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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Christmas Drag Show At Orlando's Plaza Live Targeted by Protestors & State Officials

Controversy hit The Plaza Live on Bumby Street last night as a Christmas drag show was targeted by hundreds of protestors and state officials.

Last week we reported that A Drag Queen Christmas was coming to The Plaza Live last night, Wednesday, December 28.

The show which was coming to Orlando for the eighth year in a row, was hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race season 11 star, and Miss Congeniality winner Nina West, and included Heidi N Closet, Jasmine Kennedie, Silky Ganache and Jimb, together with special guest Todrick Hall. in a show that included several RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, including season winners, fan favorites and Miss Congeniality winners.

A Drag Queen Christmas At Orlando's Plaza Live

The show has never caused any controversy in the past several years that it has been coming to Orlando, but the reason the show appears to have been targeted this time is that the event’s ticketing page read “all ages welcome.”

Earlier in the day, Wednesday, The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation targeted The Plaza Live owners, The Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, sending them a letter that threatened to suspend the venue’s alcohol license if any children or younger teens attended the performance of “A Drag Queen Christmas” by the drag group Drag Fans.

In the letter, state officials wrote that they believed the show, may have involved “the exposure of sexual organs, simulated sexual activity, and/or the sexualization of children’s stories.”

According to the department, Drag Fans’ drag shows have been marketed to and attended by young children in the past. State officials added that sexually explicit drag shows constitute public nuisances, lewd activity and disorderly conduct when children are attending the shows.

Secretary of Business and Professional Regulation Melanie Griffin said that the foundation would be responsible for making sure that no minors are in attendance at Wednesday’s show.

“In short, if you allow children to attend the Drag Fans drag show at your facility, you are putting your license in jeopardy...” Griffin wrote. “If minors are allowed to attend this drag show, the Department will take any and all actions available to ensure that you do not pose a threat to minors in the future.”

This will be the second performance of the show that The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has targeted after it was revealed that the department was investigating a separate performance of the same show on Monday evening in Fort Lauderdale.

In a statement, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the department is actively looking into Monday's Fort Lauderdale show — including using video footage and photos from the event to see if children were there.

"Exposing children to sexually explicit activity is a crime in Florida, and such action violates the Department's licensing standards for operating a business and holding a liquor license," Bryan Griffin said.

A spokesperson from the Broward Center of Performing Arts where Monday's performance was held, stated that the show was for guests over the age of 18, unless their parents brought them.

Last night as the show went ahead in Orlando, police were in attendance to oversee protestors and counter protestors who had gathered outside the venue ahead of the performance.

Protestors proclaiming to be conservatives, and christians compared the show to a strip show at a strip club, and claimed the show was x rated and pornographic, and that taking a child to a drag show amounted to child abuse.

Counter protestors pushed back on the claims stating that the show included no nudity, and that it was up to parents whether their kids could attend a mature content show or not, much the same as in movie theatres.

The protests and counter protests continued until after the show ended, with no reports of any physical altercations, or arrests.

The show is performing its last night of the tour tonight, Thursday in Clearwater, although the venue, Ruth Eckerd Hall, has specified that audience members must be 18 or older.


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