Boise Pride Festival: Sponsors withdraw applications as Republican Dorothy Moon slams LGBTQ event for 'Drag Kids' show

Chairwoman of the Idaho Republican party, Dorothy Moon slammed the Boise Pride Festival while multiple sponsors withdrew their applications

Boise Pride Festival: Sponsors withdraw applications as Republican Dorothy Moon slams LGBTQ event for 'Drag Kids' show
Multiple sponsors withdraw applications after Boise Pride Festival faced backlash for children’s drag show (Idaho Government and Screenshot from KTVB)
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BOISE, IDAHO: At least three organizations sponsoring weekend’s Boise Pride Festival have decided to withdraw their application after politicians slammed the festival over the inclusion of a “drag kids show” that features children as young as 11.

Zions Bank, Idaho Power, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare withdrew their applications as the sponsors of the Boise Pride Festival after Chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party Dorothy Moon called out the Democrat Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and urged sponsors to remove their financial support.

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First held back in 1989, Boise Pride Festival is an annual event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities to come together and celebrate their style of living. Just like every year, the festival is slated to kickstart in Idaho, the US from Friday, September 9 to Sunday, September 10. The organizers of the festival tried to make it an aesthetically vibrant festival by including a number of events ranging from fireworks to burlesque to music. But they ended up receiving backlash for the schedule for September 11, which included a ‘drag kid show’.

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“You have watched the Queens and Kings and now it is time to see the Kids,” read an ad run by the organizers for the event. “A drag show like none other the Drag Kids range from ages 11-18 and are ready to bring it all to the Boise Pride Festival stage! Come and cheer them on as they bring drag to the younger generation!” the ad continued.

In the schedule for the events on September 11, organizers gave a 15-minutes slot to “9/11 remembrance” which starts at 11:30 am, and allotted a 45 minutes slot to ‘Drag Kids’ which is scheduled to kick start at 12.45 am. Discussing the 9/11 event, Boise Pride communications coordinator Rachael Brister told the Idaho Statesman, "Like the 20th anniversary last year, we will take time on stage to recognize the significance of the event and how it still affects so many people."

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But Chairwoman of the Idaho Republican Party Dorothy Moon slammed Democrat Boise Mayor Lauren McLean while condemning the event and called it an “attack on Idaho’s children.” “Out-of-state companies promise to bring investment and jobs to Idaho. Instead, they are financing the sexualization of our children and the perverse idea that children should engage in sexual performances with adult entertainers,” Moon wrote in a statement released Wednesday.

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The statement also criticized "out-of-state companies" for financing "the sexualization of our children and the perverse idea that children should engage in sexual performances with adult entertainers."

In response to the statement released by Moon, Zions Bank withdrew its sponsorship of the pride festival. Zions bank, a Salt Lake City-based company founded by Brigham Young and formerly owned by the LDS Church, said it sponsored a variety of LGBTQ events over the year but was not aware of the fact that the Boise Pride Festival is involving kids as young as 11.

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“When we committed to our sponsorship of this year’s Boise Pride event, we were unaware of the event’s activities involving children/minors,” the bank claimed in a statement announcing the withdrawal. “Since learning of these specific activities, we have made the decision to withdraw our participation in this year’s Boise Pride event and have communicated this to the event organizers.”

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On the other hand, Idaho power who also canceled its sponsorship said it had concerns about safety at the event. “Due to programming changes that occurred after our sponsorship and concerns for the safety of our employees and volunteers, we have withdrawn our participation in the Boise Pride event,” Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin said in a written statement issued Thursday. “We will continue to support our diverse communities.”

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Responding to the criticizing statement made by the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party and the cancellation of the sponsorships, the organizers of the pride festival said, the Drag Kids show has nothing to do with sexualizing and exploiting children.

“The drag kids performance is a celebration of self-expression and confidence. The only perversion and sexualization of this performance are coming from extremists and people like Dorothy Moon, who are twisting it into something it is not,” Boise Pride said in response to the backlash.

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