An event honoring the LGBTQ community in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been canceled due to hateful messages sent to organizers and area officials, authorities said.
Organizers tell NBC10 that the permit for the West Chester Community OutFest, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1, has been revoked after the borough deemed the event unsafe due to community unrest and hate.
“I’ve been shocked by the amount of hate we’ve received by email this week,” said West Chester County Council President Michael Stefano. “Clearly there are still members of our community who fear anything that is different from themselves.”
Organizers said most of the anger was directed at the drag performers who were scheduled to appear at the event.
“In this community, a lot of us have struggled with these things in high school and growing up,” drag performer Lucy Mott told NBC10, “that there will always be people who don’t understand and are afraid of what they don’t understand. I don’t know. So I was not surprised, but definitely disappointed that in this day and age, there are still such situations.”
Stefano said he is “very disappointed” that the permit was revoked and that an event like OutFest is welcome in West Chester. He said that this decision was not made by the district council.
NBC10 reached out to other district officials for more information on who canceled the event and why. We are waiting for an answer.