EKY drag show canceled after reported threats to harm

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 11:55 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - A drag show that was set to be held in Prestonsburg has now been canceled after the event owner received death threats and claims that people were going to harm those in the LGBTQ+ community who attended the show.

Those with the Lexington-based Open Doors Counseling Center, LLC had planned on hosting the “Come As You Are” drag show at Music Paradise in Prestonsburg on Saturday, March 25.

The event was aimed to “spread advocacy for mental health and LGBTQ+ transparency through the art of drag,” as stated on the organization’s Facebook page.

“Talking about self-love and self-acceptance and share with people in the audience resources for being able to feel more accepted and to feel like they can accept themselves,” said Open Doors Counseling Center Owner Kyle May.

Organizers decided to cancel the event after the owner received threats that someone was going to harm them and anyone who identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community in attendance.

“You know, they’re going to come armed, they’re going to bring loaded weapons to our event,” said May, “and as the seriousness of the threats started to escalate, we decided it was best for everyone involved if we canceled the show.”

Some said these threats are nothing new. Emma Lowe, Vice President of Big Sandy Safe Zone and a volunteer organizer with Pikeville Pride, said events the organizations have held in Pikeville in the past have also received similar threats.

“Unfortunately, threats to our community are nothing new.” said Lowe. “This is something we deal with pretty consistently. I’ve been volunteering with Pikeville Pride for a couple of years now and we always, anytime we do any sort of event, we receive threats, we receive a lot of hate online.”

Drag performers and those in the LGBTQ+ community said they will continue to press forward in spreading love and advocacy for mental health.

“The comments and the hate will always be there, but it’s how we deal with it and how we, like, push forward, and move forward,” said Open Doors Counseling Center Targeted Case Manager and drag performer Corabelle Bundy Jolie.

May added the event will possibly be rescheduled for a later date, but no date has yet been set.