The Battle on Christmas Drag Reveals

Because the solar set on a chilly December day in Grand Prairie, the most recent escalation within the struggle towards Christmas drag unfolded exterior the Texas Belief CU Theater.

A a small group of anti-LGTBQ+ protesters gathered there on December 17 to confront attendees and defenders of a Christmas-themed drag present, whom they baselessly accused of being “groomers” and “pedophiles.” Because the evening wore on, the preliminary contingent of bigots was joined by a collection of more and more excessive teams: Christian nationalists, neo-fascistsand finally opens neo-nazis who threw stiff-arm salutes and wore symbols related to Hitler’s genocidal regime. However they weren’t unopposed. The best-wing extremists have been outnumbered by neighborhood protection a coalition, together with the Occasion for Socialism and Liberation and armed members of the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Membership. Grand Prairie SWAT police have been deployed to the scene.

Brooke Lynn Hytes, one of many performers within the Christmas drag present, remarked concerning the occasion on Twitter“If you do not have 150 armed protesters, and a SWAT crew on the roof, exterior of your present are you even doing Drag?”

“If you do not have 150 armed protesters, and a SWAT crew on the roof, exterior of your present are you even doing Drag?”

“A far-right group has introduced its intention to make use of firearms to intimidate and primarily terrorize actresses and theatergoers who have been attending a extensively marketed and authorized vacation occasion,” the Austin John Brown Gun Membership wrote in a press release to the. Texas Observer. “They supposed this to be a message to each bystanders to remain away and to the Texas Legislature to encourage them to cross bigoted legal guidelines. It was a real-life instance of 1 hate group threatening hurt and first rate individuals supporting and defending their neighborhood.”

Representatives of TITFF, which has a popularity for safeguarding Accomplice monuments whereas carrying rifles, mentioned they aren’t against LGTBQ+ rights, however consider that “youngsters shouldn’t be allowed in this kind of leisure.” Their requires age restrictions are particularly for drag exhibits, not different types of leisure through which youngsters are allowed in with parental consent similar to R-rated films. In San Antonio, TITFF stood with protesters who hurled homophobic slurs and vulgar sexist feedback. Anti-Semitic conspiracy considering was uncovered, with some individuals baselessly claiming that the so-called “trans agenda” is a “CIA psyop” and that group defending the theater was paid for by George Soros.

Shield Texas Kids (PTK), an anti-LGTBQ+ group that organized a number of related protests, demanded the protests in each Grand Prairie and San Antonio. Kelly Neidert, the PTK a self-identified Christian fascist chiefdemanded the “rounding” from individuals who attend Pleasure occasions. Each protests featured damaging “caretaker” rhetoric. endorsed by the Texas GOP. Each focused the touring A Drag Queen Christmas present that includes a number of nationally famend performers who, regardless of advertising itself as containing grownup content material, was technically open to all ages. In each circumstances, nobody was injured, no citations have been issued by police, and the drag exhibits went off and not using a hitch. However the more and more frequent presence of armed fascists exterior areas internet hosting queer expression is one thing laborious to disregard.

At protests exterior drag occasions in each San Antonio and Grand Prairie, Texas, pro-LGBTQ+ neighborhood members far outnumbered their opponents. Steven Monacelli/Texas Observer

Whereas the occasions in Grand Prairie and San Antonio didn’t end in violence, partly due to proactive however inconsistent efforts by police to forestall agitators from partaking neighborhood defenders, ACLED information says demonstrations are greater than 4 instances extra prone to flip violent or damaging once they do. far-right militias or militant social actions are concerned. When reporting on a minor assaults and riots involving right-wing extremists throughout North Texas, I used to be referred to as an antisemitic insult and attacked whereas reporting on an anti-LGTBQ+ protest which was organized by PTK and attended by Christian nationalists.

