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North Carolina Drag Show Postponed After Man Arrested Over Death Threats

North Carolina Drag Show Postponed After Man Arrested Over Death Threats

Joseph O’Neal

The man allegedly made a fake Facebook profile to send the threats to organizers.


A man from Brevard, N.C., has been accused of making death threats over a drag show, authorities say.

Police said Joseph O’Neal, 31, used social media to make the threats, local news station WLOS reports. He was arrested and charged with communicating threats earlier last week.

On Saturday, July 29, a local brewery, UpCountry Brewing, had planned to host a drag show titled “Don’t Hide Your Magic” Unicorn Drag show.

O’Neal allegedly used a fake profile under the name Joey Bruner to make the death threats toward the business, authorities said.

“I will die before I let that take place!!!" he wrote in one message.

In another message, he wrote, “I’ll be damned if I’ll allow a pride celebration in my hometown of Brevard. They may as well consider themselves target practice. I’m not kidding. It’s pure wickedness!!”

Transylvania County Sheriff Chuck Owenby said they were tipped off on Facebook of the threats. Owenby said his office wouldn’t tolerate any threats to anyone.

The planned drag show was postponed, according to UpCountry Brewery’s Facebook page. However, a fundraiser did take place Saturday in support of a local LGBTQ+ rights group the Transylvania County Rainbow Alliance.

"We have made the difficult decision to postpone the drag show scheduled for July 29th at UpCountry Brewing in the Brevard Lumberyard. While the outpouring of support has lifted our hearts, what was originally intended to be a fun event to raise funds for a local charity instead became overly politicized, and truthfully has grown beyond our capability to properly staff and operate at this time," UpCountry Brewing explained on a GoFundMe, which was raising money for the LGBTQ+ group.

The company has raised more than $3,000 with an original goal of $500 to benefit the Transylvania County Rainbow Alliance.

“What a crazy few days! We planned to hold a simple drag show and instead all hell breaks loose,” the business posted on their Facebook page.

The Advocate has reached out to UpCountry Brewing for further comment.

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