According to Borough Council President Michael Stefano, many of the emails about the event were filled with hate.
WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- An upcoming LGBTQ+ event planned in West Chester, Pennsylvania has been canceled due to overwhelming vitriol and hate, according to organizers.
The event was going to be the West Chester Community OutFest and it was set for October 1 on Gay Street. But it was officially canceled during a Borough Council meeting Tuesday.
John O'Brien of the West Chester Business Improvement District pulled the application for the event after recent backlash.
He said those against OutFest were specifically upset over a planned drag queen show.
O'Brien says it got so bad he felt the event would need additional security.
According to West Chester Borough Council President Michael Stefano, many of the emails about the event were filled with hate.
"I received a ton of emails that I think vitriol is the right word. They were hate-filled, scared of someone different than you. I can tell you council 100% supports an event like this," said Stefano.
Action News has learned one of the groups that raised concerns was the West Chester Borough Republican Committee.
A committee spokesperson says they were contacted earlier this week by folks in their community concerned about adult themes and that the concerns came from across the political spectrum.
The Republican Committee posted a statement on its Facebook saying, "If you feel this is inappropriate as we do, please make your voice heard to borough council."
The committee also posted the Instagram page of one of the drag performers, Stefani Steele.
"Instagram is mostly for adults. I don't think many kids follow me. So, there are certain things on my Instagram that maybe is 18 plus," said Steele.
But Steele says their live performances are always crowd-appropriate.
"I adapt to what my audiences are. I'm always making sure who's in the audience, are there kids in the audience?" added Steele.
Steele also says it's extremely disappointing that OutFest won't be taking place for those who might need encouragement right now in their lives.
"It's just nice to talk to people and to tell kids like even if you're going through something we're all here to make everyone feel better," said Steele.