Editor’s note: Some readers may find pictures in this report disturbing or sexually explicit.
(LifeSiteNews) — Faithful Catholics from across West Michigan braved frigid temperatures and hostile pro-LGBT activists to defend God’s teachings about men and women outside a drag show held at a major convention center Tuesday evening.
— Stephen Kokx (@StephenKokx) November 29, 2023
Organized by Tradition, Family, and Property, several dozen participants prayed 15 decades of the Rosary while standing across the street from DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids, the second largest city in the state.
“Public blasphemy requires public reparation,” Meredith Burl, who attended the event, told LifeSite today. “People who dressed in shameful clothing posed in front of us and shouted vile things as we were praying peacefully. They took pictures of themselves.”
Burl and her colleagues were protesting “A Drag Queen Christmas.” The show is reportedly the longest running touring performance of its kind in the United States, this being its ninth year. Christmas-themed drag shows elsewhere across the country have sparked similar backlash.
Protesters came from several different parishes in the area, Burl said, including Latin Mass communities. They held signs that read “Christmas is about Christ and Innocence. Stop blaspheming it with drag,” and “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
Featuring “all star queens” from the disturbing television show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Tuesday’s show included grown men confused about their gender singing holiday songs while dancing around in lurid clothing.
Get ready for an unforgettable evening full of glitz, glamour, and fabulous performances!✨ A Drag Queen Christmas is hitting #DeVosHall TONIGHT 🎉
Here’s all the need to know info! 👍 pic.twitter.com/7Jy5Z97KA1
— DeVos Perf Hall (@DeVosPerfHall) November 28, 2023
“A Drag Queen Christmas is guaranteed to get you in the naughty holiday spirit. So, dig out your glad rags and prepare to sashay straight to this once-a-year spectacular!” promotional material for the event reads.
Despite the over-the-top hype, a review on GrandRapidsTheatre.com said the performance was downright awful.
“We attended this show last night with high hopes. It fell flat in every way possible!” one woman from Detroit wrote. “First, the set was nothing but some creepy looking polar bears, a few candy canes, and … home Christmas décor … I have seen better sets at my kid’s school plays. Secondly, these were possibly the worst ‘performances’ (I use that word lightly) EVER.”
The person further explained that “these were basically drag queens prancing around the stage, lip syncing (poorly, and their lip movements didn’t match the song’s) to other people’s songs. It was boring, tedious, and totally underwhelming.”
The Queens were in the house last night!👑💅 Check out a few highlights from the epic Drag Queen Christmas.🎄✨
Photos by Jim Hill pic.twitter.com/DjNbTEXasa
— DeVos Perf Hall (@DeVosPerfHall) November 29, 2023
DeVos Performance Hall is named after the uber-wealthy DeVos family. Along with the Meijer and Van Andel families, the DeVos’ are among the most influential persons in West Michigan. Various members of their families have occupied high-ranking political positions, including Betsy DeVos, who served as Secretary of Education for President Donald Trump. All are considered moderate Republicans.
While it is not readily known how many people attended the show, the Performance Hall can seat approximately 2,400. Tuesday’s show was restricted to persons age 18 or older. Proceeds went to the Grand Rapids Pride Center.
Burl told LifeSite that several people walked directly through their group as they were praying. “Someone said it would have been better if all our mothers had aborted us.”
Burl also said that there wasn’t any signage or marketing material outside DeVos Place that would have let the public know the event was taking place, which she said suggested they were trying to hide it.
“Everywhere you look these days you see ‘Happy Holidays,’ not ‘Merry Christmas.’ But in this instance, the show is called ‘A Drag Queen Christmas,’” she said. “They purposely use the name ‘Christmas’ because they want to mock Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother. They would never call what they are doing ‘A Drag Queen Holiday.’ They want to make fun of Our Lord.”
LifeSite called DeVos Place on Wednesday afternoon to learn how the show was scheduled in the first place and to see if they had any comment about the protest outside. The calls were repeatedly sent to voicemail after no one picked up. LifeSite has since sent an email and will update this story with any responses.
For respectful communication only, contact Richard MacKeigan, Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place general manager, [email protected]; Chris Machuta, DeVos Place & Van Andel Arena assistant general manager, (616) 742-6500 or [email protected]; or Jackie Morse, DeVos Performance Hall & Van Andel Arena booking manager, [email protected].