Pentagon Axes Air Force Drag Performance After GOP Pressure

Leading Pentagon officials canceled a previously scheduled drag show at a Nevada Air Force base this week following pressure from Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz.

On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered Nellis Air Force Base to cancel or relocate a June 1 drag show previously approved by Air Force leadership. According to NBC, the two leading defense officials told the Air Force “it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases” and that the Nellis drag show “should be canceled or moved off base.”

“[T]he Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities,” an Air Force official told the outlet. “Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location.”

According to The Daily Caller, the now-canceled drag show was reportedly sponsored by the Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council. The event — which according to a Facebook post, had “no minimum age requirement” — was purportedly set to feature three “performers,” including Coco Montrese from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

When testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in March, Austin asserted that “drag shows … are not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds.” The remark came in response to an inquiry from Gaetz, who questioned Austin and Milley over previous drag events at U.S. military bases in Virginia and Montana. Milley claimed he was not aware of such events. As a follow-up, Gaetz sent a letter to Austin and Milley last week demanding answers about the Nellis drag show and the aforementioned events.

The Air Force’s prior approval of the Nellis drag performance isn’t the first time military service members have been forced to endure the left’s “rainbow everything” agenda. Last month, Air Force leadership issued a memo authorizing installation commanders to “plan and conduct” so-called “appropriate activities” on bases to commemorate “pride month.” The memo was sent several days after the Navy got busted for using an enlisted drag queen as a “digital ambassador” to recruit new sailors into service.


Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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