Anchorage drag queen performers twerked and pranced in front of Soldotna children at the Soldotna Creek Park. The event, sanctioned by the City of Soldotna, took place June 17 during Pride Month events, which celebrate gay-lesbian-transgender lifestyles. At least a dozen children were brought to the performance by their mothers to witness the sexually provocative spectacle, while other families were in the area by happenstance.
Soldotna Creek Park has a playground with swings and slides, and a performing stage nearby. It’s the location for many community events, such as Soldotna Progress Days, Kenai River Festival, and the Wednesday Market. The park includes 2,300 feet of riverfront boardwalk and 12 sets of stairs to the river, as well as trails to the creek.
The video of a segment of the drag queen show for children is on the Must Read Alaska Facebook page.
Not everyone was happy with the overtly sexualized programming that was done on a taxpayer-funded stage. Some parents complained to the city manager, who said in an email that no laws were broken and that the people who put on the performance had filled out the appropriate paperwork.
“We administer special event bookings and park facility rentals according to an established reservation policy,” said Stephanie Queen, city manager, in a response to one parent. “With input from our Parks + Recreation Advisory Board, staff, and the public – the policy is ultimately approved/adopted by the Soldotna City Council.”
Queen continued, “… the policy is ‘content neutral’ in that we, City staff, do not evaluate or approve the content of a private person, business, or organization’s event as part of issuing a facility rental permit. We do require that events comply with all laws and current regulations.”
One parent told Must Read Alaska that according to the city’s rules, strippers could come down the road from Good Time Charlie’s, and if they had pasties on their private parts there would be nothing the city could do about it. He was dismayed that he cannot even take his children to the park anymore, a place that had always been safe.
“It’s morally impacting the kids,” said one parent. “I’ve already decided this is a hill worth dying on. I don’t care if it impacts my business; if my business fails, cool. This is important. This is a fight worth having and a fight worth losing a lot over.”
The Pride events in Soldotna were organized by Bridges Community Resource Network Inc., a Soldotna nonprofit that is funded primarily by government grants.
Identity Inc. — an Anchorage-based LGBTQI group that targets children for its services — organized the drag queen show in the children’s park. Identity Inc. is the group responsible for the Anchorage Drag Queen Story Hour in the Anchorage public library.
Parents taking their children to sexualized drag queen shows is becoming normalized on the Left. In Anchorage, a gay candidate for state House took his son to a drag show and bragged about it on Facebook.
In Dallas, Texas earlier this month, a drag show for kids was performed in front of a neon sign that read, “It’s not gonna lick itself.”
It’s not the first time that Kenai has had to deal with uncomfortable celebrations in the public square. In 2016, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly started allowing satanic prayers to be said as invocations at the beginning of Assembly meetings. The borough has a prayer policy that allows members of the community to sign up to offer the invocation, and a person who said she was a member of the Satanic Temple took the borough up on the offer.