A magician who was scheduled to perform at two libraries in Wyoming was forced to cancel her shows due to death threats received by library staff.
Mikayla Oz, who performs at various events and venues, was scheduled to perform July 14-15 at the Gillette and Wright Libraries in Wyoming. Oz has appeared on television and has been featured in The Associated Press and United States today.
According to a Facebook post from the Campbell County Public Library in Gillette, the cancellation came after someone in town found out that Oz was trans. The library wrote the post after misinformation spread about the child-centered acts of Oz and some local residents called for a protest. The threats came after that.
With great regret, regret shared by the Campbell County public library system, Oz canceled her programs at Gillette and Wright due to safety concerns for herself, library staff and library patrons. “the library wrote. “His high-energy magic, gripping storytelling, and hilarious comedy were to be the highlight of library summer reading events.”
Oz, from Iowa, told Wyoming radio station KTWO that the library received backlash after announcing it had books on the LGBTQ + community for the public to view. At a county commissioner’s meeting, the library received more negative feedback and Oz’s name was brought up.
Oz told the station, “Apparently someone was researching all the things that were happening with the library and found out that I am trans. So they called me to let me know that there might be demonstrations. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve never had this before, but as long as my safety and that of the community is okay, I’ll still come and do the shows.’ “
Oz said the libraries have supported her and still want her to play her part.
“It wasn’t until someone called me and said ‘Hey, is that Mikayla?’ and I said yes and they said ‘You are not welcome in our city and if you come here there are going to be problems’, “she said.” I said’ Hey well, can we talk about it? ‘ and they hung up. And it freaked me out because I’m not a confrontational person.
In some images and emails Oz sent to the radio station, people attacked his gender identity, and one email even hinted at the recent San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus satirical video on converting. children to accept others as serious.
The irony is that Oz discovered her love for acts of magic in the library when she was a child. “I started magic when I was 4,” Oz told KTWO. “I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. In fact, I started out by seeing a magician in a library. In this magic show that I saw, the magician encouraged the children to go and see the magic books [at the library] to begin with, and that’s exactly what I did. “
“I finally decided that due to my safety and the safety of others, it was probably not worth the risk,” she said. “Even if it was just protests, I can’t imagine the kids having to walk through these angry adults shouting and holding up signs.”
The Wyoming news comes just days after a bar in the state was accused of selling T-shirts calling for shooting at LGBTQ + people.