Who Profits From Dallas’ ‘Kid-Friendly’ Drag Shows?

Child attends a drag show competition | Image by RnDmS/Shutterstock

BuzzBrews Kitchen held an all-ages drag show at its Lakewood location on February 25, attended by a number of protesters. The BuzzBrews Kitchen Lakewood location has hosted the all-ages drag shows for the past year, and children have attended.

It is “quickly becoming a new favorite” according to advertising for the regularly held event, while demonstrators objecting to the attendance of children have likewise become commonplace.

The Dallas Express was on hand to cover the February protest and asked the proprietor of BuzzBrews Lakewood for information regarding the show’s sponsorship, revenue, and openness to minors.

The Dallas Express asked Ernest Belmore, the owner of BuzzBrews Inc., what he thought about children attending drag shows.

“I think it’s up to the parents to make that decision for the child, kind of just like anything else that influences children that may be adult,” Belmore responded.

“We never advocated for being kid-friendly, we don’t advertise for kids, it’s not for kids, but we respect the rights of the parents, and we respect the rights of people. … It’s the parents’ prerogative to bring their kids if they want [and] we’re not going to deny that,” said Belmore. “Because it’s exposing those people and parents’ lives to a universe that they want to expose them to.”

While Belmore claims it’s not advertised for kids, the advertising for the event clearly describes it as “all ages” and warns of “adult language.”

Belmore told The Dallas Express that his company does not advertise the all-ages drag shows and is not funding the program himself.

“It’s being funded by the host performer,” said Belmore. “Daphne Rio is his stage name.”

The drag shows were first advertised online through DallasGayNightlife.com, an online site covering Dallas’ LGBTQ nightlife scene.

The Dallas Express also contacted Dallas Gay Nightlife for additional information about who might be scheduling and organizing the drag shows, but DGN did not immediately respond for comment.

“I wouldn’t do anything at my business that I wouldn’t expose my kids to and don’t,” Belmore added.

Belmore told The Dallas Express that, when parents have brought kids, Rio would ask them if they wanted the shows dialed down.

Protect Texas Kids (PTK) and representatives from the New Columbia Movement (NCM) showed up at BuzzBrews to protest that February drag queen show.

“We’ve seen a lot of kids going inside of there. We did have somebody who is inside who said that while they were in there, there were not kids directly in the show watching, but everything going on can be seen and heard from outside,” Kelly Neidert, PTK’s executive director, told The Dallas Express.

“The show is also open to the children,” Neidert added. “We also saw a waitress come outside and ask a family with a kid if they were here for the drag show, and they said yes. So, it has been disgusting.

“They’re doing these twice a month now. We know that, and they don’t seem like they’re going to stop on their own. We’ll come out here to protest whenever we need to because it’s not okay that they’re doing this,” Neidert said.

Neidert told The Dallas Express that she would feel the same way if parents took their children to a gentlemen’s club or strip club.

There was no opposition to PTK or the NCM that day as members of the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club (EFJBGC), a self-described armed Antifa group, did not show up with their rifles or gear. The EFJBGC has previously counter-protested in support of similar drag events, as reported in The Dallas Express.

Just before the drag show began, a woman and two children could be seen in the room where the show was set to take place. However, they left the establishment before the show began.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, two children did attend a drag show held in the same location in mid-January.

The children were accompanied by their mother, who commented regarding the vulgar language used in the show, “They hear that at home, so it ain’t no different.”

State Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) recently introduced HB 1266, which would ban all-ages drag shows in Texas and amend business and commerce codes to classify venues that host drag shows as sexually oriented businesses.

“I think it’s ridiculous, simply put. I think it’s out of their wheelhouse; it’s not up to them to dictate policies of business people to make a living,” claimed Belmore.

Neidert disagrees with Belmore’s approach.

“For somebody to be okay with kids attending, I think they’re okay with children being sexualized at that point and exposing children to extremely sexual content,” Neidert said. “I truly don’t understand how anyone should be okay with that.”

“I would wonder if somebody is okay with children going into the show if that person has seen the show or if he would know what goes on inside of there, because I don’t know how anyone [who] knows what the drag show is could be okay with that,” Neidert added.

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  1. ThisGuyisTom

    I appreciate Dallas Express reporting on this.

    I strongly agree with the point made in the quote below.

    QUOTE from article:
    “For somebody to be okay with kids attending, I think they’re okay with children being sexualized at that point and exposing children to extremely sexual content,” Neidert said. “I truly don’t understand how anyone should be okay with that.”

    • Anna W.

      It’s really not your business. We are always talking about sexuality. Drugs, Murder, Robbery and kidnapping are not important.
      I am 74 and all you hear now is sexuality
      Reading to your children or grandchildren not important.
      Helping the Elderly not important.
      Kids not at home at midnight not important.

  2. Djea3

    If you are a grandparent or parent whose family is somehow affected by this directly, I suggest that you and several hundred others make signs and protest outside the venue on a daily basis if possible.

    The signs should specifically speak to the non-support of any business that grooms children.

    Enough said.

  3. Bob

    There is no such thing as a kid friendly drag show. Not too long ago you would have been arrested for indecency with a child.These must be abolished. If you are an adult and want to go see one, have at it. Leave minor children out of it


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