The business owner defends the drag show; Others are concerned about ‘obscenity’ – The Stanley News and Press

The business owner defends the drag show; Others worry about ‘obscenity’

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 11:26 am

Tiffany Dahle defended her decision to host a drag event at Tiffany’s in the boardroom in downtown Albemarle, amid criticism on social media and a few people who spoke before her during public comment at Monday night’s Albemarle City Council meeting.

Growing up in a “family that embraced second chances and free-thinking,” she held onto the idea that her parents instilled in her that anyone can be anything they want in life.

While she has seen “the ugly side of our community that I thought didn’t exist” in the past few weeks, especially with some of the hateful comments on Facebook about the upcoming show, she said she has found hope “because I’ve also been exposed to a once-hidden part of my city that has long felt without a voice or support system.”

The support for her show was so overwhelming that two shows were sold out in less than 24 hours, she said.

“Your constituents said it, and they said it loud and proud,” she said. “We want our downtown to be known for arts and special events and diversity and inclusion.”

The restaurant portion of the business will be closed on Saturdays.

Before Dahle spoke, two individuals voiced their strong opposition to the event.

Albemarle resident Joshua Ballinger and Stanfield pastor Clint Leway of Friendship Baptist Church both expressed concern about the event’s potential harm to young children, even though the drag show is only for people 18 and older. All attendees are required to show identification.

“I believe we all have a duty to protect children,” Ballinger said. “I think it’s reasonable for every citizen to speak out when someone harms a child, even if it’s not your own, regardless of the topic.”

Ballinger also said the show violates definitions included as part of the city’s ordinance regarding sexually oriented businesses.

They asked the city council to introduce an ordinance that would “encourage or prevent children from being exposed to adult-sexual media in our community.”

Dahle said the event will be free of lewd behavior and sexual content. It’s “a typical, generic drag show with evening gowns and wigs and lots of makeup and singing Dolly Parton and stuff like that,” she said. “There will be laughs and mimosas, but there will never be whiplash.”

Lewey said he was concerned about what he described as “rude behavior” associated with drag, but did not provide any specifics about such behavior. He said the arrangement doesn’t go along with Stanley County’s “family values,” though there were no specifics about those things.

He quotes verses to describe this type of behavior and uses words like “bad love,” “unnatural” and “abomination” without listing any specific Bible verses or books.

Mentioning some concerns about Deco Entertainment, the company that provides the event, Mr. Dahle said, “Every time you are hired to do a different type of entertainment, you have a conversation with the person and ask them what they want.”

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