Statement on the Red Oak Community School Drag Story Hour

Fascist violence against LGBTQ+ people in America is a terrible and growing force. Last month, five people – Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Derrick Rump – were murdered and nineteen others were wounded at Club Q in Colorado Springs. We will remember their names as well as the right-wing cultural narrative that made their suffering possible. Right-wing politicians, media figures, and pretend intellectuals have furthered violence against the LGBTQ+ community by spreading fear and misinformation. The entire right shares the burden of responsibility for the massacre in Colorado.

Here in Ohio, we have become intimately acquainted with the right-wing political movement. It has gained critical ground in our state and scored brutal victories against our people. From shameless police violence in Akron and Columbus to assaults on reproductive rights statewide, artifacts of the right’s surging hatred can be seen everywhere. It will next rear its ugly head here in Columbus on Saturday, December 3, when the Proud Boys – a fascist, white-supremacist paramilitary organization – will menace children and harass families at a drag queen story hour hosted by Red Oak Community School at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. This action is no doubt aligned with the fascist strategy to demonize LGBTQ+ people, incite political violence, and prevent those they deem lesser from ever feeling safe – even in places of worship. We join other groups in our city in condemning the Columbus Proud Boys, their violent rhetoric, and their intrusion into our communities. We call on our members and allies to challenge homophobic ideology wherever it manifests in central Ohio.

No one should ever feel threatened because of their sexuality or gender identity. As human beings, we all deserve safety, freedom, and joy. There is no room for joy in a culture that denies the existence of LGBTQ+ people or that subjects them to mass death for having dared to be who they are. We are finished ceding ground in Ohio to the far right. To counter the spread of fascism, we must build a unified left here in Columbus and abroad.

Columbus DSA is proud to be a part of that struggle, now and forever.
DSA is a socialist feminist and anti-fascist project for collective liberation. Our members are coordinating among themselves and within the community to protect Columbus from extremist violence. For information on how to support the event, including opportunities to fundraise for LGBTQ+ causes and volunteer on the day of, visit the Red Oak Community School website.
Additional Reading:
Abolition of White Supremacy
Gender and Sexuality Justice
Justice for Trans People Requires Power

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