DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Downers Grove Public Library has decided to cancel its ‘Drag Queen Bingo’ event “due to the severity of the threats made against the library.”
Had Drag Queen Bingo proceeded as planned, it would have taken play on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day.
Supporters of the event praised the library for its efforts to further diversity and inclusion, while its critics — which included Orland Park Mayor and GOP congressional candidate Keith Pekau — called the event inappropriate and an unacceptable use of taxpayer funds.
Looking into the event, WGN learned a private donor was funding it, meaning not a single tax dollar was spent on the event’s organization.
Pekau also previously said he “has no interest in regulating the private, consensual activities and decisions of adults. this event, however, targets children.”
His congressional opponent, Democratic Rep. Sean Casten, attacked Pekau in a statement and linked him to Awake Illinois, saying the group is homophobic and bigoted.
Library Director Julia Milavec and the Downers Grove Public Library staff concluded their statement by thanking those who have offered messages of support, and urged the community to “please show kindness in the days leading up to National Coming Out Day.”
To learn more about LGBTQ+ youth and others in the community, Downers Grove Public Library has provided a list of resources at the end of their statement below.
The library’s full statement can be read below: