An Arizona drag queen has accused a Republican gubernatorial candidate of hypocrisy after she spoke out against children attending drag shows – but reportedly once had the drag queen perform at her home in front of her young daughter.
Kari Lake, a Trump-backed Republican candidate for governor, retweeted a video earlier this month showing a drag queen performing in front of kids in Texas, writing: ‘This is grooming. This is child abuse. Maybe that’s acceptable in Dallas, Texas. But it will not be tolerated in a @KariLake-led Arizona.’
Then on Saturday, she tweeted her dismay with schools hosting drag shows writing: ‘They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens.
‘They took down our flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our enemies.
‘Let us bring back the basics: God, Guns and Glory.’
But soon after, Rick Stevens, one of the area’s best known drag artists who goes by the name Barbra Seville at theaters, bars and parties, says he has held parties at Lake’s home.
He posted photos to his social media of Lake posing with him and other drag performers – and similar pictures, dated 2012 and 2014, are posted to Lake’s social media. They were captioned: ‘Half of what I know about makeup, I learned from watching friends like @BarbraSeville.’
Stevens also told Arizona Central how Lake invited him to her central Phoenix home to perform as Marilyn Monroe at her birthday party about 10 to 12 years ago, and specifically remembers Lake’s then elementary school-aged daughter in the audience because she was wearing glasses at the time.
He said he sympathized with her because he hated wearing glasses as a child.
‘She’s friends with drag queens,’ Stevens said of Lake. ‘She’s had her kid in front of a drag queen. I’ve done drag in her home for her friends and family.
‘She’s not threatened by them,’ he added. ‘ She would come to shows constantly.
‘To make me the bogeyman for political gain, it was just too much.’
Still, Lake’s campaign denied that her daughter ever attended a drag show.
‘Richard’s accusations were full of lies,’ she said in a statement to Arizona Central.
‘The event in question was a party at someone else’s house and the performer was there as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. It wasn’t a drag show, and the issue we’re talking about isn’t adults attending drag shows either.
‘The issue is activists sexualizing young children, and that’s got to stop.’