Kari Lake is horrified by kids at drag shows but did she let her own daughter watch one?

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2022/06/18/kari-lake-attacks-drag-shows-but-did-she-expose-her-daughter-drag/7672290001/

OPINION: Kari Lake is worried about the impact of drag shows on children but a well-known Valley drag queen in Phoenix says she performed at Lake’s house, in front of Lake’s young daughter.

Laurie Roberts
Arizona Republic
 
Kari Lake poses with drag queen Celia Putty. Lake's T-shirt is an advertisement for Rick Stevens' drag show in which he performs as Barbra Seville.
 

Count Kari Lake among the outraged over the latest controversy to fire up the far right.

Drag queens, that would be.

It is, Lake assures us, positively indecent that children have attended drag performances.

“They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens,” she said on Friday, on Instagram and Twitter. “They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies. Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory.”

Kari Lake tweet from June 18, 2022.
 

While we’re at it, let’s also bring in a drag queen who has known Lake for well over two decades.

Rick Stevens is one of the Valley’s best known drag artists, performing for the last 25 years as Barbra Seville at theaters, bars and parties around town — and, he says, at parties held at Kari Lake’s home.

One of those parties, he says, was attended by Lake’s then-elementary school-aged daughter.

So you can imagine that Lake’s social media posts demonizing drag were a stunner.

“She’s friends with drag queens,” he told me. “She’s had her kid in front of a drag queen. I’ve done drag in her home for her friends and family. She’s not threatened by them. She would come to shows constantly. To make me be the bogeyman for political gain it was just too much.”

Stevens, who is supporting Democrat Katie Hobbs for governor, on Friday evening posted pictures of Lake posing with him and another drag performer as well as some of their correspondence from 2015. Similar pictures, dated 2012 and 2014, are posted to Kari Lake’s social media.

The Lake campaign says Lake’s daughter has never attended a drag show.

“Richard’s accusations were full of lies,” she said, in a statement emailed to me. “The event in question was a party at someone else’s house, and the performer was there as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. It wasn’t a drag show, and the issue we’re talking about isn’t adults attending drag shows, either. The issue is activists sexualizing young children, and that’s got to stop.”

Actually, a man dressing up as a female and entertaining an audience is considered a drag performance. 

Drag shows are the latest front in America’s culture wars. It all started earlier this month in Texas (as so many things do) with a Dallas gay bar’s “Drag the Kids to Pride” event, which was billed as “a family friendly drag show.”

While conservative politicians were fairly fainting over what they called the “sexual perversion” of our children, it’s unclear what was giving them the vapors. In the video clip that went viral on social media, prompting all the outrage, the performers were clothed and the dancing didn’t appear overly sexual.

There was a neon sign that was rather risqué and a child was pictured handing a dollar bill to one of the dancers. But tipping a dancer doesn’t seem all that much different from tipping your garden variety street performer.

Regardless, Republican legislators in Arizona immediately swung into action week, vowing to “fight like hell to protect the most innocent from these horrifying and disturbing trends”.

Stevens is horrified and disturbed as well, though for a different reason: Hypocrisy.

He says he met Lake in the late 1990s when she and some of her Fox10 co-workers would come to the 307 Lounge, a downtown Phoenix gay bar that hosted (adult) drag shows featuring Barbra Seville, Ms. Ebony, Pussy Le Hoot and Celia Putty, among others.  

Kari Lake poses as Elvis in this undated photo with drag queen Barbra Seville, who has performed in the Valley for 25 years.
 

“They (Lake and her co-workers) would come down to the 307 Lounge which was about a mile or two from the station and they would hang out,” he said. “She would come to the show pretty regularly. I wouldn’t say every week but it wasn’t uncommon.”

Stevens says he and Lake became friends — “I was sort of her go-to gay person sometimes” for interviews on news stories involving LGBTQ topics.

Stevens says Lake invited him to her central Phoenix home to perform as Marilyn Monroe at her birthday party 10 or 12 years ago and later to do a drag routine at a 2015 baby shower for a fellow news anchor. He says he specifically remembers Lake’s young daughter at one of the performances because she wore glasses and he sympathized, having hated wearing them when he was a child.

Drag shows can run the gamut from raunchy to G-rated, depending on the crowd. While there is no nudity involved, Stevens acknowledged there can be revealing costumes though that wouldn’t happen, he says, at a family event.

“The whole idea that you need to protect kids from drag is just ridiculous because there aren’t a lot of people that do that and there aren’t a lot of shows that cater to families,” he said.

He considers the recent attacks on drag queens a calculated response designed to rouse the right and distract people from the real danger to children.

“Everyone knows what’s going on,” he said. “People needed something else to talk about because the conversation was getting too real about gun control and children being killed in schools so people want to say let’s protect kids from drag queens instead of protecting kids from gun violence.”

As for Lake’s response in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre, she wants to end the tax on ammunition.

But oh, those dangerous drag shows.

Kari Lake, with Barbra Seville, a drag queen who has performed in the Valley for 25 years.
 

Stevens believes Lake’s reincarnation as a warrior for the far right is an act.

“She supported Obama and now I’m here to tell you that she supported drag queens and had her kid in front of drag kids,” he said “So if I can do anything to expose the hypocrisy and if I can do anything to keep someone like that, a few votes away, from power, I’m happy to do that.”

Kari Lake, with drag queens
 

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

2 thoughts on “Kari Lake is horrified by kids at drag shows but did she let her own daughter watch one?

  1. When will they realize that the entire problem will be because all the Boomers who were forced to watch Uncle Milty on TV when we were at an impressionable age back in the Fabulous Fifties that they say they want to return to. This would also say nothing about Bugs Bunny or Tony Curtis with Jack Lemmon in the Movie theaters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello muttpupdad. Yes! All these people want to equate drag with sex strip shows. I am sure there are those shows, but that is not what things like drag time story hour are about. That is not what RuPaul’s drag show is about. But these bastards are depending on bigotry to get people to forget all about that, every show you mentioned. To them it is about making any and all drag into being trans and all of it about sex and sexual exploitation. That way it can all be made against gods commands somehow. I keep posting pictures of priests and other religious leaders in these incredible fancy dresses and yet the right wing haters don’t seem to get the point. Hugs

      Like

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