The anticipated drag queen performance, intended for children at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, has been called off following inquiries by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to Pentagon chiefs regarding the rationale for its organization despite their previously stated objections to such events on bases.
Rep. Gaetz celebrates ‘huge victory’
Gaetz celebrated the decision on social media, posting on Twitter, “HUGE VICTORY: The Department of Defense has CANCELED a scheduled ‘child-friendly’ drag show after I demanded answers from @SecDef Austin and General Milley!”
The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council, which had planned the show, made an announcement on Facebook, which was later procured by Breitbart News.
The post read:
“The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council is saddened to inform you that we are no longer able to host our annual Pride Month Drag Show on Nellis AFB. We have received notification that the DoD has directed Commanders not to host Drag events on military installations”.
Council details other planned ‘Pride Month’ festivities
The post also detailed other Pride Month festivities unrelated to drag shows, such as a panel discussion, a “Paint with Pride” event, a color run at the base’s fitness center, a mixer, and a commemoration walk.
Their announcement concluded with, “We will continue to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community during PRIDE month. Come show your PRIDE with us!”
Earlier in the year, Gaetz questioned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley about their stance on drag queen performances and storytelling sessions on military bases.
Despite initial claims of unawareness, Gaetz provided evidence, including news articles about various drag queen events hosted on military bases.
Ultimately, Austin and Milley expressed their non-support of these events on bases.
“Drag queen story hours is not something that the Department funds,” stated Austin at that point.
However, this month saw Gaetz delivering a letter to Austin and Milley – first reported by Breitbart News – querying the planning of a drag show at the Nellis Air Force Base on the first of June.
As reported by NBC News, while the event had been approved by Air Force authorities, Austin and Milley conveyed to the Air Force that DOD policy does not fund drag shows on bases, and the event should be called off or moved off the premises. According to reports, Milley was notably upset about the decision to hold the event on base.
An Air Force representative told NBC News, “Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location.”
Deputy press secretary for the Pentagon, Sabrina Singh, also communicated to NBC News, “Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment.”
“Secretary Austin said that the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources.”
Breitbart News initially reported on the “Drag-u-Nellis” show at the Nellis AFB in June 2021.