The attacks in Moore County, NC are just the latest in an ongoing string of attacks against the LGBTQ community, and specifically transgender and the drag communities. Recently, the Charlotte Observer reported that North Carolina is tied with Texas for the highest number of threats and protests against drag events in the entire United States this year.
The drag show at Southern Pines, a community in Moore County, was organized by Sandhills Pride and Naomi Dix of the House of Coxx. Drag performers in the House of Coxx, based in Durham, NC, have intentionally held shows in NC communities where LGBTQ people may feel more isolated and in need of support.
As Naomi took to the stage on the evening of December 3, attackers broke into two electrical substations in the region and used gunfire to disable them, leaving some 40,000 residents without power and under curfew for five days.
This act of outright domestic terrorism is part of the continued racheting up of anti-LGBTQ attacks. Armed fascists have shown up at drag shows across the country, attempting to disrupt and shut the shows down. It also comes on the heels of the mass shooting at a LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs just weeks ago.
In North Carolina, 10 reports of “incidents” ranging from protests during drag-story hour for children to the major power outage in Moore County to stop a drag performance, with many accounts of protests occurring during Pride month, have occurred in 2022. The rise in violent, right-wing extremism only continues to get worse.
These attacks have also been occurring in conjunction with a rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. NC Policy Watch recently warned that conservative lobbyists and lawmakers will be pushing for the passage of such bills in the coming legislative session.
Drag shows and story hours are being targeted precisely because they provide spaces for community building, space holding, awareness-raising. Their hypervisibility is an act of resistance to capitalist heteronormativity and gender.
We also know that we can’t trust the police or law enforcement to provide safety, and that it has always been up to us to keep us safe. In Moore County, the sheriff reported that after the substation attacks he prayed with one of the main suspects – a a former U.S. Army psychological operations officer who is linked to the white supremacist Jan. 6 movement. In Colorado Springs, it was a trans woman and a straight man ally who defended and saved people, not the police. This is why we call on everyone to show up to these spaces to defend our community and show support. The power grids that need to be dismantled are those of the law enforcement/religion/white supremacist infrastructures, which continually reinforce the attacks on our lives.
Ways to support:
- In the aftermath of the attack, the people of Southern Pines are in need of basic supplies. In Durham, supplies can be dropped at 1803 Chapel Hill Road. Cash donations can be made here.
- Attend as many drag performances, drag story-hours, LGBTQ events as you can in your community to show your support and solidarity and that you will not tolerate discrimination and violence toward the LGBTQ+ community.
- From Drag Queen Story Hour of the Triangle FB page: Donate funds so we can provide as many safety measures as possible AND continue putting on fun, engaging and educational programs. Look for the helpers. Help the helpers. BE the helpers.
- Donate by Texting TRIANGLE to 44321
- Visit our Story Hour Wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1UTW16DDSYZ26…
Visit our Protest Barrier Project Wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3KNQOOU0G5G4X…