Saturday, May 27, 2023
HomeThe SocialSoutheast Alaska State Fair goes burlesque with drag queens this year

Southeast Alaska State Fair goes burlesque with drag queens this year

It’s come a long ways, baby, since 4-H exhibits. The Southeast Alaska State Fair will feature a performance by Juneau Drag, starring Juneau drag queen performance artist Gigi Monroe.

The fair has received significant pushback on the decision to feature the alternative performance, but released a statement on Tuesday saying it is not backing down. The organization has, however, moved the drag performance to a later hour: Juneau Drag will take the main stage around 9 pm Friday, July 27. 

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“Not only has this been a difficult process for everyone involved and required some time to think and take stock, but it also required some logistics that took time to complete,” the fair management wrote in a news release. “The Fair is keeping Juneau Drag in our lineup of headliners this year.  We have decided to move them to a 9:00 pm start time, in consideration of the concerns we heard from some parents.  However, we will not go later than that due to requests from other parents. Juneau Drag will take the Main Stage around 9:00 pm Friday, July 27.”

The fair organization said it has received hundreds of letters, visits and calls regarding the decision, the majority of which were in favor of the drag queen show.

“We took a close look at the substantive issues people raised with hosting drag performance here, and have found those concerns do not warrant us removing Juneau Drag from our line up. Drag as an art form has a long history, and like the other performance styles we host, is tailored to the audience. Drag is not lewd or risque or “adult only” unless the performers intend it to be, when in an adult only setting.  Indeed, Drag as an all-ages performance is long established world wide. Further, there is no evidence to support the idea that Drag performers are predators of children, we find the allegation of such offensive towards the performers we happily partner with and support, and we do not give such an argument any credence,” the organization wrote.

The organization also reminded readers that it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and, while it receives property tax exemptions, it doesn’t receive much public funds, except for about 5% of the group’s annual budget, which is used to maintain the fair grounds year round.

“Finally – the debate on the merits of drag in American culture is a big, nationwide debate.  It is an issue to be dealt with on a cultural level in our communities. The Fair is merely a venue booking an entertaining act that has been requested by many people. We do not claim a stake in this issue, nor do we carry the answer to this cultural debate. This is a conversation the community and the country need to continue to have. The Fair is merely following our mission to ‘enrich community by hosting celebrations of heritage, creativity, and social exchange.’ We are proud to do so in a community that cares so much,” the group wrote.

Read the entire press release explanation here. 

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Just when you’ve seen and/or heard everything something else shows up to make you say “WHAT?”

  2. As quoted –

    “Drag as an art form has a long history, and like the other performance styles we host, is tailored to the audience. Drag is not lewd or risque or “adult only” unless the performers intend it to be, when in an adult only setting. Indeed, Drag as an all-ages performance is long established world wide. “.

    Are they mixing drag up with community theater? Seriously? Until recently, drag shows were not some popular community entertainment, but acts predominantly found in gay bars. Lewdness is part of the ‘art form’ and ‘historically’ it is intentionally risqué, as it is about fetishism. It has never been broad entertainment and certainly not family entertainment. These people are lying to themselves and everyone else and pretending drag shows to be something they have never been.

    Add also, no, there isn’t proof that drag performers are child predators and likely most are not. Why though are they so determined to perform in front of children?

    • Because the kids are drawn to the incredible imaginative play of it all. Fabulous dress up, singing and dancing.

        • ‘






          So many more church sexual abuse of children concerns than these.

          • You really really need help with you Christian obsession/bigotry.

            Really. You’ve got a problem.


            I’m sorry this isn’t a problem for you.

            Perhaps YOU need help with your Christian obsession/bigotry.

          • You see what you want to see, ignore the rest, and focus on your obsession to the detriment of common sense.

            Sorry it makes you butthurt (actually I’m not) but you’re a bigoted zealot. Just own it.

          • Thanks for your perspective MA.

            I am butt hurt from 6 years of chemo that turn conrents of the gut to just about stone.But go a head think it’s about my calling “Christians on their Christianity. And their push to get religious values of a certain faith into government.

  3. There is no merit to drag in any culture. Perhaps the same merit of a clown show.

    For those of you not living in SE, drag is an obsession in Juneau and the SE “cultural” community. Often the communities of SE push back, often hard, but we are ignored.

    Our “betters” know best.

    I’ve not seen the figures so this is the rumor, but the second most funded thing by the “arts” community during Covid were drag related shows.

