Museum drag show: It is all for fun!

I see that Baptist pastor John Sterk has resigned from the board of the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center because the museum will be a venue for a “Dragtastic Event” in June.

Mr. Sterk and some others may be under the impression that a drag show is all about promoting a supposed LGBTQ lifestyle — when, in reality, drag is all about entertainment.

Drag, which has its history in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, is a “gender-bending art form in which a person dresses in clothing and makeup meant to exaggerate a specific gender identity, usually of the opposite sex.” (MasterClass.com) Drag is an irreverent and expressive art form, with outfits poking fun at extreme glamor. Drag shows include singing, dancing and interaction with audience members sitting nearby. It is all for fun!

Many drag shows in big cities are fundraisers for charity, often for at-risk youth. Coming to a drag show is not a statement of gender or sexuality, any more than every person attending a Country Western concert rides a horse and raises cattle. It’s entertainment, folks. I think WVMCC deserves praise for honoring diverse cultures, as any cultural center should.

Chris Rader

Wenatchee

Museum drag show: Our values and rights are being infringed upon

I cheer the bold statement made with the resignation of City Council member John Sterk as he resigned from the museum board over a drag queen show. This show is being sponsored by the museum and I would suspect most of the valley is unaware of this occurrence. I am not sure what happened in the last 50 years to make this now acceptable in our museum of culture.

Our museum was established in 1939 to preserve our heritage. Suddenly, the museum makes a decision to allow a new event to be added to their calendar. They are sponsoring a drag queen show with all that is represented within these words. Part of their advertisement for this event states, “VIP tables will be along the catwalk where you can enjoy maximum interactions with the performers.”

The article in The Wenatchee World quotes the director of the YWCA Rachel Todd saying that the remarks made by the councilman do not represent the majority of the community. She claims he is an unsafe person for a large portion of our community.

I strongly disagree with Ms. Todd I believe that Mr. Sterk represents the majority of our community, which is not hateful, uncaring, intolerant or unsafe.

We are embracing a pathway with open doors to events I believe that our community does not sanction. First, the YWCA states we are embracing drag queen performances and have been doing this for a time. Second, our cultural museum is sponsoring performances by drag queens and a VIP can have a front-row seat along the catwalk where they “can enjoy maximum interactions with the performers.”

Our values and rights as a community are being infringed upon. I am concerned there is a step 3 coming, which is that of allowing drag queens to host story time in our public library.

I raise my voice in alarm that this is occurring here in Wenatchee Valley.

Wilma Morrell

Wenatchee

YWCA director took ‘ugly shots’ at council member Sterk

East Wenatchee Council member John Sterk behaved quite honorably by respectfully resigning his position on the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center Board over the drag show, and I emphasize “respectfully.”

He fully understands the honor and responsibility that comes with serving on any board. He simply stood by his convictions without disparaging any other person’s taste or personal beliefs.

That should have been the end of the story, but YWCA Executive Director Rachel Todd responded by firing some pretty ugly shots at Mr. Sterk. Saying that he’s “not a safe person for a large portion of our community and he doesn’t represent safety or inclusivity for our community” was a shocking and unfounded accusation.

Her statement said Mr. Sterk and his convictions are dangerous. Her comments also disparage the entire Christian community and others who share the same convictions.

Ms. Todd appears to not recognize the double mindedness of her statements. While she supposedly promotes inclusivity, she wants Mr. Sterk and all others of like mind to be excluded.

She says she wishes we could have a conversation about these views and values but — if they won’t agree with her — “they can definitely step aside.”

Frankly, that sounds like “sit down and shut up.” This kind of rhetoric isn’t helpful in these times. We need to work to cool things down, disagree without being disagreeable. Mr. Sterk remained calm and cool and quietly resigned. I applaud his actions.

Rosalyn Purdom

Wenatchee



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