LGBTQ activists participating in New York City’s annual Drag March on Friday ignited a wave of controversy and outrage with their chant, “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children,” in a bustling Manhattan park. The march, held as part of the city’s vibrant Pride Month celebrations, saw a colorful procession of participants donning flamboyant dresses and eye-catching attire as they made their way through the streets of the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park.
Video footage of the event captured the atmosphere, with marchers joyously engaging in the cheeky chant, accompanied by laughter and even a topless woman enthusiastically joining the festivities. The energy and playfulness of the crowd were evident, as they proudly expressed their LGBTQ identity and celebrated their visibility.
However, it was the particular chant that sparked significant controversy, drawing criticism and condemnation from conservative circles. The video quickly gained traction on social media, intensifying the debate surrounding the event. Conservatives took to various platforms to express their discontent and concern over what they perceived as an inappropriate and potentially harmful message targeting children.
One prominent critic, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), voiced her disapproval on Twitter, asserting, “This movement grooms minors to have mastectomies and castration and fuels a multi-billion-dollar medical child abuse industry.” Greene called for the passing of the Protect Children’s Innocence Act, a bill under consideration in Congress that aims to make it a felony to perform any gender-affirming care on minors.
Joining the chorus of conservative voices, Jenna Ellis, an attorney who had a brief association with former President Donald Trump’s legal team, expressed her skepticism by tweeting, “Remember that thing they said they totally are not doing?” Meanwhile, conservative podcaster Graham Allen characterized the chant as an embodiment of evil, further escalating the controversy.
In response to the criticism, some online users argued that the chant was likely intended as a satirical response to accusations of pedophilia leveled against the drag community by the political right. They suggested that the provocative chant was a tongue-in-cheek expression meant to challenge and mock the unfounded claims rather than promote any actual threat to children. This perspective aimed to highlight the power of satire and humor in countering baseless accusations and fostering dialogue.
Despite the divergent views surrounding the chant, it remains clear that the Drag March continues to be a contentious event, provoking strong reactions from both supporters and critics. On one side, participants emphasize the importance of freedom of expression, celebrating diversity, and raising awareness about LGBTQ rights. On the other side, opponents argue that certain expressions and messages may undermine the efforts made by the LGBTQ community to gain acceptance and understanding.
The event encompassed various forms of self-expression, solidarity, and remembrance, symbolized by the march’s conclusion at the historic Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The iconic location holds significant historical significance, as it was the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, widely considered a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.
As Pride Month draws to a close, New York City is preparing for its grand finale: the massive annual parade scheduled for Sunday. The parade is expected to attract a diverse array of participants and spectators, uniting people from different backgrounds in a shared celebration of love, acceptance, and the continued struggle for equality. It serves as a reminder of the progress made since the Stonewall Riots while acknowledging the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in their pursuit of full recognition and equal rights.