A pro-LGBTQIA+ center in Pennsylvania that has hosted youth drag shows and promoted events for the Young Communist League of Philadelphia, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. has received support from, who have advanced federal funding for the group.
Through 2023, Casey has expressed support for additional funding for the Philadelphia-based William Way LGBT Community Center. Earlier this year, the senator requested $1 million in the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill for the organization.
According to its website, the nonprofit organization “embarked on a bold and visionary project to transform and rebuild our existing community center into a more spacious, inclusive, colorful, and welcoming place for all LGBTQIA+ people to gather, celebrate, learn, and receive life-giving support.”
Earlier this month, according to Pennsylvania Gay News — a local outlet covering LGBTQ issues in the city — William Way was allocated $2 million in Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s city fiscal year 2024 operating budget. Those funds will go toward “expanding and improving spaces for the center’s 1315 Spruce Street headquarters,” the outlet noted.
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“In addition to the $2 million allocation, several politicians in Pennsylvania also expressed their support for additional funding,” the outlet reported. “Congressman Brandon Boyle, Sen. Bob Casey and Sen. John Fetterman all recommended the center for federal community project funding to the Appropriations Committee.”
“For nearly half a century, the William Way Community Center has connected Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community with resources ranging from nutrition to housing to mental health,” Casey told the outlet. “I am advocating for federal funding for the center so it can grow and continue to provide life-saving services to the community.”
The event highlighted “drag performers, who share cultural, environmental, queer and decolonial visions of the future” and “the way colonization has affected both land and people,” according to the Philly Gay Calendar.
The event was presented as an “opportunity to discuss issues of colonialism, climate crisis and regenerative futures with the experience of first-generation indigenous drag performers and immigrants”.
In 2016, William Way also hosted a youth drag show featuring children’s performances.
In one described by the same pro-LGBT outlet. September 2016 article Titled “Youngsters celebrate the art of drag in Williamway,” Two hours before the show the venue looked “like any other town hall”.
“Feather fans begin to cover a table. Dozens of curling irons, combs, makeup mirrors and brushes on top of each other, as well as makeup and glitter in every color, and a Hello Kitty box. A bearded man dressed in leather platform shoes approaches and begins applying makeup,” to the face of the little boy who reported the incident.
Esai – an 11-year-old child at the time – was the drag performer at the event whose mother is a drag performer and producer of drag shows for children.
“According to his mother, Dre, since he was very young, he was sticking his heels in her bedroom,” the outlet reported. “Dre himself is a drag performer, who created another drag show called ‘Fierce’ – the world’s only queer festival. He also created the first non-gender binary talent show for children, ‘Twinkle’.”
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Two other children – Sophia, then 12, and Max, then 8 – were also involved in the drag show and had “their own drag personas”.
The outlet — which described the event as “just kids dancing around, dressing up, having fun” — also noted that Max occasionally “fell into splits in his long red dress” while performing for the audience.
A drag performer associated with the event suggested that exposing children to drag “gives young children a chance to gain a ‘broader understanding’ of the genre,” the outlet reported.
In addition to the drag shows he has supported in the past, William Way has also supported the Young Communist League of Philadelphia, a group that promoted socialism in the United States.
The Young Communist League of Philadelphia, according to its website, is “dedicated to the revolutionary cause of our nation’s working class and the transformation of the United States into a socialist society through mass democratic struggle.”
In June 29 Shared the post on FacebookWilliam Way covered a series of events organized by the Young Communist League of Philadelphia in Philadelphia to protest the parents’ rights group Moms for Liberty’s conference.
“Below is a list of events you can attend, support our communities and show this hate group that their views are not welcome,” the group wrote on Facebook. The Young Communist League held several dance party protests during the Moms for Liberty conference.
Moms for Liberty is a conservative group “dedicated to fighting for America’s survival by uniting, educating and empowering parents to defend parents’ rights at all levels of government.”
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The Young Communist League of Philadelphia has expressed its “deep friendship” with China in the past. July 2021 tweet: “Communist Party USA is the officially recognized communist party by the socialist world. We have deep friendship with Vietnam and especially with China. So join the party to show your solidarity!”
Casey — who has represented the Keystone State in the upper house since 2007 and is up for re-election next year — announced in April that he is launching a re-election campaign in hopes of securing a fourth term representing the battleground state.
“I’m running for re-election because, with so much going on for Pennsylvania’s working families, I want to continue delivering results for Pennsylvania,” Casey said in a statement at the time.
Casey’s office and William Way did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.