  4. And another good, wholesome southeast Alaska family tradition at the fair bites the dust! I’ll be saving a bundle on ferry passage and local lodging, but I’ll sure miss the fair we’ve enjoyed for many years.

  5. We’ve been to the SE State Fair & enjoyed live music, beer from Haines Brewery & everything else. Met some wonderful people. But I have to say the drag queen business would be like inserting something into the mix that has no connection to the ambiance & seems just to be making a point that, see we can do this & you can’t do anything about it. So watch it or leave. We’d leave or not go in the first place.

    • I do the same for any religious backed group. But they are part of the communityso I get they can be there. So is the drag community Dave.

  6. I spend a good portion of what profits my business makes in promoting youth activities. I never turn a kid away that comes in my office and presents themselves. This absolutely makes me sick and makes me wonder what I will do when a teen drag queen comes asking.

    • How may I help you? That would be a good start. Followed by: are you safe?

      Trans kids have some of the highest suicidality in the US. Think about how sick that is when the trans kid comes to ask for help.

      • Followed by, Who groomed you? Who mind screwed you until you want to mutilate yourself?
        Answer, Maureen Suttman and all of her child abusing pedophilic friends.

  7. I think that the nation’s recent obsession with drag shows is unfortunate. The debate surrounding drag Queen shows and children is hurting the LBGTQ community considerably. The LBGTQ extremists advocating drag Queen shows for our children is off the rails and is offensive to most of our communities’ standards. Their push will cause others to unfortunately push back against the LBGTQ community.

  8. Any parent who brings their children to “drag shows” are saying they enjoy watching adult men pushing their genitals in the faces of their little girls and their little boys. Those parents are encouraging and participating in the sexual abuse of their own children. Those parents need to be jailed and then put on the lifetime sexual offender registry and their parental rights permenantly removed.

  9. If they insist on keeping the drag show, pushing the start time later was a good move and it should also be moved inside a performance hall where observation of the show can be controlled.

    One of the strange things about championing individual freedoms such as the freedom to raise your children as you see fit, is that I have had to come to grips with the fact that if I have that freedom, all other parents also have that freedom. If you wish to take your child to see a drag show, you have that legal right to do so, whether I agree with that decision or not (and I do NOT). But you also do not have the right to hold the drag show at a time or in a place where the children of anyone else may be exposed to it.

    The Bud Light treatment is still the most powerful tool we have to fight with. If no one attends a show, they make no/little money. Small money equals no future shows.

    • Paragraph two is right on Paul!

      You as parent who does not support have the responsibility first and formost to NOT EXPOSE YOUR OWN CHILDREN. That means YOU have to read or ask or find what is going on at the fair this year and decide if you will go.

      • I’m going to make a conservative out of you yet Maureen!

        Seriously, to all parents. If you find yourself with a child in your long term care, YOU have become a parent. Maybe not legally but in all effects. You are now responsible for what that child takes in and experiences and when those experiences take place. Not the ‘government’, not some book on child rearing, and not even all those people with well intentioned advice. You and only you, will have to take in the available information from around you and then decide if little Billy or little Sally is ready for that or not.

        • Sorry, but you’re no making me anything. You saw conservative value, where what I was expressing is that I’m a functionalist Paul. To have a just building one needs a firm foundation to build on.

          None of this is about whether the kid is ready Paul. It’s really about can one be a reasonable parent when their understanding of things in the world is limited to the verbage and practices of a particular (here religious) view, when there are so many different verbages and views in the world.

          Doesn’t the song go “All God’s children got a part in the choir?”

          • Mine isn’t bigoted zealotry. Yours is. I decided it’s past time you be called on it.

          • Lol. I just like to point out when you express views you have in common with ‘us conservatives’.

            As for the point ‘whether the kid is ready’, I think that is exactly the issue. Do all of the controversial issues we debate on MRAK exist in the world? Of course. Which means that all children will, at some point in their lives, be exposed to each of these. It is entirely the responsibility of the parents to chose the time and manner by which the child will learn of these. Take a minor example of this: When my kids were in early elementary school, they started staying over night with friends. We would try to share info with the other parents to insure that we did not expose the guest child to things like movies or video games that the other parent considered wrong. I had three children and it was entirely my responsibility to figure out when one of my children was in a position to do something like see a scary movie, so of course, I made sure that my kids were mature enough before they learned about adult level subjects such as drag shows. Now, if you come along and have a different view, where you let the younger children see those scary movies, that has to be you choice and no one else’s. Your child = your choices.

