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(LifeSiteNews) — On the evening of February 14, a group of parents protested the “Love it or Leave It Drag Show” at a non-alcoholic geek bar called The Bronze Dragon in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The show had been advertised specifically to young people—an “all ages” show—and the parents who showed up with signs to express their disapproval are part of a growing, wider backlash to sexualized entertainment aimed at children. 

Protestor Larry Schneider explained to the press that his concern is with young people. “We just feel that children are very impressionable, and so the fact that they’re being influenced by adults in an otherwise adult setting, in our opinion, is inappropriate,” he said. The Valentine’s Day show was part of The Bronze Dragon’s grand opening and featured cross-dressing men. 

Another protestor, Jerry Hatlevig, concurred with Schneider. “Adults can do what they want,” he said. “We aren’t here to tell adults they can’t go to a drag show. That is their privilege, but please let’s spare our children.” 

The protestors hoisted signs with slogans such as “Our children’s innocence is very precious—please let’s not take it”; “Adult shows are not for children”; “Keep our children safe.” A group who supported the all-ages drag show stood near the doors to ensure that attendees could get in, which proved unnecessary as everything remained peaceful.  

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Caitlyn Konze, the owner of The Bronze Dragon, stated that it is up to parents whether to bring their children or not, and that the youngest attendees she’d seen were 16 or 17. “My right as a parent is to tackle that on my own,” she stated. “My kids would be here if they weren’t sick. But my decision to have a conversation about what people are wearing or gender boundaries that are being stretched, that’s my right as a parent.” It seems likely that Konze decided to open her bar with an all-ages drag show for the purpose of publicity, and in that regard she has certainly succeeded. 

The protest is just the most recent example of the backlash to all-ages drag shows by parents. True North recently covered parent protests of drag shows in Canada. In Kelowna, protestors and counter-protestors clashed over Drag Queen Story Hour, with protestors hoisting signs with slogans such as “Stop Sexualizing Our Children” and “Trust the Science: There Are Only Two Genders!” Protests and counter-protests at drag shows for children at Tate Britain devolved into brawls earlier this month, with police being called in. And the Western Standard recently reported on a drag show last year at a Unitarian Church in Edmonton, Alberta: 

Well, the fun and games didn’t include a depraved dildo toss game like at the all-ages Pride event in St. Albert last June. But children attending the all-ages drag show at Edmonton’s Unitarian Church Saturday got to stuff bills near the private parts of stripping men who peeled off overcoats, to reveal skimpy outlandish female costumes as they waddled around on stage. And silly you thought that such fun is just for men in adult strip clubs. Cameras weren’t allowed in the event — Dragging Youth Presents,  ‘New Beginnings’ — billed as clean kid’s fun. 

This parental backlash is already having an effect. Laws to restrict these shows have already been put forward in eight states, with a total of 14 bills being introduced in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. Bills are expected to be put forward soon in Idaho and Montana.  

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.