At the Wheeling City Council meeting, Councilman, Ben Seidler, delivered his remarks to a presentation regarding the Ohio Valley Pride Festival that occurred two weekends ago.
“The level of crudeness that happened over the weekend two weeks ago with music at an event that was supposed to be a family-friendly event, where all were welcome to, was completely unacceptable.”Councilman Ben Seidler – Wheeling Council Member Ward 2
After his discussion on the “explicit language” being played, he called Angelica Radevski to the podium. She began by comparing the drag performances at the festival, to an incident of a crime of “indecent exposure” to children.
What began as a concern about the music being played at the Pride Festival, turned into an allegation against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Drag – however we want to interpret it, or what some people claim – in our state, is defined as ‘distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter, penalties and offenses,’ and that is a description of what our state represents of what would be a criminal charge.”Angelica Radevski – Wheeling Resident
She quoted Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum many times, but once in particular by stating: “We can easily see how drag has penetrated popular culture, impacting the way we dress, behave, and even how we speak.”
Councilwoman Ketchum says that her immediate reaction to the inclusion of statements she had made in 2020, in relation to these events, was surprising because she has no affiliation with the Pride Festival itself.
“For the comments to be directed, I think pretty strongly toward me as an individual, I think was disrespectful, frankly, and just a little bit concerning. The community members, while they have the right to believe what they believe, they don’t necessarily have the right to lie and mislead the public about who LGBTQ people are, who I am and what I believe in, and what I stand for.”Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum – Wheeling City Council Member
Although these concerns were brought up, it is important to note that the City of Wheeling is not a sponsor of the Ohio Valley Pride Festival, and no members of council are affiliated with the event.