The Texas comptroller said the state has opened an investigation into a Dallas bar that held a drag show for children earlier this summer.
In a statement released Friday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar identified himself as one of many Texas parents who found themselves “disturbed by the recent images showing children participating in a drag show in the Dallas area, including one of a child placing money in a performer’s undergarment.”
The drag show in question, which was dubbed as a “family-friendly pride experience” called “Drag the Kids to Pride,” took place at Mr. Misster bar in Dallas on June 4.
“I know this is a concerning issue for many Texans, and the images circulating are certainly inconsistent with our Texas values,” he added. “Though my office does not typically comment on ongoing investigations, the recent public discussion surrounding this specific entity demands a response.”
Hegar assured concerned Texans that “my office had already begun the process of investigating this specific event, as well as working to determine if the establishment is liable for the Sexually Oriented Business Fee (SOBF) under Chapter 102 of the Business Code.”
Hegar’s announcement came one day after Republican state Rep. Bryan Slaton called on Hegar to treat Mr. Misster as a “sexually-oriented business.” As Slaton explained, “Sexually-oriented businesses are required to pay $5 per attendee present and they must also prevent children and sex offenders from attending or participating.”
Slaton emerged as an outspoken opponent of the idea of drag shows for kids when news of the “Drag the Kids to Pride” event at Mr. Misster first broke in early June. At the time, Slaton vowed to introduce legislation that would ban drag shows for minors as soon as the next session of the Texas legislature began. Two months later, the state lawmaker has described any action by Hegar as a temporary measure to “enforce existing law and protect Texas kids while I work with my colleagues in the Texas Legislature.”
Video footage from the event shows a performer dressed in red leather drag taking tips from small children as he suggestively danced under a sign that read, “It’s not going to lick itself.” A description of the June 4 drag show on Eventbrite promoted the availability of “Mr. Misster Mocktails” for guests under the age of 21 while highlighting “FIVE limited spots for young performers to take the stage solo, or with a queen of their choosing.”
Following Hegar’s public statement indicating his intention to investigate the drag show for kids, Slaton praised the state comptroller for his “strong leadership on this important issue.” The state lawmaker asserted that “when it comes to protecting children from grotesque content, Texans deserve lawmakers who will stand up for our children’s innocence.”
“Any business that allows kids to attend an event of a sexual nature should be held accountable, and I am proud of Glenn Hegar for taking steps in that direction,” he remarked. “Like many Texans, I am eagerly awaiting the results of his investigation. I will continue working toward passing legislation to ensure children are never again subjected to these events.”
In an earlier statement to The Christian Post, a spokesperson for Mr. Misster lamented that the attention the establishment received due to the outcry over the “Drag the Kids to Pride” event led to hundreds of “threatening emails, messages and phone calls” as well as protesters “yelling in kids’ faces, calling them a variety of homophobic slurs, throwing trash at them and trying to get in fights with parents.”
“We are sad to see that an event that was [supposed] to be a moment of pride for these LGBTQ+ families and their children is being interpreted as anything other than it was, a family-friendly event. … We are thankful that [the Dallas Police Department] stepped in to control the unruly protestors and we are saddened by the unjust actions that these protestors displayed.”
CP reached out to Mr. Misster for comment on Texas state officials’ attempts to probe whether or not to impose a “sexually-oriented business fee” on their establishment. A response was not received by press time.
The controversy surrounding the Drag Your Children to Pride Event comes as the prevalence of Drag Queen Story Hours targeted toward young children at some public libraries has raised concern among parents throughout the U.S. At the same time, public schools’ embrace of LGBT ideology, including many public schools’ participation in “Jazz & Friends” Reading Day, has also raised alarm among parental rights activists.
As part of the Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings earlier this year, schools across the U.S. partnered with the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign to read books about trans-identified children to students. In addition to I am Jazz, a semi-autobiographical tale about trans-identified activist Jazz Jennings, recommended reading for the day included CALVIN: Time to Be Me!
“Calvin has always been a boy, even if the world sees him as a girl. He knows who he is in his heart and in his mind, but he hasn’t yet told his family. Finally, he can wait no longer,” a description for the book reads. A lesson plan for the day advises teachers to tell students that “gender is a spectrum, not a binary, and that we all express ourselves in many different ways along that spectrum.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: [email protected]