they've been forced to cancel their October Drag Bingo event for LGBTQ+ teens after many threats.

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- The Downers Grove Public Library announced Monday they've been forced to cancel an October Drag Bingo event for LGBTQ teens after threats were made against them.

The threats are being investigated by police, library officials said. They said they were forced to cancel the event as the threats made it impossible for them to provide a safe space for their staff, attendees and performers.

READ MORE: Downers Grove Public Library embroiled in controversy over Drag Bingo event

"To all of the teens who registered for our event and community members in support of this event: we are sorry Drag Queen Bingo cannot happen at this time. We are determined to find additional ways to support you and your friends in safe, fun, and inclusive representation throughout the library," the library wrote in a Facebook post. "Hate did not win today. We stand by the event and Aurora Divine. We tried our best to make Drag Queen Bingo happen. However, due to the severity of the threats made against the library, we have been forced to cancel the event. It is our responsibility to keep you safe. We are disappointed and saddened by the some of the vitriolic feedback that we received for what was meant to be an evening of fun and celebration of self-identity and self-expression."

The library announced it would host an event on October 11 called Drag Bingo, set to coincide with National Coming Out Day, geared toward seventh to 12th grade students.

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Those who opposed it say a drag show is, by definition, sexual in nature and does not belong in a taxpayer-funded setting.

The event, one of more than 900 the library hosts every year, cost $125 to put on, an amount they said had already been covered by a donor.