Gov. DeSantis exploring crackdown on drag shows for kids
How will Ron DeSantis’ WOKE Bill play out at the college level? Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis woke
Florida has child protection and endangerment laws, the Governor said.

Following an outcry over viral videos of a Dallas Pride Month drag show aimed at kids, Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is looking into preventing bringing children to such shows.

At least one Texas Republican lawmaker has vowed to file legislation to ban drag shows in the presence of minors. And Howey-in-the-Hills Rep. Anthony Sabatini, an outspoken right-wing Republican running for Florida’s 7th Congressional District, called for an “emergency Special Session” on the matter, citing “Pride on the Block: Drag Show for Kids,” advertised for West Palm Beach last Sunday.

Asked about Sabatini’s call during a news conference in Fort Myers Beach on Wednesday, DeSantis said the state might already be able to target drag shows for children.

“I’ve asked my folks to look,” the Republican Governor said. “We have child protective statutes on the books. We have laws against child endangerment.”

DeSantis wants to let “kids be kids” and grow up in a “normal environment” without having political agendas “shoved down their throats,” he continued.

“You had these very young kids, and they must have been like 9, 10 years old, at a quote, ‘drag show,’ where they were putting money in the underwear of this — and that is totally inappropriate. That is not something that children should be exposed to,” DeSantis said. “We probably — we may have the ability to deal with that if something like that happens.”

Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told Florida Politics she was unsure if the Governor had been informed of the West Palm Beach event. DeSantis’ comments suggested he was unaware of it.

DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education law in March, including a provision banning instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. In higher grade levels, the law prevents instruction if it is taught in a way that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.

Critics call that measure the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Among the legislation’s critics is Disney, which DeSantis and the Legislature retaliated against by moving to strip the entertainment giant’s self-governing powers and exemption from a social media law.

“Part of the reason why we fought the fight with parents’ rights in education is because there’s a movement to inject these things like gender ideology in elementary schools, even,” DeSantis said. “My view is our schools need to be teaching these kids to read and write and add and subtract and do the things (that are) supposed to be done in school. Injecting these agendas into it is wrong.”

Organizers of the Dallas drag show called it a family-friendly event, but DeSantis noted the “graphic language” used at the event, which featured a neon sign that read, “It’s not gonna lick itself.”

“It used to be kids would be off-limits. Used to be everybody agreed with that,” DeSantis said. “Now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids more and more to things that are not age-appropriate.”

Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani told Florida Politics that Republicans aren’t targeting heterosexual content. The recent push for family values is grounded in homophobia and transphobia, she argued.

“If you have concerns about sexualized content being available to those under the age of 18, then why are we not talking about Hooters or cheerleading or beauty pageants or billboard in our communities or magazines at the store or internet ads?” Eskamani said. “It’s just a continuation of homophobic rhetoric disguised as safety concerns.”

Fellow Orlando Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an openly gay House member, called DeSantis’ comments “sad and pathetic.”

“This is not a parody. It’s the actual Republican Party of Florida putting forward proposals to regulate drag queens,” Smith said. “I mean, this is a joke. It’s laughable. I have to laugh, otherwise I would cry just at the pathetic state of affairs that our politics is in right now.”

DeSantis’ critics are also contrasting his stance against drag shows for children to his support for the Parent’s Bill of Rights, the 2021 legislation that became the basis for banning mask mandates in schools and this year’s Parental Rights in Education law.

“The Governor talks about parents’ rights, but time and time again, we’re taking away the rights of parents and their ability to decide what event they want their child to attend, and, meanwhile, children are going to gun shows and holding firearms,” Eskamani said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Phillip Scott Stewart

    June 8, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    Would a child be more likely to be assaulted at a show with a bunch of drag queens or at church with a bunch of youth pastors ? Just asking.

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 11:46 am

      So your theory is that being exposed to adult sexual content in a club, by gay cross dressing individuals is ok? Thinking errors much?

      • Dan

        June 10, 2022 at 7:20 am

        Rather then go after christian conservatives who are routinely caught sexually abusing young children. Matt Gaetz is under investigation for child sex trafficking. Joel Greenburg is in jail for it right now. Both DeSantis’ close friends. Kids getting slaughtered by guns and republicans care more about the gun then the kids lives. YOU are the biggest threat to children’s saftey. If you people aren’t getting our kids killed with guns, you’re sexually assaulting them.

