Dylan Kaercher, better known by his drag persona Roxi Manacoochi, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he lost a job calling bingo at the Mower County Fair in Austin, Minnesota, a gig he’s had for the past three years.
He claimed it was due to the ongoing attempts to crack down on drag performances and displays of gender-nonconformity, which Republican politicians and conservatives have embraced in recent months.
“It’s only been in the past year where I feel like every time Roxi goes to do something, I’m met with some sort of vocal backlash,” the 29-year-old said.
Kaercher claims members of Austin’s American Legion, which runs bingo at the fair, have supported him in the past, but believes a new organizer who took control this year is opposed to drag.
When questioned about the snub, Mower County Fair Board President Kevin Finley said fair officials don’t get involved with political issues. “The last thing you can do is take any kind of a side with anything,” he said.
Kaercher also received resistance over a drag show story time event last month at the Austin Public Library — where he’s read to kids since 2019. Ed Brady, a local pastor behind the push to halt the event, told the Star-Tribune he believes men acting like women is an offensive sin, and believes it would be harmful to children.
As a result of the recent climate, Kaercher installed security cameras at his new business — a theater and event space in downtown Austin — for fear of violence or retribution. “That’s just kind of the world live in now, where someone who is a part of the LGBTQ community as a business owner has to take those precautions,” he told the paper.
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