St. Louis Venue Restricts Drag Show to 18+ After Facing GOP Hate

Chesterfield's the Factory was targeted by a state senator citing a new Missouri law cracking down on what minors can see

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click to enlarge Performers imitate the Grinch at a previous Drag Queen Christmas show. - MP Present via Youtube
Performers imitate the Grinch at a previous Drag Queen Christmas show.

A Christmas-themed drag show planned for a Chesterfield venue this week has come under fire for its all-ages policy. 

The age requirement for A Drag Queen Christmas — scheduled for Wednesday, December 21, at the Factory — quickly changed online Monday after a GOP Missouri senator and a group that purports to fight government overreach criticized the event's lack of age restrictions. 

The Factory is still scheduled to host the event on Wednesday. The venue hosted the same event last year with no age minimum — seemingly to no public outcry.

On Monday, Senator Bill Eigel (R-St. Charles County) wrote a letter to Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation in opposition to A Drag Queen Christmas, saying it was clear from past performances he supposedly watched on video that the event is intended for “adult audiences only.

Eigel cited Chesterfield city code and a newly-enacted state law that describes material as “pornographic for minors” if performances depict or describe nudity, sexual conduct and or “the condition of human genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal,” among other criteria. Eigel specifically mentioned the latter. 

Eigel represents a portion of St. Charles County and is a potential candidate for Missouri governor. His state senate district does not include Chesterfield, where the Factory is located. 

“Other states may allow children to be violated by such performances, but NOT IN MISSOURI!” Eigel wrote. “I call on state, and county law enforcement agencies to ensure the statutes are enforced to protect all minor children from attending this performance.” 

Missouri Freedom Fighters joined Eigel in opposition to A Drag Queen Christmas on Monday. The group, which describes its goals on Twitter as “breaking the chains of government overreach,” apparently posted about the event on its private Facebook page. 

In screenshots posted by Meramec Township Democratic Committeewoman Laura Burkhardt on Twitter, group members condemned the event. One woman posted a template message for other detractors to send to the Factory, in which she pleaded with the venue to cancel the event “immediately,” lest she never patronize the business again and tell everyone to boycott the venue. 

Greg Modlish, a member of the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee, wrote that a protest had been organized outside the Factory shortly before A Drag Queen Christmas is scheduled to start. 

“If you think it’s OK to have a bunch of drag queens doing their filthy show in public for families and children, the[n] stay at home and God help you!” Modlish wrote. 

A Drag Queen Christmas is a nationally touring show with 36 shows planned for this holiday season. 

Local protests are apparently far from original, as local news organizations in other parts of the country report that protestors have gathered outside other showings to criticize the show’s supposed inappropriate sexual nature for minors (most other venues have allowed people of all ages to attend). 

One show in Amarillo, Texas, saw protests outside its venue after political and religious leaders hurled criticism over the show’s content. The event's VIP tickets sold out anyway.

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About The Author

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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