Another Dallas drag show was beset by threats and protests, and this time the venue had to cancel it.
On Rotation Brewery and Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue canceled its scheduled drag show Sunday after receiving a spate of calls, negative Yelp reviews and social media comments “with the ultimate goal of harming our business,” according to a post on the brewery’s Instagram page.
The brewery announced Saturday that it was canceling the event after it was “targetted by Texas-based groups for hosting a drag show.”
“The show we hosted was a fun, casual event that many of you have enjoyed over the past few months,” the post reads. “It’s been part of birthday parties, bachelorette parties, out-of-town get-togethers, and more. And we’ve served you all the mimosas.”
Then On Rotation Brewery started getting angry, threatening calls from people objecting to the show not having an “explicit age limit.” The brewery instituted an age limit, but the phone calls and threats continued. The post mentioned that some “organizations” are behind the deluge of calls and threats, but refused to publicly identify them.
Attempts were made to reach a representative of the brewery but messages were not returned.
“We have seen some of the most heinous stuff in the messages we have received, far worse indeed than anything said or seen in the shows we have hosted,” the post states. “The organizers will call it ‘pressure’ and they are ‘making their voices heard.’ But we recognize these tactics for what they are: bullying and harassment.”
On Rotation’s Yelp page has been flagged due to “unusual activity” by commenters. The brewery still has a 5-star rating by a wide margin, but some anti-trans posts are still on the page.
“The ambiance is what you would expect from a cheap hipster brewery and they want to show your kids sexual content,” wrote Trey B. of Olney, Texas, on the Yelp page. “I wouldn’t recommend it unless your last name is Epstein or Clinton.”
The positive comments on the Yelp page, however, far outweigh the negative ones.
“The owner is one of the most professional and respectable people I have met,” wrote Justin B. of Dallas. “I’ve seen him handle some of the craziest people without raising his voice or getting frustrated. He’s got the patience of a saint. Plus now that OR [sic] it triggered the right-wing GQP [sic] crazy and extremist I will definitely be back every week!”
The situation became so hostile and troubling that the brewery contacted the Dallas Police Department and determined that it “lacked the necessary security or support resources” to ensure the safety of all attendees and workers at the event.
“In essence, On Rotation is a safe and welcoming place for everyone in the community to connect around beer and food,” the post states. “We need to prioritize safety right now, even if it pains us to see a bully win.”
Drag shows across North Texas have been harassed in recent months. Denton’s Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio had to cancel its Glitterbomb drag event last September after the space received threats over the phone and on social media, including a Tweet that called the people who attended the event “a bunch of pedophiles”.
The Mr. Misster lounge in Uptown became a national target for conservative pundits and politicians like U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene during a family-friendly drag show last June. Greene posted on Twitter that “Protecting your children from drag queen child predators isn’t a hate crime. It’s being a good parent.”