Foregoing its usual approach, Newburyport only promoted the drag queen performance for young people on Instagram. However, a few parents caught wind of it and appeared before city officials to complain about the drag queen's appearance at an event sponsored by the municipal recreation department.
Andrew Beckwith of the Massachusetts Family Institute tells AFN when the parents made their case before city officials, it apparently meant nothing to them.
"They doubled down. They're going to continue to have this event," Beckwith laments. "I've heard they they're bussing people in from Salem [and others] a few towns away."
According to the pro-family advocate, the local Masonic Hall – where the event was to be held – cancelled because of pushback from parents. "But then they got even more pushback from the pro-drag queen people," he adds. "So, now they're having it – and they're having it free of charge."
Beckwith explains that the standard rule of thumb in a case such as this is for city agencies is to notify parents of an event in advance, via email – but that didn't happen this time around.
"So, you do wonder if there was an effort to kind of target the children and not really raise attention with the parents," he suggests.
Then there was this: "After the initial pushback," says Beckwith, "the Instagram posting was changed from 'Drag yourself to the drag show!' to 'Drag yourself down to dance with our DJ Drag Queen!'"
Beckwith's organization says the drag queen has a "robust internet presence" and several videos on YouTube that feature him encouraging drug use, lip-syncing to a song with vulgar lyrics, and doing a dance routine the Institute describes as "downright pornographic."