‘Not A Suitable Use’: Pentagon Cancels Air Force Base Drag Show Right Before Pride Month

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
Font Size:

The Department of Defense canceled a planned drag show at Nellis Air Force base in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to a statement provided to the Daily Caller on Thursday.

The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council was set to offer a free “family friendly” drag show Thursday, June 1, to kick off pride month despite assurances from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that the Department of Defense does not support or fund the shows. (RELATED: ‘Propaganda Or Politics’: Blake Treinen Blasts LA Dodgers For Inviting Drag Group That Mocks Jesus Christ)

“Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment,” Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the Department of Defense, told the Caller.

“As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources. Our Service members are diverse and are allowed to have personal outlets. We are proud to serve alongside any and every young American who takes the oath that puts their life on the line in defense of our country.”

An Air Force official confirmed to the Daily Caller that the drag show would not be hosted on the base.

“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location.”

A drag queen previously recruited a “wide range” of new troops for the US Navy, through an initiative that concluded in April, but the Navy asserted it did not pay the entertainer.

“The Navy did not compensate YN2 Kelley or any others for being Navy Digital Ambassadors,” a spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana sent a letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation to Austin in May, demanding he clarify statements he had made claiming the DOD does not fund drag shows.

“If [Austin] was testifying honestly then he has an obligation to discipline the officials who decided that sexually explicit content should be featured in the Navy’s Digital Ambassador program,” Banks wrote, referring to the drag queen recruiter.