MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The Museum of Science & History in Memphis, Tennessee, is apologizing to guests after canceling a planned drag show Friday evening “due to the presence of armed protesters.”
The MoSH, known to many in Memphis as the Pink Palace Museum, was set to host the Memphis Proud drag show and dance party Friday. The museum has several exhibits focused on LGBTQ history this month, including an exhibit on the historic Stonewall Inn police raid and subsequent protests. The Friday drag event was billed on flyers as family-friendly.
A protest against the event was organized in the museum parking lot. Police were on the scene Friday evening, and the museum canceled all programming out of an abundance of caution.
MoSH released a statement, reading in part:
“The safety of our guests and staff members is our primary concern. Out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of all present, the Museum of Science & History made the decision to cancel all programming Friday evening due to the presence of armed protesters. Closing early involved the cancellation of the two events scheduled for the evening, a laser show in our Planetarium and the Memphis Proud drag show and dance party. We want to apologize to our guests and the Memphis community for the disruption.”Museum of Science and History, Memphis
Nationally, the subject of drag performances for families and children has come under fire, with some deeming them inappropriate for younger audiences. Earlier this summer, NBC News reported the far-right honing in on drag events, in particular drag story hours at libraries.
According to NBC News, mentions of “Drag Queen Story Hour” rose 777% in just one month.
Drag Queen Story Hour is a brand of events that has been held since 2015, with the organization saying it aims to help kids “see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves.”