Arizona Bookstore Nixes ‘Drag Show for Palestine’ Event After Backlash: ‘They Should Do This in Palestine’


A bilingual Arizona bookstore canceled its family-friendly “Drag Show for Palestine” following backlash over the planned performance, with critics noting that drag shows — as well as any sort of LGBTQ expression — are strictly prohibited in Palestinian-controlled areas, with offenders risking their very lives.

An ad for the event, scheduled for Saturday at the Phoenix, Arizona, Palabras Book Store and open to children “[at] their [parents’] discretion,” called on locals to join “for a night of Drag and Community” in “solidarity with Palestine.”

The event was to feature local organizers, speeches, education, food, and drag performances with a “talented” cast whom the facilitators suggest tipping. 

“We will have local organizers, speeches, education, food, and of course, DRAG!” the ad reads. “We have an especially talented cast for you, entry is free so bring tips for the artists!”

The local Phoenix bookstore’s website describes itself as a “community refuge and cultural hub centering the voices of BIPOC (black indigenous, people of color) across intersections.” 

It also outlines the store’s mission, which is to:

Counter and challenge the history and currently very active silencing of BIPOC stories and voices by providing a safe and encouraging space for cultural representation, healing and liberation of historically minoritized BIPOC (Black Indigenous, People of Color, across intersections) through community engagement involving literature and the arts.