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Equality House hosts ‘Drag Down Bigotry’ show in Westboro neighborhood

Monday, October 28, 2013

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Westboro Baptist Church, home of the “God hates Fags” movement, found itself with ringside seats to drag show on Saturday, organized by its neighbor, the rainbow-painted Equality House.

The fund-raising event was to benefit anti-bullying programs was organized by the non-profit human rights organization Planting Peace, which owns and maintains the Equality House.

Photos courtesy Equality House, Planting Peace

Photos courtesy Equality House, Planting Peace

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Teenagers across the country “are taking their lives every year at an alarming rate,” and many of those are LGBTQ youth, said Amelia Markham, Director of Outreach for Equality House, in a statement.

“We want to use every opportunity we can to switch that message and preach love and inclusion instead of hate,” she said. “The drag show was the perfect opportunity to declare that message and to raise funds for our anti-bullying initiative for schools in the area and eventually across the country.”"

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Equality House has held a number of events previously at its location across from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in an effort to bring visibility to LGBTQ people and counter the Church’s anti-gay messaging. They include hosting a same-sex wedding ceremony, and a lemonade stand that raised thousands of dollars.

“Our first ‘Drag Down Bigotry’ event was a huge success and we are very pleased with how many people participated in and/or supported our efforts,” Aaron Jackson, President of Planting Peace said in a statement. “This was another successful step towards silencing the hate from the WBC and bringing awareness to the high suicide rate amongst our LGBTQ youth.”

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50 more reader comments:

  1. LOL

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:35pm
  2. I don’t know what is more wrong.. Westboro or drag. It’s an old act that is holding back the trans community by sending the wrong message to the mainstream. It’s time for the gay community to get a new act.

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:36pm
  3. Pfffffffffffffffft!

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:42pm
  4. Drag has been performed throughout history by people of all sexual orientations and is NOT synonymous with, or "holding back," the transgender community. Lighten up.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:43pm
  5. What's more wrong? Westboro or DRAG?! Are you fisting me, lady?? It's a form of self expression, and kudos to EVERY drag queen out there that chooses to be themselves. It's not time for a new act, it's time we start SUPPORTING eachother as a COMMUNITY!!!

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:46pm
  6. I'm privileged to know some pretty amazing drag queens, and I get the impression that it makes them quite happy. ~shrug~ Whether they're adopting a baby or rocking a dress, I feel like the point of the equality movement is to not judge. =)

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:47pm
  7. Drag queen and kings only represent a small portion of the transgender community, and have nothing to do with transsexuals or gay/queer people. Lighten up, drag is tons of fun.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:49pm
  8. I agree with everyone else get your head otu of your ass it takes alot of courage to do drag!

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:51pm
  9. Um.....no. Judgmental people are what's holding back the trans community.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:02pm
  10. The problem isn't that they exist. It's that they yell the loudest.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:04pm
  11. When we are trying to pass anti-discrimination ordinances to address a legitimate medical condition, the only thing lawmakers see is drag. When they think of transgender rights, they think of Ru-Paul. It's even more insulting when LGBT organizations use drag shows to raise money for trans rights. Drag to many trans folk is like blackface to the African American community and we will no longer be the gay community's laughing stock.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:07pm
  12. Sweetie pie, during carnival in Aalst - a working class, predominantly hetero city in Belgium - a good chunk of the male population goes around in drag for a week. Get over yourself, you don't know wtf you're talking about.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:07pm
  13. lawd, please crawl back under the rock girl. LMAo

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:10pm
  14. the only thing lawmakers see is drag? Wow, LMAO i can't stop laughing now.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:11pm
  15. Honey, the only cure for that is education, which if you think drag is holding back equal rights, then you aren't taking the time to educate people on the matter because it's easier for you to just take 'drag' out of the picture.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:19pm
  16. It's more in-your-face and besides, it's fun and a great way to fundraise for different charities. I've been to many drag shows and loved them.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:59pm
  17. Drag has nothing to do with trans people. You, my dear, are as misinformed in your self-righteousness as those you claim would hold it against us.

    Replied on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:41am
  18. YES!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:36pm
  19. bahahaha i love it!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:36pm
  20. this would have been an awesome event to attend as it was for a good cause :)

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:39pm
  21. Someone always has to bitch about something. Life just isn’t the same unless you’re bitching about your own stereotypical BS.

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:39pm
  22. I need that dress!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:40pm
  23. Drag holds back what? Smh at that comment. Now, kudos to them. I wonder if the WBC tipped. :)

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:41pm
  24. They damn well should have. They have money for all kinds of signs and travel events but they can't tip a dancer?? I doubt that!

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:00pm
  25. And, personally, I think drag pushes us forward and forces us to face what makes us uncomfortable. Even if not, we're a community and we're not supposed to leave our peeps behind.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:04pm
  26. I know plenty or people on both sides, and that was the first time i ever heard that it held back anything.

    Replied on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:09pm
  27. viva la drag!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:41pm
  28. drag is what they do and look fabulous doing it

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:46pm
  29. Drag is great!! It expresses who some people are! Plus you get awesome make up tips from them :)

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:55pm
  30. I applaud you all for that event.,,,, H-5

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:56pm
  31. Cool!!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 10:59pm
  32. Damn, I wish I was there, always wanted to see a drag queen show I know it was AWESOME!

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:06pm
  33. oh yeah- that’ll help

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:12pm
  34. I am living for that marvel comics dress

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:30pm
  35. Wish I’d been there.

    Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:58pm
  36. partaaaaay

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:14am
  37. 19 year-old Gay student #ClaytonPettet causes a stir by announcing he will lose his virginity via performance art piece. #lgbt VICE

    Story: http://bit.ly/1avpKrI

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:20am
  38. I hope they are going on Tour with the Phelps Family:)

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:30am
  39. I know lots of people that do drag! Know lots of STRAIGHT people that make a heck of a LIVING doing it too! People need to get over their fears and stereotypes! Stop being opressed, repressed, and depressed!!! I say get out and VIVA!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:33am
  40. AWESOME!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:38am
  41. Comic books and equality!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:39am
  42. Love Dirty Dorothy!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:39am
  43. Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 12:54am
  44. *proud*

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:04am
  45. My girlfriend and I attended the event yesterday it was great.. It was also are 5th anniversary and it was the perfect place to spend it.. It will forever be an unforgettable day for the both of us!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:10am
  46. For the lady talking about drag it’s people like you that think everything has to be a certain way but that’s the problem…. Nothing in this world is certain and if a none transgendered person wants to wear a damn dress then more power to him! I’m a lesbian but I look like a man and I dress like a man.. I’m not transgendered nor would I ever want to be a man! If I wore a dress I’d look like a drag Queen..lol I do what makes me comfortable and happy it’s no bodys business

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:33am
  47. Please vote for CHACE as Baltimore Best of Fest Doggie Costume. Click the link below and go vote for him. Thank you for the support.

    http://trib.in/Hk3jMR

    DogFest photo contest [Pictures] – Photo Galleries
    trib.in
    appreciate the support

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 3:02am
  48. frackin awesome

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 3:23am
  49. <3 Thank you!!

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 3:58am
  50. @michelle bradley. Did you forget about Stonewall? The arrest of three queens and a lesbian was the impetus for the gay rights movement as we know it. We get to fight for things like gay marriage because those who’ve gone before us, drag queens included, said “fuck this shit!” and refused to back down.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 4:41am