NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A family-friendly drag show in New Braunfels brought hundreds of people to the same church, some in support and others against it.
Some people call the show an age-appropriate art performance, while protesters claim the show was harmful to children.
Three drag queens performed as part of a fundraiser benefiting at-risk youth in Comal County.
Our cameras weren’t allowed inside, but the event was open to people of all ages.
Nicole Clark with Faith Church said the event aimed to show people that drag is not dangerous and doesn’t have to be confined to bars or nightclubs.
“We’re just trying to give an experience so they can be around drag queens and understand that they’re just human, they’re performers and they’re appropriate for anyone to be around,” Clark said.
While the show’s supporters sang outside the church, there was a group protesting in opposition.
“It’s the sexual performance -- that’s what drag shows are. They are a sexually-charged kind of caricature of a woman and that’s what we’re not fans of,” Gabriel Grove said.
The issue spans far outside of the New Braunfels event.
Texas lawmakers have advanced two bills that would restrict and at times criminalize drag shows and anything else deemed a “sexually oriented performance.”
That’s why security was tight, with at least a dozen New Braunfels police officers standing by.
Pastor Carla Cheatham verified that everyone with a ticket to the show was not there to interrupt it.
She said the performers received so many threats online that they did not feel comfortable being on camera.
“The vile treatment they have faced is not anything that any human should experience,” Cheatham said.
She said no one should be afraid to express themselves.