A “Pride” festival in Idaho faced major backlash this weekend over plans to include kids performing in drag.
The 33rd annual Boise Pride Festival took place Friday through Sunday, but the controversy over the drag show started in the days leading up to the event.
A show in which children as young as 11 would be dressed in drag performing for adults with various songs and dances was to take place on Sunday. The official flier for the event encouraged attendees to come “cheer on” these children as they “bring drag to the younger generation.”
“You have watched the Queens and Kings and now it is time to see the Kids,” the flier says. “A drag show like none other, the Drag Kids range from ages 11 – 18 and are ready to bring it all to the Boise Pride Festival stage!”
But the show was “postponed” after several sponsors pulled out of the festival over concerns that minors were involved.
The Idaho Central Credit Union, a “violet” level sponsor, pulled their support from the event along with Zions Bank, Idaho CapEd Credit Union, Idaho Power and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
“When we committed to our sponsorship of this year’s Boise Pride Festival, we were unaware of the events and activities involving children/minors,” CapEd said in a statement. “After careful consideration, we have made the decision to withdraw our sponsorship of this year’s Boise Pride Festival and have communicated this to the event organizers.”
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare also released a statement, reported by local media: “To avoid any confusion regarding DHW’s support of such activities, DHW is withdrawing both of its Orange Level sponsorships and Project Filter will no longer be supporting a booth at the event this weekend.”
Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon criticized the event and its sponsors last week for “the sexualization of our children and the perverse idea that children should engage in sexual performances with adult entertainers.”
Donald Williamson, executive director of the Boise Pride Festival, fired back on Twitter, saying, “The only perversion and sexualization of this performance is coming from extremists and people like Dorothy Moon, who are twisting it into something it is not.”
Williamson tweeted a number of times during the event, including calling those opposed to some of the events “bigots.”
“Current protester count – F**k all!”, he tweeted Friday, showing an image appearing to show protestors had left for the night.
“#Boise I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much for turning out! F**K THE BIGOTS!!!” he added in another tweet.
On Thursday, the Idaho Republican Party tweeted a letter urging concerned citizens contact sponsors of the festival and consider protesting the event.
“The Radical Left, out-of-state corporate donors, and their defenders in the Legacy Media, are using taxpayer funded resources to promote the sexualization of Idaho children by adult entertainers – in a public park,” the letter read.