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Pentagon Finally Bans Drag Shows on Military Installations

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Proving that persistence and perseverance generally result in wins, the Pentagon has finally decided to enforce a long-standing rule against drag events on military installations amidst GOP pressure. The announcement comes just as so-called “Pride Month” kicks off in our country.

Drag shows and “drag queen story hours” have come under fire in the last year as parents and lawmakers became aware of children being subjected to the events and performances taking place on taxpayer-funded property. From public schools to public libraries, the newfound entertainment fad had also found its way onto military installations.

If it wasn’t for two drag events scheduled at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and Ramstein Air Base in Germany, we might not even know about the Pentagon finally enforcing its own standards. So let’s look at what the five-sided building had to say.

No More Drag For You

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh put out a statement reiterating that the DOD has always had a no-drag event policy; they just now decided to adhere to it:

“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.”

She went on to explain:

“As Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said, 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.”

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This statement comes on the cusp of congressional hearings where both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, claimed to either not support or not even be aware of any drag performances on their military installations.

Yet, when asked by Congressman Matt Gaetz about drag queen story hours, the SECDEF said:

“Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds.”

Secretary Austin’s Chairman followed up with the following:

“I’d like to take a look at those, because I don’t agree with those.”

Allow me to open your eyes to what has been going on at your military bases, General Milley.

Don’t Buy The Hype

It is hard to believe that Secretary Austin and General Milley were unaware or unsupportive, given that they are ultimately in charge of every military installation. For example, in 2021, at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the base senior enlisted group sponsored its first drag show on the base titled ‘Drag-u-Nellis.’

Between 2016 and 2018, Yeoman 3rd Class Joshua Kelley performed for ‘morale and welfare’ drag shows on the USS Ronald Reagan. He was so popular that the Navy continued to use Yeoman Kelley in his drag persona ‘Harpy Daniels’ as a “Digital Ambassador” to help boost recruitment efforts.

And a planned drag queen story hour at the Ramstein Air Base library in Germany was canceled largely due to outrage sparked by Senator Marco Rubio. This latest announcement stopped two known planned drag events: at Nellis Air Force Base and at Ramstein Air Base.

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An Air Force official released a statement after the closures were announced:

“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.”

This change in course has sparked some predictable outrage from the LGBT community.

Oh The Humanity

Lane Fox of the drag group scheduled to perform at Ramstein Air Base was very distraught to hear the news that the DOD was enforcing their no-drag policy.

Lane explained:

“The idea is that we have these public events because for the longest time we weren’t able to do that because you’d get arrested and beaten and killed.”

Lane goes on to lament:

“And now I wake up on June 1 and it’s all corporate pride, and there’s rainbows in every ad and then at the bottom of the rainbow is this big pot of festering lies and hate and fear.”

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The Modern Military Association of America, which advocates for LGBT communities, released the following statement:

“Ensuring our ranks reflect the diversity of the American people is essential to morale and cohesion. It affects recruiting and retention of service members who do not feel welcome due to their sexual and gender identities.”

Is that what the military is for? Is sanctioning drag shows essential for the military, or perhaps there is something else they should be focused on?

A Step In The Right Direction

A recent GAO report indicated that the Navy backlog for ship maintenance tops $1.8 billion. 

Worse, a four-star admiral recently said that China’s navy and space assets are accelerating at a “breathtaking” pace. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin added that China’s air force is “rapidly catching up to Western air forces.”

All of this doesn’t bode well for our chances to counter an inevitable Chinese aggression, but to make matters even worse, last year the military failed to reach their recruitment goals for the first time since the beginning of the all-volunteer force 50 years ago. It would seem as though all those previously-allowed military drag events didn’t boost morale enough even to maintain recruitment levels.

Will this be the last we see or hear of drag shows and drag queen story hours on military bases? Something tells me the answer is no. 

A recent Air Force Diversity Equity and Inclusion leadership memo to Air Force commanders encouraging them to “plan and conduct appropriate activities in honor of Pride Month” has at least one Congressman concerned. Congressman Chip Roy has asked the DOD for a list of “Pride Month” celebrations sponsored and supported by the military.

In the letter, Congressman Roy says:

“The American people deserve an account of every dollar that DOD is diverting away from warfighting capabilities.”

Every American should ask themselves what is more critical; celebrating “Pride Month” with various rainbow-saturated events on military bases that could turn into drag shows or bolstering our military capabilities meant to fight our adversaries and protect our country?

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