The Queens Dirty Dozens had planned to hold a second event at the shop, but that has since been canceled following the Oct. 31 incident. Tulsa firefighters reportedly have a “person of interest” in that particular incident, according to Tulsa World. It still remains unclear whether the first and second acts of vandalism are linked.
After the second act of vandalism, the store reopened its original GoFundMe page to help raise money for the damages. As of Nov. 7, the page has raised over $28,000.
In response to the second act of vandalism at The Donut Hole, the Brookside Business Association, which represents businesses in the Brookside district, said in a statement that it was “heartbroken” by the vandalism.
“No matter in what ways we may disagree with others, violence will never be the right response,” the statement said. “We, as a business association representing Brookside, unconditionally and unequivocally, condemn these destructive actions and behaviors.”
While the exact motive of the vandal or vandals is unclear, the attack against the doughnut shop — and the timing in relation to the drag art exhibit — mirrors controversies in other states and cities in which social conservatives have lashed out at drag queen-related events, especially those in public places where children might be exposed to drag performers.
Critics of such events say that exposing children to drag is a form of “grooming” or “indoctrination” that will lead to children identifying as LGBTQ or flouting gender norms. But drag performers say that most perform differently in public spaces versus how they perform in bars or nightclubs where the clientele are all over 21.
The backlash against drag coincides with a similar societal backlash — fueled by right-leaning politicians — against demonstrations of gender-nonconformity and transgender identity, leading some to propose policies that restrict the ability of transgender athletes to participate in sports, prohibit accommodations for school-age transgender children, and restrict children from receiving gender-affirming care.
“There is a bigger backlash against drag queens, there is a bigger backlash against the LGBTQ+ community and people of color, no matter what group you are in,” Bella Naughty, a drag queen based in Washington, D.C., told The Washington Post back in August when the media began reporting on the attacks on drag-related events.
Sarah Swain and Brian Hunter, the co-owners of The Donut Hole, told The Washington Post they are saddened to have their business attacked, even if the motives behind the vandalism aren’t clear at this time.
“We just want to make doughnuts,” Hunter said. “We’re just a small business. Like we’re just trying to make doughnuts and have fun. We don’t understand.”
“It’s super heartbreaking because this is like a new thing for us that we’re experiencing,” Swain added. “But for the [drag] queens, this is just their life and nothing really new to them. And it’s so sad because they’re feeling some guilt after what happened to us, and it’s in no way their fault.”