CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – “A Drag Queen Christmas” show at The Factory in Chesterfield sparked outrage, with groups of protestors clashing over the content. Drag shows have recently become the center of controversy across the country.
The event in Chesterfield became controversial because all ages could attend, and some lawmakers and others claimed the content was inappropriate for minors. In its eighth year, the popular drag show featuring contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race intends to entertain and cheer people up during the holiday season.
“It’s so full of joy and happiness. It really is supposed to be a safe space that we can all enjoy and come together as a community to feel like we belong,” said Robert Fischer, an attendee and LGBTQ+ advocate with PROMO.
“Putting drag queens with Christmas is like slapping God in the face,” said Tony Kozich, one of the protesters.
Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation decided to increase the age requirement to 18 and up, citing violations of multiple local ordinances on what’s acceptable for minors.
“In no way is this meant to disrespect or put down the LGBTQ+ community, or in no way is this meant to restrict drag shows,” Nation said. “Those are legal entities, it’s just the content that we were told might occur. We thought we should suggest limiting the age limit, and the promoters readily did that.”
Shortly after discussions began with the promoters, Senator Bill Eigel, representing St. Charles County, sent a letter to the mayor encouraging the change to “protect minors” from the “illegal” “pornographic material.”
It gained attention from multiple organizations, sparking a conversation on what constitutes sexual obscenity.
Protestors and counter-protestors came out in droves, shouting their opinions at opposing sides in the parking lot outside the venue.
“There should be no obscene material or performance period, and it’s beyond me that anyone can book a performance like this,” said Dawn DeBlaze.
“Not in Missouri,” and “Save our children,” are signs read by those against the show, while LGBTQ+ advocates waved rainbow flags and chanted, “Hate has to go.”
“They are full of hate for a group that they know nothing about, and it affects them in no way,” said Niki Taylor. “It’s disgusting.”
An arrest was made outside the venue.
Despite heated exchanges and a growing debate, the show still went on.