        • Nancy

          June 10, 2022 at 8:18 pm

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      • YYep

        June 10, 2022 at 3:28 pm

        Shooters is not prancing themselves up and down the block with sex toys.stop using something else as a is not about clothes and finger nail salon it is about other subject’s I believe.

  • TJC

    June 8, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    “Now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids more and more to things that are not age appropriate.”
    …Says the man who refuses to acknowledge the real threat of gun violence against kids in their schools, even brags about how he would not have signed the legislation that his predecessor signed in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.
    …Says the man who claims he’s all for parents making decisions for their kids — unless they choose to take their kids to a gay parade. Age appropriate my ass. Grow up, governor. Be a man and protect our kids from guns. Let their parents worry about the tits and ass.

    • Alex Gomez

      June 8, 2022 at 7:58 pm

      You do realize you speak like a child. You make no sense what so ever. You never will. But please go on I dare you.

      • Philip

        June 9, 2022 at 12:57 pm

        Really? He sounds coherent; you sound juvenile.

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 11:47 am

      Where in the? Do you even know how to process a clear thought?

  • MW

    June 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Let kids be kids huh?
    Then ban assault rifles

    • They chose guns

      June 9, 2022 at 4:41 am

      Those republicans have guns they don’t need their own kids lol

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 11:48 am

      Wait, so guns are the issue that encourages sexual predatory motives and grooming?
      What do guns have to do with anything?

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 11:52 am

      SSSSOOOO where is the connection between weapons and exploitation of kids? Do you actually blame an inanimate object for the thought process of someone with a mental issue? That’s like getting the death penalty for killing yourself, understand?

  • mafucci

    June 8, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Those parents who took their children to attend, need serious psychological evaluations. They may not be fit to remain parents.

    • ML

      June 8, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Their business not yours. Not Desatis’. You don’t want your kids at drag show don’t take them to drag shows. As usual with quacks republicans … stop trying to impose YOUR do’s and don’ts on others. You have zero say in other people’s lives.

      • Douglas Price

        June 9, 2022 at 11:53 am

        I can do one better, I’ll just make sure everyone knows you’re ok with grooming and sexual predatory practices of kids, to include yours.

        • Ron DeSantis Sucks

          June 9, 2022 at 7:22 pm

          Grooming does not happen at drag shows. It does, apparently, happen at Baptist churches though.

          • TD

            June 9, 2022 at 11:49 pm

            Oh, and, um, at public schools that we pay for.

        • Tjb

          June 15, 2022 at 8:33 pm

          It is not grooming. DeSantis speaks how Florida is a Freedon State but you have no freedom if your views differ from his.

    • Alvin McEwen

      June 8, 2022 at 7:28 pm

      oh stop. the sign was about ice cream and there is nothing wrong with drag shows. It’s ironic that with the Southern Baptist Convention getting into trouble for hiding predators that folks are focusing on drag queens.

      • JD

        June 8, 2022 at 8:05 pm

        Best Comment Award – I love the cosmic irony because it’s true.

      • Douglas Price

        June 9, 2022 at 11:56 am

        Yet “alvin” if that is in fact your actual groomer name, is ok with exposing kids to adult type of content? I wonder what your kids are learning in that “safe home” of yours or is it the neighbor hood kids you’re “learning?”

        • Ron DeSantis Sucks

          June 9, 2022 at 7:25 pm

          What is adult about a drag show??

        • Alvin McEwen

          June 10, 2022 at 9:58 am

          So that’s your defense? Labeling everyone who disagrees with you as a groomer? Drag shows can be adult oriented or g rated. The sign, which was about ice cream, is a distraction. This is about government officials exploiting ignorance and bigotry for clout. That includes the same officials trying to pass off pictures of a heterosexual burlesque show as a drag show. It’s all about lies.

        • You know

          June 10, 2022 at 10:09 am

          I wonder what you do in Sunday school lol

    • Ron DeSantis Sucks

      June 8, 2022 at 9:35 pm

      Whatever happened to “parent’s rights”? Or is that only the right of a parent to do things conservatives want them to do?

