Ron DeSantis Takes War On Drag To The Orlando Philharmonic

Ron DeSantis Takes War On Drag To The Orlando Philharmonic

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a man obsessed. He spends his days worrying that school children will learn the kind of history that will make them less inclined to be good soldiers willing to die for the greatest nation on earth and his nights thinking about drag queens and how to stop them. Oh, those evil, evil drag queens. Going around, wearing glamorous outfits and lip synching to Cher without a care in the world about how that affects him, the Governor of Florida.

The latest battle in his ongoing War on Drag Queens has taken DeSantis to the Orlando Philharmonic — not to enjoy their upcoming production of Mahler's 5th, but to file a complaint against them in hopes of taking their liquor license away. Why? Because they hosted a performance of a show called “A Drag Queen Christmas” back in December and did not explicitly bar children from attending. DeSantis claims that this amounts to "sexualizing" children, which is of course ridiculous.

According to right-wing news site The Floridian, which first reported the news, charges being explored are "a lewd or lascivious exhibition to victims under 16, using the venue for lewd activity knowing children are present, unlawful exposure of sexual organs in a vulgar/indecent manner to children (including fake ones), knowingly promoting and performing in an obscene act in front of minors, disorderly conduct, and maintaining a public nuisance."

The official complaint included multiple pictures of children who were there with their parents. Apparently DeSantis thinks that parents should not be allowed to decide for themselves what their children can watch. The offending acts in the show included fake breasts being "exposed" and also a butt or two, as well as "simulated masturbation" with prosthetic female genitals and "graphic depictions of childbirth and/or abortion."

It also included pictures of the supposedly offensive parts of the show. The photos are a little grainy in that "bigfoot spotted" kind of way, so perhaps I am missing something.

The absolute most explicit of these pictures are things kids might see during the halftime show of a football game or, hell, the gymnastics portion of the summer Olympics.

To be clear, any children that were at the event were attending with their parents. In all of the pictures featured in the complaint, there were no kids hanging out alone, by themselves. Parents are allowed, in the state of Florida and everywhere, to take kids to R-rated movies, many of which are likely far more explicit than this show was. By the description of the show and the pictures, it is not especially more lewd than Beaches, which many of us watched on repeat throughout our own childhoods. Or hell, even Yentl, which featured both drag and Mandy Patinkin's literal fine ass. It's not more explicit than Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, which most of us had to watch in school. Hell, even Grease, which many schools do as a musical, has a mooning scene.

Grease - Blue

Honestly, I actually can't think of any "teen movie" off the top of my head that is not as or more explicit than this drag show supposedly was. Is DeSantis gonna crack down on screenings of American Pie?

This isn't about any fear of "sexualizing" children. DeSantis has no quarrel with parents who want to take their children to Hooters. He has no issue with child pageants, which are of course very popular in the state of Florida. He's upset about drag queens. Why? Because drag queens are fun and awesome and drag shows are a great time for everyone involved. Indeed, there is very little question that the popularity of drag queens was integral to America's change of attitude towards LGBTQ people over the last few decades. Ultimately, people like to be where the fun is.

DeSantis and others are trying to make drag seem evil and scary because they know how effective drag queens are in making people less homophobic — and if people aren't homophobic and transphobic, Republicans can't use that to mobilize voters. It's the same reason why One Million Moms (Actually Just The One Mom) goes after random commercials featuring same-sex couples. The big fear is normalization.

It's not just the Orlando Philharmonic that is getting hurt here. Ron DeSantis is willing to say to the people of Orlando "No, you cannot go to the symphony and have a glass of wine, because I am mad about drag queens!" He is willing to deprive them of an important cultural center in order to gain another "win" in his ridiculous culture war. Ultimately, that's a pretty shitty thing to do to people.

While it's hard to imagine that many Orlando Republicans will consider being deprived of the ability to hear live classical music to be any kind of last straw, perhaps some of the "I only vote Republican because I hate poor people" types will start to see how extreme he is.

Do your Amazon shopping through this link, because reasons.

Wonkette is independent and fully funded by readers like you. Click below to tip us!

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)


©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc