A planned “child-friendly” drag queen show at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada has been canceled following demands from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for answers from Pentagon leaders regarding their stance on such events on military bases. Gaetz celebrated the cancellation on Twitter, attributing it to his inquiry to Defense Secretary Austin and General Milley.
The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council posted on Facebook, expressing their disappointment and informing the community that the drag show would no longer take place due to a directive from the Department of Defense (DoD) instructing commanders not to host such events on military installations. However, they highlighted other Pride Month activities that would continue, including a panel, a “Paint with Pride” event, a color run, a mixer, and a commemoration walk.
Earlier, in March, Gaetz questioned Secretary Austin and General Milley about their support for drag queen shows and story hours on military bases. Despite their initial denial of awareness, Gaetz presented them with evidence, including news articles, prompting them to clarify that they did not endorse these events on base.
In response to a drag show scheduled for June 1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Gaetz sent a letter demanding answers from Austin and Milley. Austin and Milley informed the Air Force that funding drag shows on bases was not DoD policy, expressing their disapproval and recommending the cancellation or relocation of the event. Reportedly, Milley was visibly displeased with the decision to host the show on base.
An Air Force official confirmed that drag events would not be hosted on military installations in accordance with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony. The official added that commanders were directed to cancel or relocate such events off-base, emphasizing that hosting these events in federally funded facilities was not an appropriate use of DoD resources.
The Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, cited the DoD Joint Ethics Regulation and stated that the criteria for non-Federal entities to use DoD facilities and equipment must be met. Secretary Austin had previously made it clear that the DoD would not host drag events on military installations. This decision reflects a stance against utilizing DoD resources for such purposes.