ORLANDO, Fla. – A drag queen pageant benefiting the Rose Dynasty Foundation relocated from the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando days before the event.
The Miss Rose Dynasty Pageant, a family-friendly drag queen pageant, took place Saturday at the Wynham Orlando Resort & Conference Center in Kissimmee.
The foundation said Tuesday it was notified two weeks prior by the Dr. Phillips Center that the pageant “was potentially in jeopardy if we did not make the event 18 years and up” or postpone the pageant until the center could clarify it would be able to host it as a family-friendly event.
“They tried to talk with state officials to get clarity on what they are able to do and could not get an answer. As you know, Dr. Phillips has been our venue in the past and has been a great partner. Our response is that we will not enforce an age restriction or postpone the event, as an age restriction would go against our mission, vision and work we do here at Rose Dynasty Foundation. Rose Dynasty will continue to provide a safe space for all ages in our events,” the foundation wrote.
The Dr. Phillips Center sent News 6 the following statement regarding the pageant.
Rose Dynasty Foundation President Jason DeShazo said he was surprised at the age limit suggestion because the drag queen pageant has been at the Dr. Phillips Center for the last three years.
“This witch hunt of, like, trying to find things that are inappropriate when they’re not there when we should be focusing on other things. We’ve got kids that are living on the streets. You’ve got kids and families that are starving,” he said.
DeShazo said the age limit went against the mission and vision of the foundation, and he found a new venue within days of the pageant.
“The show is going on. We’re gonna raise money for our community, we’ve got seven amazing charities that we’re gonna give back to,” he said.
The event organizer said there were 120 people total in attendance, but with the last-minute venue change, the foundation lost 50 attendees who had previously purchased tickets.
The change of venue comes months after the Plaza Live in Orlando received a notice from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation over the performance of “A Drag Queen Christmas” by the drag group Drag Fans.
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In the letter, state officials wrote that they believed the show may have involved “the exposure of sexual organs, simulated sexual activity, and/or the sexualization of children’s stories.”
According to the department, Drag Fans’ shows have been marketed to and attended by young children in the past. State officials added that sexually explicit drag shows constitute public nuisances, lewd activity and disorderly conduct when children are attending the shows.
As such, state officials said at the time that the foundation would be responsible for making sure no minors were in attendance at the show. Despite the warnings, the venue went ahead with the performance, state records show.
The department has since begun the process of revoking the venue’s liquor license.
The Rose Dynasty Foundation has helped raise thousands for charities and the mentoring of LGBTQ+ youth, according to its website.
To donate, click here.
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