Florida officials release reports on Christmas drag performance in Orlando

3 children who attended drag show not exposed to genitals, investigators say

State officials announced that The Plaza Live in Orlando would lose its liquor license after hosting a Christmas drag performance (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) released investigative reports on Monday to News 6 after an Orlando performance venue faced having its liquor license revoked for allowing children into a Christmas drag show.

The DBPR sent a notice to The Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation in December after the announcement of a performance dubbed “A Drag Queen Christmas” by the drag group Drag Fans.

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’ drag 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.

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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.

Reports released Monday show that agents with the Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Law Enforcement attended the performance over concerns that children may have been exposed to “lewd, indecent or obscene content.”

While agents noted that there were three underage attendees at the event, they added that they didn’t witness any exposure of genitals during the performance.

“Besides some of the outfits being provocative (bikinis and short shorts), agents did not witness any lewd acts such as exposure of genital organs during the acts by various performers,” the report reads. “The performers did not have any physical contact while performing to the rhythm of the music with any patrons within the audience.”

The agents also reported, however, that performers were seen simulating acts “involving sexual activity,” such as humping, mimicking fellatio and “swinging what appeared to be male genitalia.”

A performer known as Jimbo the Drag Clown was also seen unzipping the crotch area of his costume, possibly simulating birth or an abortion, before dropping apparent meat onto the stage from his groin area and throwing pieces of the apparent meat into the crowd, agents said.

According to an administrative complaint, the show featured several sexualized adaptations of popular Christmas songs for children, including “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The show also featured performers exposing their buttocks and wearing prosthetic female genitalia, the complaint shows.

According to agents, the venue made an attempt to warn parents that the material in the performance may not have been appropriate for those under the age of 18, though staff did not prevent children from attending.

A letter posted by event staff advising that some content may not be appropriate for those under the age of 18 (Department of Business and Professional Regulation)

Due to the allegations included in the reports and the presence of children at the event, state officials said the department was granted authority to revoke the venue’s license.

“Sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children, and doing so violates Florida law,” the DBPR wrote in a statement. “DBPR will continue to uphold its responsibility to fairly regulating Florida’s businesses, especially when it comes to protecting the innocence of children.”

Former Florida lawmaker and Equality Florida advocate Carlos Smith spoke with News 6 afterward, saying that this is an attempt by Gov. Ron DeSantis to stir up a “moral panic.”

“He wants to target LGBTQ-friendly businesses that open their doors to drag queens because he thinks that that will help him get the nomination for the Republican Party for president of the United States,” Smith said. “But what he’s doing actually has consequences.”

Smith argued that parents should be allowed to decide for themselves what kind of content is appropriate for their children.

“Ron DeSantis has made such a big deal about parental rights, but what this boils down to is that he only supports parental rights for those that agree with him,” Smith added.

Senate Bill 1438, titled “Protection of Children,” passed the Judiciary Committee on March 21. The bill seeks to provide criminal penalties for venues who admit children into “adult live performances,” which are defined as the following:

“Any show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, specific sexual activities as those terms are defined in s. 847.001, lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts when it:

1. Predominantly appeals to a prurient, shameful, or morbid interest

2. Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community of this state as a whole with respect to what is suitable material or conduct for the age of the child present; and

3. Taken as a whole, is without serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for the age of the child present.”

Senate Bill 1438

“It gives the DBPR more power to revoke licenses and actually revoke the business license of a venue that hosts a similar show as they define as adult live performance,” Smith said. “But it also charges individuals who allow a minor to enter this type of performance to be guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor, which includes fines and up to a year in prison. That individual includes a parent.”

Florida Rep. Randy Fine filed similar legislation — House Bill 1423 — in the state House of Representatives earlier this month.

“I’m not aware of a lot of female strippers performing for children right now. I’d be interested to know that there are, but what we have is men dressing up like strippers, and somehow the woke left thinks that’s OK,” Fine said after being asked whether the legislation was meant to target drag shows specifically.

SB-1438 is set to go through the Senate Rules Committee for consideration on Thursday.


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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.