Drag Show At Air Force Base Canceled After Pentagon Leadership Intervenes

The event was set to take place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada on Thursday, the first day of Pride month.

The Pentagon has blocked a U.S. Air Force base in Nevada from hosting a drag show this week, according to multiple news reports.

The event was set to take place at Nellis Air Force Base on Thursday, the first day of Pride month, but the department’s leadership, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly interjected and told the Air Force the department could not fund the event on site.

They allegedly called for the event to be moved elsewhere or be pulled altogether.

CNN reported Thursday’s canceled show would have been the third annual drag event to be held at the air force base.

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said “hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources.”

“As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities,” Singh added in the statement.

“Our Service members are diverse and are allowed to have personal outlets,” Singh continued.

The event had been advertised as a “family-friendly show” with no minimum age requirement for attendees.

Coco Montrese, a drag queen who was set to perform in Thursday’s event, told 8 News Now she was “shocked and disappointed” by the decision.

“I performed in the very first drag show on the Nellis Air Force base a few years ago, but recently the attacks on the LGBTQ+ community are getting louder and louder,” she said in a statement.

Montrese continued: “Creating a narrative by certain actions is careless because actions do speak louder than words. This action, 24 hours before the event would take place, is a clear message. I think we all know what that message is.”

Pride events, including drag performances, have come under attack by Republicans across the country who have pushed legislation restricting the shows. Most recently, Texas passed a bill that drag performers worry could be use to crack down on their shows, according to The Associated Press.

In March, right-wing Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) had questioned Austin and Milley about drag queen story hours taking place at military bases during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

“Drag shows are not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds,” Austin said.

Gaetz subsequently wrote to Austin and Milley in May to request information on Pride events scheduled at military installations, including the drag show at Nellis Air Force Base.

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