Pentagon Directs 'Child Friendly' Drag Show to Be Cancelled on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada

At the urging of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), Department of Defense officials have blocked an all-ages, child-friendly, drag show that was scheduled to take place on Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada.


The Air Force approved the show, as a celebration of Pride Month, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley informed the Air Force on Wednesday that the use of funding was against Pentagon policy, directing that the show be canceled or relocated off of the base.

Gaetz tweeted:

HUGE VICTORY: The Department of Defense has CANCELED a scheduled ‘child-friendly’ drag show after I demanded answers from @SecDef Austin and General Milly!

Drag shows should not be taking place on military installations with taxpayer dollars PERIOD!

In an email, Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary, wrote:

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.

In March, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) questioned Austin and Milley about drag queen story hours on military bases including in Nevada, Montana, Virginia, and Germany.


Austin testified:

Drag queen story hours is not something that the department funds.

Milley requested to see the fliers that Gaetz was referring to, saying:

I’d like to take a look at that material … I don’t agree with that, these things shouldn’t be happening.

On May 23, Gaetz sent a letter to Austin and Milley raising concerns about several other cases of drag shows and events on military bases or approved by the U.S. military. He requested information on these events and whether any punitive action has been or will be taken against individuals who utilized taxpayer money for them.

Read More:

Gov. Kristi Noem’s Attempt to Ban Drag Shows Raises Free Speech Concerns

Montana Bans Drag Queen Story Hour. Hardest Hit: Drag Queens

Milley is reported to have become visibly angry when he learned, this week, of the Air Force’s plan to host the drag show, according to a defense official. 

An Air Force official gave the following statement:

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.

Nellis Air Force Base has been hosting drag events since 2021 with its “Drag-u-Nellis” show  organized by the Nellis LGBTQ+ Drag Council, who posted condolences to Facebook, writing:


The Nellis LGBTQ+ Pride Council is saddened to inform you that we are no longer able to host our annual Pride Month Drag Show on Nellis AFB. We have received notification that the DoD has directed Commanders not to host Drag events on military installations.

The post listed other non-drag show Pride events available on the base including a speaker’s panel, a mixer, a color run at the base’s gym, a “Paint with Pride” event, and a commemorative walk. 

The post continued, “We will continue to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community during PRIDE month. Come show your PRIDE with us!”


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