Despite Randy Fine’s objections, Space Coast Pride will go on
Image via Space Coast Pride.

Space Coast Pride
'The event will go on,' said Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey.

Space Coast Pride will go on despite objections from Rep. Randy Fine.

Melbourne city leaders say they have no plans to rescind a permit for the event, which will be held Saturday in Downtown Melbourne for the first time in its history. Organizers say they have actually received more support even as City Hall is flooded with calls to shut down the event for inclusion of drag queen story time in its programming.

“We are proud to persevere and we are leading with love,” said Space Coast Pride media director Tina Jensen.

Fine, a Palm Bay Republican, objected to the event for the inclusion of a “Drag Queen Story Hour,” something he said was never made clear would occur when the organization applied for a permit.

“(My) specific issue is the organizers were not honest in their permit application, and as a result there is a substantial public safety issue and taxpayers are subsidizing the event,” Fine said. “More broadly, I do not believe in adult entertainers targeting children. I’d have the same issue with ‘Stripper Story Time.’ Let kids be kids.”

Jensen said that’s exactly what the festival aims to do. Intermittently during the day, drag performers on one of two public stages will read storybooks. The inclusion of that will provide family.

A program shared online indicated afternoon “Drag Queen Story Time” events with performers Momma Ashley Rose, Shelita Taylor and Bridgette Galore.

Fine complained that means these segments won’t just happen at a certain confined time but throughout the day.

He posted a letter on his Facebook page to the city that says it’s inappropriate to have events aimed at children as part of Pride. Fine also suggests that with broader awareness of the event, which he has spread with his postings, there’s a greater threat of violence taking place.”

“We have real concern about the physical safety of the attendees, particularly now that the public is aware of the highly controversial child-targeted ‘Drag Queen’ performance that will be taking place throughout the day,” the letter reads.

“Under the permit you provided, the organizer was required to hire its own crowd control vendor who was required to take an online crowd management course and list the personnel who would be attending and completed that course.”

Jensen said Pride has ensured law enforcement and additional security will be present throughout the event.

Fine encouraged followers online to call Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey and demand the permit for the entire event be rescinded.

But the episode has made Alfrey into an odd ally. A self-described conservative, he’s standing by the city’s decision to issue a permit and said Fine is misstating the facts about the application.

“As he used his political campaign money to send out mass text with misinformation,” Alfrey said. “I have not read them all yet.”

But he said the organization has as much right to organize as any.

“He (Fine) wants the whole event to be shut down,” Alfrey said. “The event will go on. I am a military veteran that believes in the constitution and freedom of speech. If Representative Fine doesn’t like it he can file a bill to deal with it in the state House.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


6 comments

  • Joe Corsin

    September 23, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    Tom needs an LGBT sausage smack to the forehead…

    Reply

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  • marylou

    September 23, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Men like this guy need to stop blaming drag queens, trans women, and cis woman for their own over-active sexual responses. Controlling your sexual urges is your responsibility, Randy! Drag shows and story times have nothing to do with sex, so if you find yourself all excited by them, Randy, try to quit spending so much time obsessing on them. And, Randy, it’s perverted to be talking about “strippers” and “children”, and it’s wrong for you to be sexualizing children for your anti-lgbtq+ agenda.

    Most people aren’t a POS like you, Randy, so they wouldn’t even think about being violent at an event where children are present.

    Reply

    • Ocean Joe

      September 24, 2022 at 6:26 pm

      While I generally agree with your sentiments, we are up against a rising fascist movement. Maga has destroyed the Republican party, it gives a call to arms to white supremacists, a green light to immigrant bashers, Florida is in the grip of a governor who pulls one stunt after another, a legislature that passes unconstitutional laws at Ron’s request
      most of which are thrown out quietly, and Randy Fine is Brevard’s in house monster.
      All that said, the Mama Drag Queen story time is not helping. Love who you want, marry who you want, do all this without involving kids.
      Otherwise you play directly into the hands of these morons who hate anyone different. And vote for the people who show by their actions, their legislation, and their deeds that they care about children instead of giving those who run on fear and hate, more ammunition.

      Reply

      • marylou

        September 25, 2022 at 11:32 am

        You make a very good point. It looks like everyone had a great day, but it’s sad to have to check the news in the morning to make sure everything went okay for festival goers.

        Randy Fine is also attacking Hooters, calling for the County to pull their business permits for targeting and sexualizing children, complaining that there are “women with their butt cheeks and boobs hanging out”. Fine actually calls it a “clear production of child pornography in plain sight”, when a parent takes a photo of a server holding a boy.
        I don’t go to Hooters because of the image of women they promote at their restaurants, but there’s no child pornography going on there.

        Randy Fine sees sex going on everywhere, and blames women for it, whether it’s a Drag Queen, a trans woman, or a cis woman. He is clearly trying to erase women from public to protect men, and is using children to accomplish that. On his FaceBook account, it looks like Fine and MAGAs want a morality police force in the US. It may not be too long before woman are required to cover themselves completely whenever they leave the house.

        Reply

  • Michael Hoffmann

    September 24, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    It does seem that if the sexual “deviants” went back to their closets, controversy could be avoided. But, when they were in the closet, weirdos like Randy Fine were still coming after them with pederasty laws, vice squads, and entrapment leading to public humiliation and job loss.

    Moreover, as Fine notes, his loud protesting has made this a must-see event. Fine is inviting the rougher element, not the drag queen story tellers.

    Reply

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