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  • Writer's pictureArizona House Democrats

PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Austin responds to retaliation over drag story hour 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                 

April 30, 2024


PHOENIX – Representative Lorena Austin released the following statement regarding a social media post by House Speaker Toma condemning a planned drag story hour hosted in a House conference room and subsequent retaliation.


"This is the people's House and that includes the LGBTQ+ community, whether my colleagues on the other side of the aisle like that or not. It is nothing short of ridiculous that I have been described as dishonest, deceitful and perverse and have been subjected to calls for punishment and expulsion. What is true is that I hosted a drag performer who read stories about LGBTQ+ history and inclusion. There were no minors present, but also no content that would offend a minor. We were completely transparent when we reserved the room, and the content was not, or should not be, controversial. In total approximately 20 people attended (all adults) because the House is currently only conducting business on Wednesdays, and today was a Tuesday. It was educational and completely within the mission of our LGTBQ+ Caucus. I will never apologize for teaching people to be inclusive, to accept others as they are, and to stand up to hate and bigotry."



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