West Chester

West Chester LGBTQ ‘Community OutFest' Canceled Due to Hate-Filled Backlash

NBC Universal, Inc.

An event celebrating the LGBTQ community in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been canceled due to hateful messages sent to organizers and borough officials, authorities said.

Organizers tell NBC10 the permit for West Chester Community OutFest scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 was rescinded after the borough felt the event was unsafe due to outrage and hate from the community.

"I was shocked at the amount of hate we received via email this week," President of the West Chester Borough Council Michael Stefano said. "It is clear there are still members of our community that fear anything that is different from themselves."

Earlier in the week, the West Chester Borough Republican Committee had urged people to show up to a borough council meeting to express displeasure with the event.

"If you feel this is inappropriate as we do, please make your voice heard to borough council," the local Republican group wrote in a Facebook post.

Organizers said most of the anger was directed at drag performers scheduled to appear at the event.

"In this community, a lot of us struggled with this type of stuff in high school and growing up," drag performer Lucy Moth told NBC10, "that there’s always going to be people that don’t understand, and afraid what they don’t know. So I was not surprised, but definitely disappointed that in this day and age, there are still situations like this.”

Stefano said he was "extremely disappointed" that the permit was revoked, and that an event like OutFest is welcome in West Chester. He said the decision wasn't made by the borough council.

NBC10 reached out to other borough officials for more information on who cancelled the event and why. We're waiting to hear a response.

Contact Us