            Even if I disagree with another parent, unless that parent is physically endangering that child, I have no legal right to interfere. But other parents need to understand that the same applies to them, looking at my parenting.

        • Why do you bother with this bigot? There is nothing you can say to reach someone this angry/obsessed/bigoted.

          It’s teaching a pig to sing. Wastes your time and annoys the bigot/pig.

          • Really having some feelings and lashing out today MA.

            Mine is just a different point of view in the community. As is yours.

          • ‘Why do you bother with this bigot? There is nothing you can say to reach someone this angry/obsessed/bigoted’

            Fair question. First off, Maureen is no bigot. I’ve dealt with real bigots from many places around the world. A true bigot despises a group of people so deeply that they refuse to interact with them and even try to do them harm. I do not know Maureen personally but I’m pretty sure she’s never tried to kill anyone over political views. And she probably wouldn’t even throw coffee in your face if you were wearing a MAGA hat. Does she have strong views, is she prejudiced for or against certain groups? Of course but the same can be said of me, just on the other side of the spectrum. Maureen expresses her views openly and honestly and invites debate. That is why I ‘bother’. Politically, we disagree on most things but that makes me think each time I respond to her comments. If it’s a legal issue, what does the law REALLY say? If religious, what did my dad/the Bible teach me? If it’s a cultural norm, why did it become that way? I hope in some small way Maureen enjoys the debate herself.

            I’m not on here to chase people away. I’m here to express my views and read other’s views. I will debate to the death certain American and Christian values and I expect others to do the same. In fact there are only probably three regulars that I would refuse to sit down with and that is only because of what I consider anti American or downright criminal expressions on their part.

          • Thanks Paul. Kindly.

            I’m here for the discussion. What is being reported versus what people think or know about the topic.

            MA is sore because, though I come from a different perspective, I was making a reasonable point and he heard it.

  10. Child abuse and the sexualization of children happening on Dunleavy’s watch. Alaska needs a Statewide ban on children being exposed to this garbage. Any adult caught exposing children to this crap need to be fined and or given some jail time. Enough is enough, protect the kids now!

  11. Maureen:

    Tell you what. If I have offended you with my bluntness, I apologize. I hold myself to higher standards than that. Sometimes I fail.

    I stand by the essence of my comments because I believe them true. But if my phrasing has hurt you, I am sorry for that. My phrasing of things has dug me holes before. I should know better.

    I’m also chastising myself for arguing with a dying woman. For that I truly am wrong. No one should meet their end under cantankerous situations.

    My mom, if she were alive, would tan my hide for this. My Priest reminds me I am expected to be better. It was a Protestant clergy friend of mine who said the best atonement (since we will never meet) was a public apology in the same area I transgressed.

    So again, if I have wounded or hurt you by my brusqueness, I apologize.

    Going forward I will not comment on any posts you make to keep me from doing this again.

    I wish you the best in your time remaining. I hope it’s as peaceful as possible.

    • I appreciate the effort and reflection that appears here with your comment to me.

      Mine is just a different perspective, like yours and everyones are.

    • And MA-I read your comments and appreciate a lot of what you say here. Not the outright mean stuff, the reflective of a lot of years in Alaska stuff. I have been helped to understand Alaska politics more fully by your insight here.

      Generally, when the comments get to name calling and threats I’m not interested to read and I stop. Too much waste, I only have so much time and energy, as a dying person. And clearly the other is unable to manage their emotions toward me. I wasn’t feeling hurt at all yesterday and was surprised both by you and Paul in the Valley, but really appreciated both.

      Kinda wondering though if you had been responding under a couple of names and THAT caused you to overwhelm.

  12. Traditionally, men impersonating females has been a kinky, homosexually-oriented, form of burlesque. The majority of so-called drag queens understand their fetish belongs in strictly adult venues. However, a contingent of them recently started the despicable trend of targeting children with their fetish. It started with the ridiculous concept of “drag queen story hours” in elementary school libraries. There is a reason “bricklayer’s story hours” do not exist; bricklayers don’t need to recruit children because their wives bear children. The drag queens need to indoctrinate young children into their perverse lifestyle choices because homosexuals cannot reproduce with themselves; they can only recruit. That said, the most discouraging part of the trend is the lack of conscience of the parents and teachers who allow their children to be exposed to perverse adult behavior. These parents and teachers are guilty of child abuse.
    PS: Why are women burlesque dancers not doing “story hours” for children?

  13. A cruising ground for pedophiles, perverts and child molesters. The Southeast Fair is a place where children go to get emotionally kidnapped. Stay away!


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