For Immediate Release: Equality Ohio Responds to anti-LGBTQ+ terrorism at Community Event in Wadsworth Ohio

Equality Ohio Responds to Anti-LGBTQ+ Terrorism at Community Event in Wadsworth Ohio 


DATE: March 13th, 2023

CONTACT: MD Sitzes, Media & Marketing Manager

EMAIL: media@equalityohio.org 

Wadsworth, Ohio (03/13/23) —  This past weekend, for the second time in less than four months, a family-friendly community event intended to celebrate inclusivity towards LGBTQ+ community members was targeted and upended by a white supremacist mob. A Drag Story hour at a local park—an event intended to improve child literacy and encourage tolerance for all—was subjected to an organized attack in which Nazis violently harassed attendees and local community members. 

The result of weeks of planning by anti-LGBTQ+ white supremacists, this weekend’s violent attack on a small community event in the quiet town of Wadsworth resembled a similar incident in December during which fully armed white supremacists roamed the streets of a Columbus suburb to intimidate locals. Unlike in Columbus, where organizers canceled their event, the Wadsworth Drag Story hour moved forward as planned—and was subjected to escalating violence from extremists that threatened the participants and families in attendance. Nazis and hate groups are getting bolder with each of these attacks. Each time, their bigotry towards LGBTQ+ people and people of color becomes all the more blatant.

“We should not have to put out a Monday press release to remind the leaders of this state that Nazis are bad. Yet, here we are,” said Public Policy Director Maria Bruno. “We should not have to explain to our state’s elected leaders that if the most ardent advocates against something or someone are Nazis, then perhaps it’s worth some self-reflection before they picket alongside them. Perhaps it’s worth considering whether their harmful rhetoric accusing LGBTQ+ people of horrendous crimes like pedophilia is not just enabling, but actively mobilizing their most extreme, hateful base to violently attack an already marginalized community.”

We know that white supremacy and anti-LGBTQ+ ideology have a long history of working together to attack our communities. When one marginalized community is targeted, we are all targeted. When one community is dehumanized, we all lose our humanity. 

We stand with our LGBTQ+, Jewish, Black, Muslim, Asian, Disabled, and all community members who have been directly targeted by hatred in their community. We are outraged by this national trend and strongly condemn white supremacist activity in our communities. We demand the same leadership from our state’s elected officials. We must stand together as a community.


About Equality Ohio

Equality Ohio is a statewide organization advancing the rights and protecting the well-being of LGBTQ+ Ohioans. Equality Ohio identifies and transforms systems and institutions so LGBTQ+ Ohioans can fully access legal and lived equality in pursuit of an Ohio where people are welcome, affirmed, and flourishing. Learn more: www.equalityohio.org.