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Del. assistant fire chief demoted, suspended for using slur about drag queen

Lewes Firefighter Williams Buckaloo, the department’s past chief, allegedly made the offensive post after watching the drag queen perform on Sunday

Shannon Marvel McNaught
Dover Post, Del.

LEWES, Del. — Jeremy Bernstein grew up in rural in Maryland. Sneaking into drag shows in Rehoboth Beach inspired him to become a drag performer. Today, he performs as Magnolia Applebottom.

A Lewes Fire Department director and former chief has been suspended after using a slur in a social media post.

William Buckaloo posted on Facebook from The Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach on Sunday night. The post included two photos — one of himself and one of drag queen Magnolia Applebottom performing at the Blue Moon.

In the post, Buckaloo used a derogatory term to describe the show. The post was quickly deleted but not before screenshots of it could be saved.

Magnolia Applebottom has been a headliner at the Blue Moon since 2013 and her show, “Climax with Magnolia Applebottom at The Blue Moon,” was recently named “Best Rehoboth Live Show” by the Washington (D.C.) Blade, the oldest LGBT newspaper in the country.

Magnolia Applebottom is performer Jeremy Bernstein. He shared the screenshot and added, “Apparently some people still feel the need to be bigots and be hateful on social media while watching my show... This type of hate needs to stop. Rude and unacceptable.”[0]=AZUa0nLlIEn91tBIXjs1Ugy9D0gwa0UgfoixN6BSGODRa1Q3gb-oZswOQZqPvuC0xcf4G3m9T5WAmwLdRjNozY3jaHMUFbPtREmAoNPqnhfWhqMMKwGCiovF0AQY-bq-zyXQCyAd4BmtZahd7rAkBYiQ&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R

Bernstein said Buckaloo was a great audience member at the show, even tipping the drag queen.

“That’s why I was so shocked he would say something so derogatory about my performance,” Bernstein said. “It was disrespectful and upsetting.”

Bernstein said Buckaloo reached out via Facebook messenger and apologized.

“The words are kind of meaningless,” Bernstein said. “I think a lot of LGBTQ people are upset because... What if our house is on fire and there’s a pride flag out front? Are you not going to save the house because we’re gay? It’s about trust.”

On Monday, the Lewes Fire Department posted on its Facebook page that Buckaloo “has been relieved of his position as assistant chief and suspended from the department pending the outcome of a full investigation.”

Buckaloo is listed on the fire department webpage as a director. He last served as chief in 2018.

In July 2018, the Lewes Police Department charged Buckaloo with disorderly conduct while he was serving as chief. He and another man stripped down to their underwear and urinated into the Lewes Canal, according to court documents.


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