      • Douglas Price

        June 9, 2022 at 12:00 pm

        So you to are ok with predatory style stuff? I’m beginning to wonder how many times we will have to try and eliminate these child predator issues and groomers like you.

        • Patrick

          June 9, 2022 at 12:59 pm

          Shut up, incel.

        • Ron DeSantis Sucks

          June 9, 2022 at 7:20 pm

          Have you ever been to a drag show or seen one? They’re not obscene.

          • Trump/DeSantis 2024

            June 11, 2022 at 6:55 am

            You must be high, groomer.

  • Robert L Coleman

    June 8, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    White people have been taking their children to Fantasy Fest down in Key West for years, now there is a video of some black gay drags and children at a drag show and now he wants to stop this, what a joke.

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      No, no they haven’t, you’re literally telling everyone about you life history and wonderful it is. No one really cares actually. Your scary childhood doesn’t need to be told.

  • John Barron

    June 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Copycat DeSantis at it again playing catch up to Little Marco…

  • Ron DeSantis Sucks

    June 8, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    But I thought Republicans were for “parent’s rights”? Are you telling me they’re lying hypocrites?

    • Douglas Price

      June 9, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      yeah kind like your comments….

      • Ron DeSantis Sucks

        June 9, 2022 at 7:24 pm

        My comments aren’t hypocritical. Just pointing out that you can’t be for parents’ rights and support banning parents’ from bringing their child to a harmless event (drag shows).

        • TD

          June 9, 2022 at 11:51 pm

          Unless of course, it is not truly harmless – the conclusion that you simply assume to reach your desired result.

          • Ron DeSantis Sucks

            June 10, 2022 at 5:46 pm

            If you’ve ever been to a drag show, you’d know that they ARE harmless to children. Certainly less harmful than baptist preachers.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 9, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Good Morning America.
    Take a look at all the above comments.
    Is it just me or is everyone else also thinking all the above comments are made by internal F. P. staff in an attempt to gin up a lively exchange of public comments?
    The Renzo Downey article is datelined today 6.9.22 and the F. P. internal staff’s comments under their various monikers are dated yesterday 6.8.22.
    Pay attention to details America.
    Thank You America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Toejam is a funklord

      June 9, 2022 at 11:52 pm

      I was freaking wondering that…Earl you have done it again my man!

  • Tjb

    June 9, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Is CHRISTINA PUSHAW a drag queen?

  • Sarah Spain

    June 9, 2022 at 11:44 am

    Desantis for the win! Love this governor!

    • Ron

      June 9, 2022 at 5:10 pm

      He really is an overbearing idiot isn’t he?

      • Sarah Spain

        June 10, 2022 at 9:32 am

        Once he is president, you will change your mind.

        • Yeah

          June 10, 2022 at 10:11 am

          Once he is President? His wife could barely beat cancer. He won’t do anything lol

          • Sarah Spain

            June 11, 2022 at 1:20 pm

            What is the difference between barely beat cancer and beat cancer? I guess one sounds more dire. She beat cancer. And she will make a beautiful first lady.

  • Aurelio Casillas

    June 9, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    This type of stuff is why northern Republicans are not going to support DeSantis. Gov DeSantis keeps attacking private businesses like Disney and the Tampa Rays for their choices and now he’s attacking parents for their choices. He won’t win a general election for President because of this stuff.

  • Nancy

    June 12, 2022 at 3:54 pm

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  • Kristopher Scott

    June 18, 2022 at 4:35 pm

    This would not be my choice for my children.No adult space would be, particularly where alcohol is being served.However,these are not my children or yours.Parents have a right to being their children anywhere they choose,as long as the child is not in harms way or any imminent danger. That being sad,this is a poor choice for minors;however,where is the outcry and horror when parents take their children into a Hooter’s or any straight bar across Texas? It seems this is their target in June for Pride Month because they have lost control over peoples lives. Where is their anger and rage over all these guns on the streets? Daddy can parade around the ranch with rifles and firearms,shooting at rabbits and squirrels,while his 7 or 8 year old is by his side. But a drag show? Hell no,the pervets are out to groom the children! Seems anything perceived as gay to these conservatives and religious nuts is immoral and perverted,but deadly weapons are all American!

Comments are closed.


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