LANDON STARBUCK: All-Ages Drag Show at Tennessee Tech Reflects a National Moral Crisis

Last week, I exposed an all-ages drag show hosted on Tennessee Tech University’s campus at their theatre, “Backdoor Playhouse”. It quickly went viral due to the religious mockery on display coupled with the fact that children were not only in the audience but enticed to hand the performer dollar bills as he eventually undressed to a corset and stockings.

 

When word got around to Tennessee Tech’s President, Phil Oldham, he swiftly issued a public statement. An excerpt from the statement reads:

“I do not feel the activities in the video represent Tech’s values, and I do not condone explicit activity where minors are present. I also am offended by disparaging mockery toward any religious group. To be clear, this was not a university-sponsored event. No university funds were used. Two registered student groups facilitated the scheduling and promotion of the event. Although registered student organizations have the ability to reserve space on campus, the programming should not include obscene, lewd, or explicit activities. The university is investigating the activities that took place at this event and the circumstances surrounding its scheduling and promotion. As of now, all public events scheduled on campus by these sponsoring organizations are canceled pending a review.”
 


 

I commend Mr. Oldham’s response. It sends a necessary message during these times dominated by wokeism that Tennessee Tech will not facilitate adult performances in front of children any longer. What happened at Tennessee Tech sparked a fury of awareness in the State of Tennessee and it uncovered a huge recent push for all-ages drag shows across the entire State from Memphis to Cookeville to Nashville to Murfreesboro. One online comment in response to all of this read, 'Just plain sick - and with children even. I'm gay and this really disgusts me.' 

One Tennessee Tech student commented, “I’m currently a freshman who goes there, and I had not heard about this show, but it made me disgusted when I saw your post and that minors were involved. I decided to come to this University because of the old standards I was told it kept and knowing that President Oldham is talking down about the event, it keeps my hopes high that this will not happen again and that the standards I have personally seen elsewhere are still kept.”

In recent months, it seems a coordinated barrage of all ages drag shows has been popping up all over the country, not just Tennessee. One consistent theme at all these shows is that every time an article of clothing is removed or the dancing becomes sexual, the audience roars as the kids watch. It’s sad to think that kids are being conditioned to learn that if you emulate those behaviors, you get more attention and money. Despite the supporters of these drag shows saying that our opposition to this nightmare is rooted in homophobia, it’s not. It doesn’t matter how the person identifies, our opposition is rooted in objective truths and what should be an innate moral line regardless of your background: Adults should never sexualize children.

You might have seen this saying going around the internet: “ask not why children need to watch drag shows, ask why drag queens need an audience of children.” And that brings us to the real point of focus and contention. Why is the so-called “progressive” left hellbent on exposing children to adult entertainment and other sexually charged content? 

It’s not just sexualized drag shows for kids. It’s radical gender theory, it’s pornographic books in schools, it’s the attempt to normalize sex changes for minors and it’s radical sex ed focused on teaching pleasure instead of protection and prevention. It’s all connected and part of the progressive ideological package.

The very same week my expose of Tennessee Tech’s all-ages drag show went viral, I exposed a doctor in Florida advertising sex changes for kids via Tik Tok reels; proudly advertising the mutilated breasts of healthy teenage girls. Then days later, a sex ed resource book recommended by CNN and The American Library Association started circulating online called “Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide To Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human”. The contents contained the most extreme sexual grooming content I’ve witnessed in all my work exposing sexual grooming. In a book geared to kids as young as 8 used pornographic images of sex while encouraging kids to use sex toys and watch porn! It’s notable that the only prominent voices outraged by this abusive sexual grooming seem to be on the political right.

The left remains religiously faithful to their divisive agenda so when it comes to pornographic books being distributed to kids or drag performers dancing sexually in front of children, they devoutly defend these behaviors and shame those who try to stop it as “transphobes!”, “homophobes!” and “bigots!”. Any challenge or questioning of their ideological orthodoxy is treated as a personal attack in which they routinely posture themselves as victims while ignoring the fact that children are the real victims. Conservatives aren’t trying to shut down adult-only drag shows or harass gay people as the left’s tired narrative promulgates. Consenting adults can do what they choose with consenting adults but we must always draw a line when children are being abused, whether it be via exposure to sexual themes at a drag show, exposure to porn in the school library, or sexual abuse at a church. That last part is what normal people on the left miss. This isn’t just about attacking sacred cows on the left — their ideology just happens to be one that seems to condone the sexual grooming being normalized.

 

Children are being groomed to accept grooming behaviors as normal.

