Naples drag show sparks protest and calls for ban on shows for minors

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NAPLES, Fla. — A group of Naples residents is calling for a ban on drag shows in the city.

“I have a really big problem … when we as a culture are allowing men, dressed in underwear, laying on their backs with their legs spread open with sexual innuendos, when people just say their entertainers like at a play,” said Teddy Collins, a local resident.

Collins, alongside a number of other protestors, spoke to the Naples City Council during their budget meeting on Monday morning. The group asked the City Council to consider a ban on the shows for children.

“Banning drag shows for minors. I one hundred percent stand behind that. I think if you’re subjecting them … you wouldn’t take your kid to a strip club. It’s inappropriate. Its a form of visual sexual abuse,” said Collins.

Specifically, the group is protesting a Naples Pride event held on July 4th at Cambier Park that included drag kings and queens, as well as musical performances. Children were permitted.

“I disagree with a lot of stuff. When it starts to get forced upon our children I get more upset. I want to take action,” said Collins.

Naples Pride is a resource center based in Collier County for the LGBTQ+ community. The center offers a number of support and youth groups, as well as educational programming and large-scale events similar to the drag show.

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“I said oh my god not again. It’s like, really? I couldn’t believe that some people just won’t let us be,” said Cori Craciun, the director of the Naples Pride Center.

Craciun said that this is not the first time an event they’ve planned has received backlash. However, they plan on continuing events in the future regardless of protestors.

“There’s nothing inappropriate about an entertainer dancing and singing. It’s the things you see at the theatre, the things you see when you go to a music festival. I don’t see anything different, kids go to concerts, kids go to football games where they see dancing cheerleaders in their costumes. Those costumes are no different,” said Craciun.

At this time there has not been any comment from the Naples City Council. There is no plan on any sort of ban on LGBTQ+ events or drag shows.

This is an ongoing story. Count on NBC2 for future updates.

Tags: Drag showsnaplesProtests

 

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