The presence of far-right teams was inspired partly by the likes of the Texas GOP. Republican state consultant Bryan Slaton, who proposed a invoice banning youngsters from attending drag exhibits — a legislation so broadly written that it might successfully shut some queer individuals out of public life — embraced the harmful one. “groomer” rhetoric and was photographed with a member of TITFF who made threats exterior drag exhibits. Lately, the Texas GOP additionally evoked the “groomer” rhetoric by refusing a chance for to unequivocally deny the presence of neo-Nazis exterior a drag present that the official Texas GOP Twitter account tweeted to its tens of hundreds of followers.


At a time when fascist parts in Texas are emboldened and LGBTQ+ households are fleeing the state, Texas Republicans search to additional restrict entry to gender-affirming care. A current invoice launched by state consultant Brian Harrison seeks to ban the usage of state funding for gender-affirming care. The Texas GOP just lately shared Harrison’s submit on Twitter that reads, “No Texan must be pressured to pay for his neighbor’s gender reassignment.” This comes not lengthy after disturbing revelations requested by Legal professional Normal Ken Paxton an inventory of all Texans who’ve modified their gender on their driver’s license.

However the repeated optics of swastikas at anti-LGBTQ+ protests involved PTK’s Neidert, who additionally advocated for the banning of books about LGBTQ+ individuals in colleges. She informed the Dallas Morning Information that she was frightened about neo-Nazis exhibiting as much as the protest in Grand Prarie. Inside half-hour of Neidert making the remark, neo-Nazis arrived. One in all them, who wore a swastika patch, had a a visual pistol was protruding of his pants pocket. (It must be talked about that transgender individuals have been among the many first marginalized group focused by the Nazi regime after it took energy in Germany. The Institute for the Science of Sexuality was the goal of organized assaults that resulted within the burning of the archives of the group. )

Neidert didn’t reply to a request for remark.

“It was a real-life instance of 1 hate group threatening hurt and first rate individuals supporting and defending their neighborhood.”

In response to a shameless GOP-backed hate marketing campaign that paints queer individuals as pedophile “caretakers” and encourages armed fascist teams to threaten LGTBQ+ occasions, some Texans have determined to prepare in protection of their native LGTBQ+ communities. Whereas armed members of John Brown Gun Golf equipment fought fascists in a handful of cities and made waves within the media, the face of anti-fascist resistance is just not uniformly wearing black. Scenes from throughout Texas illustrate that a variety of individuals stood as much as struggle hate. Most of them have been unmasked and unarmed, just like the dad and mom who stopped Proud Boys from disrupting an occasion in a library in McKinney.

Neidert, whose activism is supported by a 501(c)(4) non-profit with unknown funding sources, baselessly claimed that such neighborhood protection mobilizations are “paid protesters.” Whereas a A True Texas Challenge assembly in September, Neidert mentioned her nonprofit doesn’t take “Soros cash,” which considered one of her supporters defined meant “Jewish cash.” A current report within the Texas Tribune revealed that her brother Jake Neidertfellow anti-LGBTQ+ activist and legislative director for Republican state consultant Tony Tinderholt, acquired funds from Defend Texas Liberty PAC, a fundraising group linked to West Texas oil billionaires.

Among the many volunteer neighborhood advocates in San Antonio and Grand Prairie have been David Michael Smith, a retired professor of political science who lives within the Houston space, and his spouse Rona, a licensed counselor. David and Rona, each longtime activists, are concerned with the Houston Socialist Motion and the United Entrance In opposition to Fascism. They traveled to San Antonio and Grand Prairie to face in solidarity with native LGTBQ+ communities. Carrying lengthy arms, they stood stoically and unmasked.

“After we noticed {that a} militia group was going to be in San Antonio, we thought we should always go and help the individuals who organized there,” Smith informed the. Observer.

Smith, who mentioned that his first participation in anti-fascist motion was in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1978, was inspired by the varied and appreciable neighborhood protection mobilizations all through the state. He and Rona have been additionally in Houston exterior a drag present earlier this yr neo-Nazis and fascists focused for harassment.

“We have to have anti-fascists of all ages and shades,” Smith mentioned. “And we should have a really liberating coverage. That’s how we are going to defeat them.”

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