Footage has emerged of children in attendance at an adult-themed drag show in the Seattle area.
On Saturday, the ReMyx’d bar in Arlington, Wash. hosted a drag show titled, “Celebrating Mothers.” The promotional flyers for the event described it as an “all-ages” show featuring $12 bottomless mimosas.
Videos recorded during the May 13 event showed one of the scantily-clad performers, “Columbia Blue” using a pole, wearing stripper heels and gyrating sexually on the floor during several dance routines. Children can be seen sitting next to adults in the venue.
So-called “all ages” or “family-friendly” drag shows have become increasingly popular for young families in the last year across the U.S. Some videos of the shows have provoked viral controversies for featuring nudity, simulated sex acts and sex jokes in front of children.
In reaction, several Republican-dominated states have passed or attempted to pass legislation placing some restrictions on adult-themed performances where children may be present. In March, Tennessee was the first state where such a bill was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee, however, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the law pending a First Amendment lawsuit by an LGBTQ+ group.
Flyer for the “all ages” Mother’s Day-themed drag show in Arlington, Wash. on May 13
Republican lawmakers in Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Arkansas and nine other states have introduced similar pending bills in recent months, citing the need to safeguard children from adult performances. The ACLU and other activist groups vow to challenge the bills in court if they are signed into law.
Despite drag being championed as child-friendly, several drag queens who work with youth or children have faced child sex crime charges or been convicted.
In March, an Oregon drag queen star and “drag mom,” or mentor, to a child drag performer was convicted of 11 felonies related to possessing and distributing child sex abuse content. Kelsey Meta Boren, who is trans, told detectives her need for child sex abuse content was like an "uncontrollable itch that she couldn't stop."
Kelsey Meta Boren, a biological female and drag queen star, appears to have begun a gender transition
In June 2022, Pennsylvania drag queen and LGBTQ+ youth advocate “Anastasia Diamond,” real name Brice Williams, was charged with 25 counts of child pornography. That case remains ongoing.
Pennsylvania drag queen and LGBTQ+ youth advocate “Anastasia Diamond,” real name Brice Williams, was charged with 25 counts of child pornography
In March 2019, the Houston Public Library issued an apology after a performer for its Drag Queen Storytime was revealed to be a convicted child sex offender. Albert Alfonso Garza, a trans person who uses the drag name “Tatiana Mala Niña,” had a prior conviction for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old in Texas. A second drag queen who went to the library’s drag events was also revealed to have been convicted of sex crimes against children as a teen.
Albert A. Garza, a trans person who used the drag name “Tatiana Mala Niña,” had a prior child sex crime conviction
Supporters of drag shows say the bills are an attack on the LGBTQ+ community, especially when Republicans have also introduced legislation attempting to limit the medical transitioning of children. But not all LGBT activists feel the same.
Jaimee Michell, founder of the group Gays Against Groomers, says it is demeaning to suggest that child safeguarding is “anti-LGBTQ.”
“We do not condone children being at these performances, in the same way we wouldn’t condone children being at strip clubs,” Michell says. “Drag has always been adult entertainment.”
The ReMyx’d bar is owned by Brenton Holland. In addition to the drag shows, it also recently hosted an adult-themed “Naughty Bingo” event. The business was reached for comment about if its “all-ages” drag shows are vetted for age appropriateness and safeguarding. ReMyx’d did not respond by the time of publication.
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