APEX, NC (WTVD) — Apex plans to host what will be the first annual Apex Pride Holiday Celebration on Saturday evening.
The incident comes a week after a drag show in Moore County sparked protests ahead of a major power outage. Government officials have not established a motive for the attack, but the attack has raised concerns throughout the LGBTQ community.
DeAnna Conard, co-founder of Apex Pride, said the incident caused her group to step up some security plans for Saturday’s event.
“It put security protocols a little higher on our priority list,” he said.
A police officer will be present at the Apex Senior Center during the event and volunteers will be available to escort and escort attendees out of the parking lot. However, Conard said that given what happened in Moore County, it’s even more important that the event happen.
“Throughout the year, it’s important to stand up for what you believe in and be a strong ally, and I think the worst thing we can do is stop bullying or push back, we don’t push back. to hate,” she said.
According to a recent report by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), there were 124 incidents of anti-LGBTQ protests and threats against specific drag incidents in 2022. The largest number of targeted incidents occurred in North Carolina and Texas.
“Unfortunately, like the pain of wearing high heels, I now know the danger of the job and the work I do, but it’s not new. It’s gotten worse,” said dragster Raafe Purnsley (Stormie Daie).
Purnsley said she received threats a few years ago at the first pride event she hosted, but she feels the violence is worse nationwide.
On Saturday, Purnsley will read the Drag Story Hour.
“It’s not lost on me that this is one of the few opportunities I’ve had to read after all the protests and this horrific act of domestic terrorism,” Purnsley said.
The Apex Pride Holiday Celebration will allow the LGBTQ community and supporters to come together and celebrate the holiday in a new way.
“This is not your average Christmas, not your average Christmas, this is a Christmas for more people. It’s a Christmas for different people,” Purnsley said.
Saturday’s event will be held from noon to 2:00 pm at the Apex Senior Center. Santa will be in attendance and there will be crafts and snacks.
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