Awake Illinois taking aim at Drag Queen Bingo in Downers Grove

Downers Grove Public Library. Photo from Facebook

Anti-LGBTQ group Awake Illinois is targeting the Downers Grove Public Library over a planned Drag Queen Bingo.

The event, hosted by Aurora Devine, is a game night for teens at the library on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 7 to 8 p.m. There will be a short drag performance as well.

The Downers Grove chapter posted about the event on the Awake Illinois blog, calling it a “Public Service Announcement.” The post claimed that parents were asking questions such as:

  • “How is this fulfilling the values of the Downers Grove Library?”
  • “Are my tax dollars funding lewd acts in front of minors?”
  • “Why is the library board OK with exploiting children in a public setting that may well encourage attendance of sex offenders/child predators?”
  • “Why is a minor allowed to register for this event without permission/notification of a parent of guardian?”

The group also published the email address of library employees and the library board. Awake Illinois is calling for their members to email the library board to share their “concerns.”

The library is standing firm.

In an open letter, the library was standing firm.

“Above all, the Downers Grove Public Library strives to serve all of the Downers Grove community, which includes many different groups of people and interests,” said a letter signed by Library Director Julie Milavec and the staff. “Our goal is to provide a safe and accepting environment for everyone in our community, no matter their age, religion, political party, or identity.”

The letter also pushed back directly on accusations of “grooming” and that the event would be sexual in nature. The library also noted it had received a lot of positive support as well.

To support the library, people can email the library board in support of Drag Queen Bingo and speak at the next Downers Grove Public Library Board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in the library’s Meeting Room.