***Update 10.10.22 – Drag Queen Bingo is now a 18+ event.***
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
As part of Chattanooga’s Pride Week, the Big Chill and Grill hosted yet another “all ages” event last week, Drag Bingo, but with one notable difference – two drag performers announced that recording or photographing of the show was prohibited and anyone caught doing so would be kicked out of the event.
According to Ashley Kaye, known as The Unsilent Patriot on Instagram, a reporter who tried to attend was turned away and told that he could not record or photograph any part of the “family friendly” event.
Kaye posed this question to The Big Chill and Grill, “If everything you’re doing is innocent and you’re not doing anything wrong, why are you so concerned with us filming it?”
Several children were in attendance with their parents where men masqueraded as immodestly dressed women. These men danced provocatively and reached for cash thrust at them from the audience throughout the evening.
That video clip has since gone viral. Kaye said in a live video on September 27th that other “child-friendly” drag shows in Chattanooga have worked together to keep her away from their events.
After attending a City Council meeting last week, Kaye reported that conservatives and liberals both showed up to make their feelings known about the recent events involving children in Chattanooga. Interestingly, Kaye said that gay people “on both sides of the aisle” do not condone children being present at these drag shows.
Kaye said that several individuals identifying as trans attended the meeting to complain that her videos have incited death threats against them and they no longer feel “safe” in Chattanooga. Some claimed that the only purpose of her videos is “to get people killed.”
The videos simply document what is happening at these so-called “family friendly” shows, said Kaye, who has been the recipient of threats herself.
“They have threatened that if they see me in public to call the police and remove me from any establishment,” she said. “I’ve received messages saying that if I show up, I will be removed from any of these events.”
Kaye said that neither she nor any conservative group she knows is inciting hate against the LGBTQ community and questioned whether these death threats are credible.
Chattanooga Pride Board said in a statement last week that the “reputations of young actresses who graciously agreed to bring princesses to the youth of our community” had been “defamed” because of the video footage. But admitted that “the individual that posted the video did not specifically call to action any kind of hate or violence.” They went on to say that board members had been threatened “with violence and death” by Kaye’s “followers.”
The board announced that “specific detailed guidelines” are being developed for “all ages” events and that additional security measures were being added to scheduled events and for the festival which was scheduled to wrap up festivities this weekend.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.