A pro-child safeguarding journalist was removed from a kid-friendly drag show in Alamo, Texas after being accused of filming a drag performer flashing his genitals at the crowd of young children.
On February 19, Taylor Cramer, an independent journalist filming with RGVTruth, attended a drag show fundraiser at The Landmark on Tower in Alamo, Texas. The fundraiser was organized by the South Texas Equality Project (STEP), and was billed as an event to fundraise for “LGBTQ+ Youth Scholarships.”
The listing explicitly stated the event was open to “everyone of all ages,” and featured adult drag performers Aeon Mavis York, Aaliyah Royale Ja’Mean, Gardenia Gaea, and Jayden Holland. The name of the event was “Amor Es Amor,” which translates from Spanish to “Love is Love.”
In Cramer’s footage, several very young children appear at the event and flank the drag “runway” with their parents. The children were encouraged to give the drag performers cash tips, which the performers take directly from them.
Some of the performers were dressed in lingerie-style outfits, and writhed around with their legs spread or bottom showing while children were in close proximity.
Throughout the video, which he originally uploaded to Rumble, Cramer remains silent and does not directly interact with the children or the performers. But, after filming some disturbing incidents that occur throughout the course of the evening, the show organizers sought to have Cramer removed.
An Alamo Police officer was at the event in uniform, and was approached by the organizers to tell Cramer to leave. He did so despite being off-duty. After Cramer demanded a report be filed so he could see the details of the complaint be formally recorded, the off-duty officer called on-duty personnel to attend the scene.
Cramer continues to film throughout the discussion with police, during which he is told that organizers had reported him with complaints he had been “recording people’s genitals.”
While speaking to police, Cramer sounds incredulous about the report, stating: “I mean, there are kids here. If there are people’s genitals around, that’s wrong.” The officer repeatedly tells Cramer to “relax,” to which he responded: “No, I am not going to relax. If there are genitals around children… that’s not okay.”
Cramer was removed from the premises on the basis of “trespassing,” but continued to question Alamo Police after he was escorted into the parking lot.
“Are you guys going to investigate the genitals that were exposed in front of kids,” Cramer is heard asking, to which an officer responds: “Nothing to investigate.”
Cramer would later go to the Alamo Police headquarters to request a copy of the report associated with the “genitals” complaint, but found it was not in alignment with the encounter he had recorded, nor was the event organizer who had reported him for “recording people’s genitals” named.
Following the disastrous evening, Cramer, along with non-partisan local group Citizens Against The Sexualization of Children, continued to bring attention to what had happened at the event, but were met with backlash from STEP and trans activists.
On March 15, STEP published a statement on their Facebook condemning Cramer’s recounting of the events as “misinformation,” and sent advocates to the Alamo City Council to “counter their damaging misrepresentation.”
During a March 20 City Council meeting, STEP and other LGBT activist groups aggressively defended the drag event. The president of STEP accused Cramer of being “creepy” and claimed that nothing at the show had been “sexually suggestive.”
Speaking to The Publica, Cramer says that STEP suggested they would launch lawsuits against those who opposed their activities in the community.
“STEP [told] the city of Alamo and the Rio Grande Valley that they must expose children to drag and sexual information because it is at the core of their beliefs, and if anyone disagrees, they are a problem and bigoted homophobes… threatening a lawsuit or cancel culture to anyone who opposes,” Cramer recounted.
“Society as a whole should recognize that children are pure and to poison that well is to poison humanity with lasting effects for generations,” Cramer told The Publica. “At this point, whatever actions are necessary to protect children must be implemented, as long as it is in line with the constitution. I believe societal change is the way to heal apathetic society.”
“Child-friendly” drag shows in the state of Texas have been ramping up in opposition to SB-12, which came into effect in Texas in September. The bill is intended to prevent sexual performances in front of children in Texas and has been sent to Governor Abbott’s desk and is awaiting signature.
Under SB-12, business owners could face a $10,000 fine for hosting sexually explicit performances in which someone is nude or appeals to the “prurient interest in sex.” Performers caught violating the proposed restriction could be slapped with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Despite claims by some pro-drag activists, the bill does not prohibit drag shows, but limits their audience to adults.
Drag shows and their appropriateness for youth have become a high-tension debate, especially since the controversial spread of Drag Queen Story Hours across North America and Europe. In 2019, it was discovered that a registered sex offender had been performing at a Texas library for children as a Drag Queen.
Texas in particular has experienced a number of incidents over the past year involving ‘drag queens’ performing provocatively for audiences of children.
In June of 2022, a “child-friendly” event at a gay bar in Dallas was protested by right-wing advocacy group Protect Kids Texas, which stated on Twitter that they had 80 people outside of the venue voicing their concerns. The group also posted a video showing police showing up to the bar and escorting children from the venue.