COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Wednesday, Stay Social Tap and Table in Evans hosted the first ever drag show in Columbia County, which has some people upset.
The owner of Stay Social Tap and Table says hosting a drag show was just supposed to be good fun and entertainment. Renee Hajek says the harassing messages she received from people in Columbia County were unexpected.
“Anybody who has seen it on social media kind of knows and can see. We’ve had a couple groups within the community who have gone so far as to contact guests’ employers saying they needed to fire people for coming to a show like this. I’ve had them call my sponsors,” Hajek said.
Columbia County has a no adult entertainment ordinance, which Hajek says she is following.
Columbia County events must be “family friendly” which is how Hajek says she advertised the drag show. She says some residents have accused her of “grooming kids for a LGBTQ lifestyle.”
“We just want to make it a point that we are not creating an event that we intend for kids. It’s not going to be a Disney show, like none of that. Family friendly really just means it’s safe. There’s no sexual nature. PG13,” Hajek said.
The group Refocus on Education in Columbia County released a statement regarding the show saying, “We believe that this drag event marketed to children is yet another example evidencing how children in Columbia County are being targeted for exposure to sexually explicit content.”
Concerned residents of Columbia County planned on Facebook to protest outside of Stay Social during the drag show, but no one showed up to protest, only counter protestors.
Josh Franklin says he planned to show up in drag and drown out the protestors with noise and banners, but he says he had a change of heart.
“We decided we’re going to come out here and maybe try to talk to them and ask them some questions and try to have an understanding of what about a drag show makes you think that children shouldn’t be there? There are different types of drag shows. A drag show at a night club versus a drag show here is two totally different things,” Franklin said.
The event was originally planned to be open for the public, but Hajek says the protest was a potential safety concern.
“It’s really sad because we had planned to be open for the public, but with all the craziness and the protestors and everything going on, we had to close the event down and ticket it, but it’s still going to be a great show,” said performer Molly Sapphire Hangover.
There will be another show on Thursday. Hajek says both shows are sold out.