Flip-Phone organizes different drag-themed events all around the Twin Cities. They host drag brunches every Saturday at Union in downtown Minneapolis as well as various pop-up parties. Previous events have included drag story hour at different libraries and future drag themed brunches including homages to Prince and Whitney Houston.
Flip-Phone and Rosedale Mall recently created some controversy when they announced an event on May 19th that is aimed to be a family friendly event which will include stars from Rupaul’s Drag Race, local celebrities and shopping.
(Flip-Phone director Chad) Kampe’s seen this kind of thing before. Last year, he helped the St. Paul Public Library system put on its first drag story times, with glitzy queens reading books to kids. The same kinds of sentiments began to pile up online. They claimed drag was inherently sexual or kinky or “inappropriate,” and that it was going to indoctrinate ruin kids.
For the record, it didn’t. In fact, it was standing room only, the library’s most successful event of the year.
Kampe soon discovered these new comments seemed to have a central instigator: a Facebook group called Child Protection League Action. It calls itself a “nonprofit organization that works to protect children from exploitation, indoctrination, and violence” by “mobilizing the public.”
Earlier this week, the League posted about the Rosedale Center drag show. It accused the mall of “normalizing degrading sexual costuming and performances that are found at gay bar scenes,” as well as “targeting” kids. It urged followers to contact mall management and businesses.
Kampe says the event is kid-friendly, featuring Top 40 songs, with no scanty costumes or raunchy humor. In other words, it will be more child friendly than “walking past a Victoria’s Secret store.”
I wanted to bring some attention to this as it does affect our community. I know some of us go to great lengths to explain to others that what who we are and what we do is not drag. However, I think it’s important that we stand by our sisters who are also outside the gender binary.