A Florida Democrat lawmaker who admitted in a Twitter post Saturday she takes her teenage daughter to drag shows condemned Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) move to revoke the liquor license of an Orlando venue that allowed minors to attend drag show performances.
State Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville), who self-describes as a “community organizer,” denied the sexual nature of drag shows, claiming, instead, the issue is one of “parental rights,” whereby parents can decide to take their children to these performances.
“I’ve taken my teenage daughter to drag shows before,” Nixon tweeted. “Ron DeSantis is literally trying to eliminate Black history & push out our LGBTQ friends. I know what’s appropriate for my child & this is taking away MY PARENTAL RIGHTS. Literally the show is just folx dancing in cute outfits.”
I’ve taken my teenage daughter to drag shows before. Ron DeSantis is literally trying to eliminate Black history & push out our LGBTQ friends. I know what’s appropriate for my child & this is taking away MY PARENTAL RIGHTS. Literally the show is just folx dancing in cute outfits. https://t.co/znFnBpYRYd
— State Rep. Angie Nixon (@AngieNixon) February 4, 2023
So many folks in my mentions trying to attack my parenting for taking my daughter to Hamburger Mary’s. Meanwhile I’m over here raising an international award winning author that travels the country hosting writing workshops. What y’all kids doing?
— State Rep. Angie Nixon (@AngieNixon) February 5, 2023
LGBTQ activists piled on the criticism of the DeSantis administration’s complaint against the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation Inc., filed Friday.
This is about dehumanizing LGBTQ people and targeting them for retribution by the state by portraying LGBTQ people as abberant and deviant. It's absolutely disgusting and should not be tolerated.
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) February 3, 2023
I thought they were the "trust parents" people. Or do they just mean some parents?
— Jacqui Cebrian she/her (@jsquared2k3) February 5, 2023
exactly zero of them have ever begged the government to shut down a movie theater because parents took their kids to an r-rated film. but they’re out here boiling over someone in a wig singing show tunes while your daughter eats scrambled eggs. so tired.
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) February 5, 2023
Other Twitter users, however, reacted to Nixon’s denial of the sexualized drag performances.
You sound like a groomer
— Brian Boru 🇺🇸🍀 (@Brian_Boroimhe) February 4, 2023
Child abuse is not a parental right.
— BobsBigToe (@BobbyMacslittle) February 4, 2023
I've been to a drag show. They aren't appropriate under age 18. Also, removing nonfactual theories from black history, isn't removing black history.
— SoFloBulls (@bulls_flo) February 4, 2023
Florida Voice reported videos of the event, noting that its reporter was removed from the venue without cause.
WATCH: Children were in attendance of performances like 'Screwdolph the Red-Nippled Reindeer,' as listed in the complainthttps://t.co/lGIr4uOozM
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) February 3, 2023
WATCH: A child is seen in the audience watching sexual drag performances pic.twitter.com/vpl1J3js6f
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) December 29, 2022
BREAKING: Florida’s Voice Reporter @AmberJoCooper was kicked out of the drag show because they can’t handle use exposing the truth https://t.co/AvuvvAsbjq
— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) December 29, 2022
The complaint, filed by the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), notes that, on December 28, the Orlando venue “hosted and supported a ticketed event titled “A Drag Queen Christmas,” during which alcoholic beverages were sold to attendees.
“Respondent promoted the Show using targeted, Christmas-themed promotional materials that did not provide notice as to the sexually explicit nature of the Show’s performances or other content,” the complaint continued, adding that, during the show, “children appearing to be less than 16 years of age” were exposed to performers wearing “sexually suggestive clothing and prosthetic female genitalia.”
“[C]hildren appearing to be less than 6 years of age” were allowed to attend, the DeSantis administration said in the complaint, detailing how children attending the show were exposed to “simulated sexual activity” and “indecent displays,” such as:
- “Intentionally” exposing prosthetic female breasts and genitalia to the audience.
- “Intentionally” exposing performers’ buttocks to the audience.
- “Stimulating masturbation through performers’ digitally penetrating prosthetic female genitals.”
- “Graphic depictions of childbirth and/or abortion.”
The complaint noted a song sung during the performance was titled, “Screwdolph the Red-Nippled Reindeer.”
Lyrics of the song were cited in the complaint:
- “You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Vomit and Stupid and Dildo and Dicks-in…”
- “Screwdolph the Red-Nippled Reindeer, had a very shiny bust…”
- “Then one soggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say ‘Screwdolph with your nipples so bright won’t you guide my sleigh tonight.’”
According to the complaint, videos playing on screens behind the drag performers included images of “exposed female breasts with less than a fully opaque covering, portrayals of simulated masturbation, and other sexually explicit content.”
A letter from DBPR to the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, in advance of the event, was obtained by Florida Voice:
The Department has reason to believe that this drag show is of a sexual nature, involving the exposure or exhibition of sexual organs, simulated sexual activity, and/or the sexualization of children’s stories. The Department has also become aware that drag shows by Drag Fans have been marketed to and attended by minors, including young children.
Sexually explicit drag show performances constitute public nuisances, lewd activity, and disorderly conduct when minors are in attendance.
In short, if you allow children to attend the Drag Fans drag show at your facility, you are putting your license in jeopardy.
“To avoid action being taken against your license, it is your obligation to ensure that minors are prohibited from attending the Drag Fans drag show,” wrote Melanie Griffin, secretary of the department. “If minors are allowed to attend this drag show, the Department will take any and all actions available to ensure that you do not pose a threat to minors in the future.”
Florida will continue to enact family-friendly policies to make it easier to raise children and we will defend our children against those who seek to rob them of their innocence. pic.twitter.com/UllhcSepMN
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 6, 2023
“Governor DeSantis stands to protect the innocence of children, and the governor always follows through when he says he will do something,” Press Secretary Bryan Griffin said in a statement to Florida Voice.
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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Angie Nixon” by Angie Nixon for FL State Representative, District 13. Background Photo “Drag Queen” by Greta Hoffman.