 

Sadly even the drag performer from the Tennessee Tech viral video doesn’t seem to understand that the issue we take is with the behavior displayed in front of kids, not his identity. Several clips from his podcast were sent to me in which he and his female co-host trade off seemingly accusing us of hate speech or bias against gay people while once again he mocks Christianity by saying “Jesus would have had a bunch of ones and he would have stood up and started tipping all the drag performers and been like I like your costume.” He also admitted that he is  “a proud person of the satanic temple”; encouraging listeners to “read it and learn.”

The most striking part of the clip sent to me was hearing him reveal that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child and teen. All children deserve childhoods free from grooming, abuse, and exploitation. The performer in question deserved that too and I can’t help but wonder if this would have ever happened had he been given that innocent childhood that he deserved. Kids often simulate what they see; adults often carry trauma from childhood and express it in unhealthy ways. It’s not too much of a leap to wonder if many of these situations we see today are a creation of the powerful on the left using abuse victims like this to unknowingly destabilize the next generation into a generation that’s primed to reject traditionalism, Judeo-Christian principles, and conservatism in every form.

Subjecting children to any performer who demonstrates sexual expression in front of kids is a form of sexual grooming. It grooms kids into thinking these behaviors are normal, healthy, and benign. If it’s not ok for a kid to perform a striptease, twerk, spread their legs, or take cash tips from adults, then why are adults exposing kids to that very scenario? It doesn’t matter if it’s a Cardi B concert, a stripper, porn on the screen, porn at the library, or a local drag show — kids should never be exposed to sexually themed or explicit content but it’s more apparent every day that a large contingent of adults on the political left needs kids to be exposed to it to feel more secure in their identities and/or advance their ideological goals. That simple truth strikes at the heart of how twisted this ideology has become. One of their goals is forcing drag into schools under the guise of inclusivity and education whether it be via toned down drag shows or “drag queen story time”. Again, no child naturally seeks out drag without being exposed to it inappropriately by an adult, so why is drag seeking out our children? There are only nefarious options to answer that question even if in some cases a well-intentioned now adult child sexual abuse victim is a misguided part of the “show”.

These drag shows for kids might appear superficial but that’s because they’re a trojan horse for something far more sinister; the furtherance of a far-left agenda to destroy gender, dismantle Motherhood and Fatherhood, delete traditional values, distort sexual boundaries, and ultimately demoralize those who have innate moral boundaries or instincts to stand up against depravity. Sexuality is a powerful tool that can be used to influence and control people, that’s a tale as old as time. When adult sexuality is deployed onto young children, it can traumatize them, stunt their development, and negatively impact their own self-image and behavior in harmful ways. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the voices of countless child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors who were groomed before they were abused. Moral guardrails in society are necessary to protect children and prevent them from being groomed for abuse. I understand that morality can be nuanced and subjective to many people but there are some hard moral lines that cannot be ignored if western civilization is to survive and/or thrive. I call these lines our innate morality. For western civilization to survive and/or thrive, we must do everything in our power to ensure innate moral lines are never crossed, or else a snowball begins that turns into an avalanche that could threaten to destroy everything we know and love. That may sound like a leap but history tells us that it’s not. When civilizations lose their moral boundaries, they lose their civilization.

Just like gender and sexuality, the left’s “prestigious” academic ideologues see morality as yet another construct that needs to be deconstructed from “cis-hetero norms”. They see childhood innocence as another construct upheld by evil, white, heterosexual Christians. I could write a whole other piece about how demeaning and disempowering they are to conservative Black, Asian, and Latino parents but that’s another piece for another day. The constructs they seek to destroy are really the foundational values that uphold the nuclear family and the promise of America. This is why we’ve seen the most egregious assault on parental rights in our lifetimes: An agenda to destroy America as we’ve known it. It would be nice if it was all a big “right-wing conspiracy” but there’s no ignoring our own eyes, ears, and experiences. It’s infiltrated our communities now and it’s up to us to draw the lines in the sand of what we’ll allow and what we won’t. I know what my husband and I won’t allow in Tennessee as long as we can help it: We will not allow innate morality to be dismantled and deconstructed along with gender, the nuclear family, and sexuality. Whether it’s all ages drag shows, child drag shows, radical sex ed, gender theory, and pornography in our libraries and schools, we must be willing to take appropriate action to stop it. If we fail to preserve our values then we’re complicit in the destruction of the moral principles we claim to live by and the civilization we claim to love. I choose to not fail, and I hope you will too.

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