NEWBURYPORT (CBS) - It all started with an Instagram post, advertising a dance for high schoolers hosted by Newburyport Youth Services joint with North Shore Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth. The DJ, drag queen Miz Diamond Wigfall of Salem, was set to perform.
The dance for 9th through 12th graders was set for May 13 at the St. John's Masonic Lodge, until Massachusetts State Senate candidate Kari MacRae got wind of the event.
MacRae, a Republican from Cape Cod, says she received tips from parents on the Facebook group Massachusetts Informed Parents, of their concern regarding this particular DJ choice for the event.
"Parents were concerned," MacRae told WBZ, which she says prompted her to make calls from her home on the Cape up to the North Shore. The particular issue she says parents had with Miz Wigfall? "Just some of the content that's available for the kids to see" online, she explained. "Some things that were more risqué for a drag show skewed to adults, not towards children."
MacRae was specifically referencing some music videos online with sexual innuendo that feature Miz Wigfall.
When asked if a drag performer with more G-rated content would be an issue for herself and parents, Ms. MacRae replied, "I don't think it would have been. I really don't think it would've been. I think the issue was really this particular individual."
That particular individual is AJ, or "Miz Diamond Wigfall," as she's known in her weekly performances at Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem. "I am literally just bringing age-appropriate music, performances, just something to uplift and like make sure kids know that they have a safe, inclusive, loving space to just be themselves for two hours," Diamond told WBZ, joking, "Wow! What a crazy thing to want for people."
Diamond told WBZ she regularly performs age-appropriate shows for younger audiences and reads to kids at local libraries. She takes issue with the assertion that her more adult content speaks for all of her work. "Artists are meant to create art for different ages, communities, like that's what professionals do," she explained. "So to me, like you wouldn't really understand the art from of drag if you didn't understand that it is for everyone. It is for all kinds of people."
The May 13 dance is not canceled. MacRae's complaints did cause the St. John's Lodge to back out of hosting the dance. As soon as word spread of the lack of venue,
The First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Church in Newburyport immediately offered to host the dance. As of Monday night, it's unclear where it will take place.
Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon released a statement saying, in part, "The dance...was planned to incorporate age appropriate representations of LGBTQ culture, and the inclusion of a DJ in Drag was something students wanted and were excited about. The event has been grossly mischaracterized by a handful of bad faith actors..."
Diamond says one thing is for certain: the show will go on. "We are not worried," she explained. "Like honestly, I could sit here and be angry or upset at somebody for kind of dropping the ball and their responsibility to the community, but that's not what's gonna happen," she said. "Love is going to win and someone else is going to host it that deserves it."
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