‘Family friendly’ drag show canceled at Nevada Air Force base

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Day at The Center on May 05, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount+)
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount+)

OAN’s Noah Herring
10:40 AM – Thursday, June 1, 2023

The Pentagon ordered a Nevada Air base to cancel a drag show that was scheduled for the first day of Pride Month. 


The decision came a week after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) had questioned the Department of Defense why a “child-friendly” drag show was being hosted at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

“HUGE VICTORY,” Gaetz tweeted. “Drag shows should not be taking place on military installations with taxpayer dollars PERIOD!”

The Department of Defense notified the Nellis Air force Base to either cancel the show or relocate the event somewhere off military grounds.

“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,” said Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary.

The base’s Air Force officials defended the decision to host drag events at the time describing it as “an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history and significance of drag performance art within the LGBT+ community.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley were the two responsible for ordering the cancellation of the event. 

“Drag queen story hours is not something that the Department funds,” Austin said, with Milley adding that he was unaware of the drag events. 

In a letter, Gaetz reminded Austin and Milley about their testimony in front of the House Armed Services Committee on March 29th, where they had disapproved drag performances.

“On March 29, 2023, during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the ‘FY24 Defense Budget Request,’ I questioned you about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs within the Department of Defense (DoD). I find it completely unacceptable that DoD is using taxpayer dollars to fund DEI programs that are divisive in nature. DoD resources should be used for mission-essential operations, not diverted toward initiatives that create cultural fissures within our service ranks,” Gaetz wrote in the letter. 

Gaetz continued, “When I highlighted specific cases of drag queen story hours and drag shows occurring on U.S. military bases, shockingly, you indicated you were unaware that such events are taking place. However, I am pleased to know you do not support these drag events and agree with me that they should not be happening.”

Other drag shows had taken place at the Nellis Air Force Base in 2021 and 2022. 

This year’s event was scheduled to headline RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 star CoCo Montrese and had no age requirement, according to the advertisement of the event. 

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