The Louisiana Department of Health faces backlash over a social media put up that depicted a neighborhood drag queen at a family-friendly well being consciousness occasion in Alexandria as a part of LGBTQ Pride Month.
The controversy started June 24 when LDH tweeted images of a family-friendly LGBTQ Pride occasion on the Alexandria Convention Center with an outline that stated, partially, “Local drag queens entertained the audience while the state Office of Public Health handed out health-related pamphlets and info.” The occasion additionally featured music, video games, arts and crafts, and distributors.
One of the images, taken from behind a seated viewers, confirmed what might be a teen or baby handing a greenback invoice to somebody with crimson hair and a rainbow-colored shirt.
The images didn’t point out something overtly sexual concerning the particular person’s costume or the occasion, however the Twitter account, Libs of TikTok, framed the occasion as lewd and inappropriate for kids. The account is thought for spreading disinformation and trolling liberals.
The account’s followers rapidly responded to the tweet with homophobic feedback, many insisting the artist will need to have been gathering tips for some form of striptease or sexual act. Others stated it’s by no means applicable for kids to see a person sporting a female costume, equating it with pedophila. Some instructed dad and mom have been forcing youngsters to be homosexual and accused LDH of encouraging it.
The state Office of Public Health was invited to the occasion, hosted by Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services (CLASS) and Alexandria Pride, handy out well being pamphlets and share info, well being division spokesperson Aly Neel stated.
The company, which finally took down the tweet, wouldn’t straight deal with the controversy however did say that a part of the well being division’s mission goes into completely different communities to supply providers.
“This is what we are all about — meeting our residents where they are to get them the information and services they need,” Neel stated.
Others on Twitter defended LDH, explaining that drag doesn’t denote sexual orientation or sexual exercise and has lengthy been a facet of mainstream theater, movie and efficiency artwork.
Not everybody in a drag costume is homosexual or transgender. Pearl Ricks, a LGBTQ advocate with New Orleans’ Reproductive Justice Action Collective, stated folks in drag costumes are actors and artists depicting a personality.
“We don’t think all clowns are murderers,” Ricks stated, utilizing an analogy.
Ashley Shelton with the Power Coalition stated the criticism of the occasion falls in keeping with different latest assaults on private liberty from conservative corners, together with voting rights, reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.
“I think these attacks on all of our freedoms are clear and growing,” Shelton stated. “If you don’t create room for the creative class, then businesses will leave or businesses will not come here. Louisiana has enough problems with the second poorest state, low levels of education …That’s why our state continues to head in the wrong direction. It’s deplorable, the idea that someone thinks they have the power to tell others how to live their lives.”
“It just shows their ignorance,” Shelton stated of Twitter customers who bashed the occasion. “[They’re] seeing an artist perform and that’s what they take away?”
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