The touring Christmas drag queen show that welcomed children in most of its sexually explicit performances across 36 cities is coming to an end in Florida, one of the only states to doing anything about it.
A Drag Queen Christmas, which is described as the “most sexual and inappropriate family-friendly drag show I have ever attended” by independent journalist Taylor Hansen, drags to a finish with Thursday’s performance in Clearwater, Florida.
Controversy has dogged the show, which features men portraying caricatures of women, most of whom are at least partially nude and are either simulating sex acts, dancing provocatively or gyrating suggestively. All this while interacting with a typically “all ages” audience. The show even includes sexualized Christmas stories and an explicit dialogue about real-life sexual encounters.
Despite protest and outrage, officials in many cities and states have done little to prevent children from attending the pornographic performances, advertised as “family friendly” and “all ages.”
In Kansas City, Missouri, a group of concerned moms protested “the sexualization of children” just before the Dec. 20 performance at The Midland Theatre, as reported by The Lion.
“I am a mom to two kids. I believe a parent’s job is to give their kids the best foundation and start to life possible. When they are children, that includes protecting them from unnecessary confusion,” Cassie Bradley Vaughn, one of the protest organizers, told The Lion. “It means providing as many healthy, positive examples as possible. I believe exposing young children to sexual, adult content is not in line with any of those things.”
One Missouri state senator wrote a letter to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and other city leaders urging them to uphold state laws meant to protect children from such content.
“I am calling on you and any and all relevant city officials to do the job you were elected to do and protect children from pornographic performances,” the letter reads. “If you won’t, I call on county and state officials to step in and enforce the law.”
But nothing was done, and the Kansas City event welcomed children. Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City Councilwoman Kathryn Shields and Jackson County Executive Frank White did not respond to The Lion’s request for comment.
Not so in Chesterfield, Missouri, near St. Louis. The show at The Factory was changed to 18+ when Missouri Sen. Bill Eigel pressured Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation to enforce state and local laws and require the venue change the age restriction for the show.
“I urge you to take immediate action to ensure the venue does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to participate in the event,” Eigel wrote in a letter to Nation on Dec. 19.
The sexually explicit nature of the show and its potentially illegal marketing to children also caught the attention of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office, as it announced the show is under investigation for allegedly exposing children to “sexualized acts” as reported by Fox News.
“The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is aware of multiple complaints about a sexually explicit performance marketed to children held in Fort Lauderdale on December 26th,” reads a statement from DeSantis’ Press Secretary Bryan Griffin.
“The Department is actively investigating this matter, including video footage and photographs from the event. DPBR will, like in other cases, take action. Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida, and such action violates the Department’s licensing standards for operating a business and holding a liquor license.”
It remains to be seen whether any legal action will be taken against the show, its producers, the performers or the venues that staged the all-ages performances.