Kari Lake's Hypocritical History with Drag Queens and Young Kids
The Republican playbook of wedge politics uncovered.
In each electoral cycle, Republicans habitually seize upon a demographic of individuals who diverge from their own constituency. They selectively highlight a handful of egregious acts committed by some members of that group and exploit those isolated incidents to defame the entire group in a malicious manner. These deceptive narratives are utilized as a tool to foment division in the electoral process. These narratives pressure Democrats to advocate for the rights of this maligned group, only to have Republicans subsequently insinuate that by doing so, Democrats are complicit in the despicable behavior of the few bad individuals within that demographic.
We've seen this happen with immigrants and the GOP's MS-13 narrative. We've seen it with teachers and the narrative that they are trying to indoctrinate students, and now we are seeing it with transgender Americans and drag.
Krassenstein’s Democratic Informer is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
In recent months, social media platforms have been inundated with a plethora of video clips showcasing Drag Queen story hours and families attending drag shows with their children. Admittedly, some of these videos contain explicit content that I would not endorse for children. However, it is important to note that many of these clips were recorded outside of the United States and are by no means indicative of the standard within the drag scene. Once again, Republicans utilize these anomalous examples to cast the entire drag culture as a debauched terrain where minors are subjected to sexual content.
The spotlight now shifts to Kari Lake, the MAGA-aligned Republican who launched an unsuccessful bid for the Arizona governorship, despite her vehement denial of defeat. It is ironic that the MAGA faction so vigorously advocates for this individual, given that she had previously been involved in the drag subculture, and even invited a man dressed in drag to her home to perform in front of her young daughter, according to witnesses. The juxtaposition is striking, as the same individuals who extol Lake as a potential Vice President of the United States, also vilify the mere idea of children being exposed to drag. In fact Lake herself once tweeted, "they kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens. They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow."
It is not the mere act of attending several drag events, or allegedly allowing her young daughter to witness drag, that is at issue. Rather, it is the fact that Kari Lake embodies a political party that appears to have made a concerted effort to incorporate a vehement critique of transgender Americans and drag shows into their 2024 platform.
So what exactly took place a decade or so ago? Rick Stevens (known as Barbra Seville), one of the Phoenix, Arizona-area's best known drag queens, was invited and attended the home of Lake in or around 2012 to perform as Marilyn Monroe at her birthday party. Stevens says that the young girl (Lake’s daughter) was "elementary school-aged," and was in the audience. Lake denies that her daughter was there watching, and claims that the drag show was really just Steven's 'impersonating' Monroe.
According to Stevens, Lake was a frequent attendee of drag shows during her time as an anchor on FOX 10 News in the 1990s. She and several of her colleagues would regularly visit the 307 Lounge, a gay bar located in downtown Phoenix that frequently showcased drag performances.
But, that’s not all! In fact there are also images circulating online of Kari Lake, then Kari Halperin at a baby shower with a Stevens dress in drag, while kids were also in attendance.
Since we are on the topic I do want to point out that most psychologists will tell you there is nothing inherently wrong with children being exposed to drag as long as the contend of the shows aren't overly sexualized.
Ashleigh Yule, a Calgary-based registered psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent mental health, says:
"The idea that drag is somehow bad is actually incorrect. From a developmental standpoint, kids have a very fluid understanding of gender,” she says. “It’s really important to have healthy conversations that are developmentally appropriate about gender roles and gender expression being part of art. Who gets to wear makeup? Does nail polish have a gender? All of these questions are actually really positive, healthy and important questions for kids to be asking, and for parents to be talking about with their children.”
The GOP's penchant for hypocrisy is a well-established fact, and it has become a recurrent feature of their electioneering strategy. The predicament, however, is that these hypocrisies are not sufficiently scrutinized. It is our responsibility to call out politicians who weaponize gender politics as a means of undermining the rights of an entire group of Americans. There are bad apples in every group. You don't throw out the entire batch. That's what the republicans appear to want to do.
The need for inclusiveness towards transgender individuals cannot be overstated. Transgender people have long faced discrimination, marginalization, and violence in our society. They are often denied access to basic human rights, including healthcare, housing, and employment, simply because of their gender identity. This exclusion has significant and long-lasting effects on the mental and physical health of transgender individuals, leading to higher rates of suicide, substance abuse, and poverty. It is our responsibility as a society to create a culture of inclusivity that embraces and supports transgender individuals, their rights, and their contributions to our communities. This includes advocating for legal protections, increasing awareness, providing education and resources, and challenging discriminatory attitudes and behaviors towards this marginalized group.
Full library of images of Kari Lake surrounded by some amazing men in drag below: