Rep. Lauren Boebert has been outspoken about her disapproval of drag queens, but that didn’t stop the Colorado congresswoman from spending hundreds of campaign dollars at a bar that hosts drag shows.
According to Politico, which cited her latest Federal Election Commission filings, Boebert’s campaign spent $317.48 in July for “event catering” at Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar in Aspen, Co., which is owned by Boebert’s former boyfriend, Quinn Gallagher. Boebert and Gallagher were booted from a performance of Beetlejuice last month for disruptive conduct, including vaping, loud singing and fondling each other at the family-friendly production. Boebert later said she and Gallagher, a Democrat, had broken up. “All future date nights have been canceled. I learned to check party affiliations before you go on a date,” Boebert told TMZ.
In past tweets, Boebert was vocally hostile about drag shows — calling them “depravity” — and opposed allowing transgender children to receive gender affirming care. “Take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars,” she tweeted in June of last year. When Biden Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine advocated for “empower[ing]” transgender children to participate in sports and receive gender affirming care, Boebert deadnamed Levine and accused her of “grooming” children.
“Sending a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the children in Colorado’s Third District!” Boebert tweeted last August alongside a photo of a flyer for a drag queen story hour.
Sending a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the children in Colorado’s Third District! pic.twitter.com/SWu4FxUDTG
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) August 18, 2022
Kendra Matic, a drag queen who has performed at Gallagher’s bar said of Boebert in an interview with TMZ, “I don’t like this girl… I don’t understand why she has that hate speech all the time… because we don’t do anything wrong. I don’t harm anyone. Who cares what I do in my bed, if I’m gay or not? I don’t know why people care so much about what you do in your bed. At least I do that in my bed and not in a theater.”
In the wake of the 2022 shooting that killed five and injured more than 20 at Club Q, an LGBTQ affirming establishment in Colorado Springs, Boebert defended her comments. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preference as an adult,” she said last November. “What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children. And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women.”
Boebert’s hateful remarks are in line with growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment among the right that inaccurately accuses LGBTQ people of preying on children. It has led to legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law that bars teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in schools and laws in 19 states that ban gender affirming care for minors. This anti-LGBTQ movement has led to further marginalization of gay and trans people. Threats to Pride events have necessitated increased security and even cancellations, and libraries hosting drag queen story hours have also been targeted and threatened. A Brooklyn library last month had to relocate one such event because of a bomb threat.
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