A Florida Senator successfully petitioned the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to cancel a children’s story time event arguing that it was a waste of taxpayer money. The event, in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, was to feature a drag queen reading to children.
Prior to the event’s cancelation, Stacey Teed, the drag queen scheduled to read to children for 30 minutes posted the following on Facebook: “We’re celebrating Pride Month at the Ramstein Library with Drag Queen Storytime! Be sure to wear your brightest and most colorful outfits!” The post has since been deleted.
Drag Queen Storytime had been slated for Thursday at the Ramstein Air Base library in honor of Pride Monthhttps://t.co/U3ecpJW0nw
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) May 28, 2022
Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall expressing that military families stationed outside of the United States are often limited to services provided on post and cannot go elsewhere if they find an on-post facility offensive.
In the letter dated 26 May, Rubio wrote, “I urge you to immediately cancel this politically divisive event, and take appropriate disciplinary action against all involved in allowing this gross abuse of taxpayer funding to place children in a sexualized environment.”
Rubio’s concerns echoed the feelings of service members and parents on and off of Ramstein.
Last week, Lt. Col. Will Powell, the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein’s chief of public affairs advised the media that the poster released to publicize Drag Queen Story Time was posted online prior to the base approving the event.
Rubio’s involvement in the cancelation may have been predictably timed. The Ramstein drag event was planned in the midst of tenacious fighting from the right to exclude LGBTQ education from children’s curriculums.
Around the same time last year, Nellis Air Force Base, just outside of Las Vegas, hosted an on-base drag show called “Drag-u-Nellis,” The event was sponsored by a private, non-military entity and was designed to educate the public on the importance of drag as an artistic brand of expression within the LGBTQ community.
Nellis AFB spokesperson told Yahoo news, “Ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military. Nellis Air Force Base is committed to providing and championing an environment that is characterized by equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.”
It’s worth pointing out that last year’s drag event on Nellis was not targeting children as their key audience.