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Muckraker: My night inside the Westminster Drag Show that was open to minors

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Thick perfume with a trace of cigarette filled my nose when I walked into the Drag Show that was open to minors at Westminster’s Best Western Hotel on Saturday night. It was dark and club music thumped as technicolored disco lights rolled across the walls and floor. 

There must have been two hundred people there, young, old and everything in between. Many were androgynous by appearance, as you would expect at such an event, each falling someplace unique on the expansive LGBTQIA+ spectrum. 

But there were middle aged straight couples there too, wearing snug leather and dangling jewelry, maybe craving a sexy evening away. There were collections of college girls tik-toking their way through the start of what would probably be a long night out for them. There were nuclear families there too, where Mom and Dad’s attendance was perhaps an affirmation of their accompanying teen’s nonconforming gender or sexual orientation. 

There were even some elderly folks there wearing what could be considered their Sunday best, including a Mr. Rogers look-alike uniformed perfectly with pleated slacks and a knit sweater over a collared shirt.  

I found my seat at the ten person table I was assigned to, realizing right away I was the only person at the table who had come alone, making the small-talk required to remain undercover a little awkward. I told those around me I was hoping to meet someone here, but that apparently that person wasn’t going to show. They accepted my explanation with a look of sympathy, I think because they thought I might have been latently gay myself and hoping to meet a match there who had stood me up.    

The show started when a Drag Queen named KC Florence burst through the door wearing a trench coat. He threw his hands in the air embracing the crowd as it applauded and wove pride flags, then he thrust downward and the trench coat slid off revealing a full body singlet featuring a cheeky backside half-covering.    

He thanked the crowd for showing up despite all the threats, and hate, and bigotry. Then he asked anyone under the age of 18 to raise their hand, and when a dozen or so teenagers did, he thanked the parents for letting those kids live out their truth, before clarifying that he was not trying to turn them or anyone gay.  

Then some Whitney Houston type music blared, and KC skipped and danced to the front of the room, leaping into the air and crashing down onto the floor, dropping that thang on the same stage where Haven Shoemaker and David Ellin debated for the office of Carroll County State’s Attorney. 

KC was working the room, and started making his rounds around our table, collecting a few dollar bills from each person. It hadn’t occurred to me yet that holding money out was the expectation, so when KC finally made his way to me, and found my hands empty, he looked at me and sang into the mic the titular verse from that catchy early 90s song that was playing: You’ve got to show me love!    

The next Queen was Chastity Vain, a Dolly Parton simulacrum who was as chesty as the real thing. She was lip-syncing to Dolly’s Jolene when one enthusiastic attendee came in for a motorboat and was welcomed when it was confirmed dollar bills were held in the teeth of the otherwise unassuming older woman. 

Chastity made his way to me and this time I had dollar bills ready. I handed him some, and he asked me to stand up for a picture. I nodded my head no, but he insisted. When I stood up and held my phone out in front of our two faces for a selfie, it was not my camera app that was on the screen, but rather my notes app where I was jotting down observations from the night. The last note I had taken was his name. 

I snapped the phone down before he or anyone else realized, pulling up the right app on the second try. After the picture had been taken, he stuck his tongue in his cheek at me as goes the universal expression for fellatio, before gesturing at my backside as I sat down, drawing hoots and hollers from those nearby.     

After a restroom break where I passed a woman in a mask like you would see in the movie Eyes Wide Shut, I returned to find Mr. Rogers tearing it up, grinding on the latest Queen who had taken the floor to perform. He must be from a different neighborhood than the original, I thought.  

Before entering the Drag Show I spoke with a small group of protesters who had assembled across the street. They were church going people. And even though churches in the area were reluctant to officially sanction their protest over children being admitted to the event, they plodded forward anyway. 

Indeed there were minors at the event, as noted. About a dozen or so teenagers, mostly accompanied by adults, the youngest of whom might have been fourteen if I had to guess. There was no abject nudity though, and really nothing particularly close. But as shown, plenty of lewd gesturing and an overall environment that should be reserved for adults. 

Back at the show, after my engagements with KC and Chastity, I decided it was time to go when another Queen’s rump sat inches from my face as he worked the attendees behind me. It was the second time my head had been up a man’s ass that day, the first being a rugby game played prior where my head joins with another man’s hind parts to form a scrum.  

Enough for one day, I thought. Plus, I could probably still catch my son before his bedtime. I did, and when I entered his room, he looked up at me and said – daddy, where were you?

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