Official Who Hired Transgender Stripper for Homelessness Conference Is Suspended
The stripper, named Beyoncé Black St. James, reportedly danced on tables, gave lap dances
A Seattle public official who hired a transgender stripper to dance topless at her agency’s annual homelessness conference has been suspended.
The stripper, named Beyoncé Black St. James, reportedly “danced on tables, gave lap dances, and stripped down to a pair of silver pasties as people threw dollar bills,” at the conference which was held on December 9, according to Erica C. Barnett on her website.
Acting director of King County’s coordinating agency for homelessness, Kira Zylstra, organized the “All Home” conference at South Seattle College and hired the stripper.
Zylstra was placed on administrative leave, and an investigation was launched into St. James’s performance.
The conference themes was named “decolonizing our collective work.”
Those in attendance at the homelessness event included:
- City and county employees
- Representatives of Catholic Community Services
- Mary’s Place
- Neighborhood House
Barnett’s report added:
Although some who saw the performance called it fun, “fabulous” and a rare opportunity for queer people of color—St James is black— to be represented in the sort of space usually dominated by straight white people, others disagreed, complaining that the show was too “sexual” and forced people to participate in a sexualized performance without prior consent.
Last week, Seattle and King County leaders hired transgender stripper Beyoncé Black St. James to perform at their annual conference on solving homelessness.— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) December 15, 2019
Here's how they're using taxpayer money: pic.twitter.com/J0lCKVVfgO
St. James’s striptease was described in the program only as a “cultural presentation," according to The Seattle Times.
“No one expected it,” a staffer told the Times.
“So, I think some people felt uncomfortable.”
Deputy director of King County’s Department of Community and Human Services, Denise Rothleutner, said in an email to Barnett:
The department is aware of an event that occurred during the All Home annual conference on December 9, 2019.
We have placed the director of All Home on administrative leave, pending the results of an investigation into the event and the leadership of All Home.
Because there is an active investigation underway, I am unable to respond to specific questions about the event.
Zylstra is paid about $123,000 a year as acting director, according to the Times.