SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (WTVD) -- As local and federal authorities search for a motive for the attack on substations in Moore County, Sheriff Ronnie Fields says they are investigating if the vandalism is related to protests over a local drag show on the same night.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, a crowd with permits gathered outside the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines to protest the show. Supporters were also in attendance.
The Downtown Divas Drag Show was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in downtown Southern Pines. It was a fundraiser for Sandhills Pride, the local nonprofit supporting the LGBTQ community.
The show started late due to the controversy and power went out 40 minutes into the performance. The audience used their cell phones to light the room so the show could go on.
The headliner for the show, Naomi Dix said she decided to end the show early for everyone's safety and people have reached out from across the nation to offer support.
"This is no longer about a drag event that took place in Moore County," Dix said. "This is about the victims of Moore County and this is also about the community or a marginalized community, which is the queer and drag community that is being affected by this. This is life or death here for some people and I just want them to feel safe. I want them to feel included. I don't want people to forget about them. I don't want this to be overshadowed by you know potential acts of terrorism."
Dix said she is working on ways to help Moore County residents affected by the outage.
Authorities said they have found no evidence specifically connecting the power grid attack to a protest against the drag show.
Dix said the controversy and protests will not stop her from planning a future show in Moore County. "I will return," Dix explained.
"This is a tactic. If this is in fact, something that is to target the queer community and we don't know that as of yet, but if this is, in fact, something that will target or is targeting the queer community, what I say to my own community, and its allies is that this is literally a hidden agenda in order to scare us and to make us feel threatened so that we can be silenced. This is not a moment to silence yourself. This is a moment to speak up and speak out. If you see anything if you hear anything if there's anything that you feel is a threat to your community, or give us answers as to where this is coming from specifically when it comes to Moore County, speak up. Don't be scared. Don't be nervous and if you don't feel comfortable or you don't give your consent to speak out, use me as a tool. I am here for you. I am here to speak up and speak out for you," Dix said.