A group of Chicago residents is up in arms (like they should be) about a scheduled play titled, “A Virtuous Pedophile” at the upcoming Chicago Fringe Festival.
This play is one of the 50 being put on at the festival that is running until September 10, but it’s arguably the most controversial. The play questions if pedophiles who don’t act on their sick urges deserve sympathy.
The play’s description is equally as contentious as the title. “Can liberals accept that pedophilia is a legitimate sexuality?” writes the description.
20+ residents in the Northwest Chicago will be protesting the play this Sunday at 7:45 pm outside of the Gift Theater. The protest has been posted on the Facebook page “Residents Against Upzoning at 5150 N. Northwest Highway” with almost 1,000 followers.
“Neighbors will be gathering outside of the theater to show support for victims of pedophilia and sexual abuse,” said Patrick Gamboney, Jefferson Park resident said in a statement. “The goal is voice our opposition to fest organizers and our elected leaders that this ‘art’ is not welcome in Jefferson Park or anywhere in our community.”
The festival is known for promoting outside-of-the-box plays which are selected through a lottery system.
The actor and playwright Sean Neely defends the play claiming that it doesn’t advocate pedophilia or sexual abuse. The play focuses on an online community of pedophiles who choose to not act on their inappropriate feelings.
The play is based on the real online community, “VirPed.” One of the “non-offending pedophiles” who is publicly part of the online group is Todd Nickerson.
‘I am a pedophile. I’m not a monster. I have the attraction but I don’t act on it. I have never ever sexually abused a child and I never will. I do not look at child porn, I never will. I obey the laws, I respect the laws, I respect society’s position on this. I understand it and agree with it,” said Nickerson to Barcroft TV late last year.
Yet, he is advocating tolerance.
The playwright Neely has said he isn’t a pedophile and has a track record of putting on wildly proactive shows. He has portrayed both a white supremacist and a serial rapist in past shows.
“The majority of these people are in no danger of offending, but they’re quietly suffering because there’s no open door to ask for help without being shunned,” said Neely, who is also a father of two. “So for me personally, I thought there’s no better forum than the theater to talk about this in a matter-of-fact way.”
He defends his work as “an effort to explore crimes from the perspective of the perpetrator, instead of the victim, which is what a lot of theater does. It’s an exercise in empathy and an experiment in belief.”
The Chicago Fringe Festival Director Anne Cauley also supports keeping the play in the festival.
“We do not allow illegal activity in our festival, but that doesn’t mean illegal behavior can’t be represented in our shows,” said Cauley. “The arts for all time have been exploring uncomfortable situations. You don’t look at ‘Game of Thrones’ and say ‘That must mean HBO condones rape.'”
However, the local protesters want the festival to remove the play and will be encouraging a boycott of the entire festival.
“We need the Chicago Fringe Festival and Ald. John Arena to ensure that survivors of sexual assault feel safe in our community,” said Gamboney. “We cannot condone or support pedophilia, this artist or the fest that is hosting him, in any way.”
Author’s note: Pedophiles don’t deserve sympathy. This isn’t a sexual preference it’s a psychological condition and a crime. This play is attempting to “normalize” pedophilia and the residents in Chicago have a right to be upset. We are now more concerned for the children in Chicago.
Editor’s note: This is certainly disgusting. Where’s the outcry in the mainstream media? Remember pedophilia is ALWAYS RAPE and always a crime. A child can never give consent for sex.
These people are preaching tolerance for pedophiles. Sometimes you have to be intolerant, especially when the lives and well-being of children are at stake.