After a series of ‘anti-drag’ bills hit state legislatures across the United States, drag queens and their shows have become the focus of heated public discussion this past year.
Are drag shows really as inherently inappropriate and sexual as conservative lawmakers claim? One mom decided to investigate for herself by taking her young children to a drag brunch and posting her findings online.
Sharing The Experience With Her Followers
“With all the controversy surrounding children and drag queens these days, I thought I would go undercover and take our girls to a drag show and see what kind of horrible trauma they endure,” says Tianna Bastien in a now-viral TikTok video.
Bastien is a co-owner of The Curated Lobe, an ear piercing and styling studio located in Oakville, Ontario. She uploaded the short clip documenting her family excursion to her business account (@thecuratedlobe). Since posting, the video has accumulated 2.9 million views and 599.9 thousand likes.
In a sarcastic voice-over, Bastien narrated the details of their allegedly terrible experience. “I had to have a drink to be able to get through it because, honestly, I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to pull it off,” she reveals.
Dressing The Part
For their first drag brunch, Bastien dressed herself and her daughters “to match the part”—with bright, two-toned eyeliner, space buns, and face paint. She even provided the girls with dollar bills to tip the drag performers.
“If you want to get mad, this is the restaurant we went to; it’s in Oakville on Kerr Street,” she told her followers.
Community Resto advertises itself as a vegan, plant-based restaurant that focuses on giving back to the community. They host drag brunches at both of their locations—most recently, they sold tickets for a Halloween Party Drag Brunch.
Drag queens at the brunch Bastien attended wore outlandish outfits, brightly-colored wigs, and over-the-top makeup while performing. Videos show them dancing fully covered, without any explicit moves that could raise eyebrows.
Getting The Kids Involved
At one point, the performers invited all the children in the audience—including Bastien’s daughters—to participate in a dance competition to the tune of “Baby Shark.”
“How dare they put sparkles on the girls, making them feel all sparkly and shiny and part of the show? Just not cool,” Bastien jokingly criticizes over footage of her daughters dancing in a circle with the drag queens.
She even deadpans: “They will carry this trauma with them their entire lives.”
The TikTok video concludes with a group hug featuring drag queen Devine Darlin, who accepted a bouquet of flowers from the little girls. Batsien’s daughters are smiling at the phone camera as she wraps up: “I mean, you can tell they hated it, so we’ll definitely try church next Sunday instead.”
@thecuratedlobe Someone call the Republicans 😤 #parentingtips #thecuratedlobe #drag #dragbrunch #dragshow #parenting #lqbtq ♬ original sound – The Curated Lobe
Netizens Shared Their Views
Online users flooded Bastien’s comment section with praise. “This mom is a queen! The satire is masterfully delivered while having a wonderful time with her girls at brunch,” wrote one commenter.
“I took my son to a drag brunch when he was young,” shared another user. “I’m concerned about the trauma it caused him because he DID NOT GET SPARKLES LIKE THESE GIRLS [sparkle emoji].”
In a follow-up interview with blogTO, a Toronto-based blog site, Bastien reassured concerned users that she called ahead to confirm the drag show was “kid-friendly” before taking her five- and seven-year-old.
“Kids should learn to be loving and accepting of all, and this helped them along that path,” Bastien asserted.
Despite GOP lawmakers’ best attempts, most anti-drag bills have not succeeded in becoming laws. In Tennessee, Republicans backed a bill that prohibits “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors.” However, a Trump-appointed judge ruled the law was “unconstitutionally vague.”
“Whether some of us may like it or not, the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment as protecting speech that is indecent but not obscene,” wrote U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker.
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.