Event organizer says drag show at all-ages event will be family friendly
Residents express their concern over valley-based community social media pages
PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Pride month may be over but one organization is continuing to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community this weekend at the Alaska State Fairgrounds.
The president and founder of the organization, Vincent Feuilles, said the event has grown exponentially since its inauguration in 2020.
”Our original estimate was we’d probably see 2,000 to 3,000 people if, you know, the growth stayed consistent from year one to two, two to three,” Feuilles said. “And now I honestly, I think we’re gonna see closer to five or 6,000, if not more.”
This year the event will boast over 100 vendors, wedding and vow renewals, a comfort station as well as a number of speakers — but some residents have voiced their concern on social media over a drag show scheduled to be performed during the all-ages gathering.
“We’ve gotten some really great support from the local community about it,” Feuilles stated. “There have been a few posts that have been negative.”
Feuilles created The Queen’s Guard in January of 2019 with the purpose of creating a safe and positive environment for Alaskan LGBTQ+ members. He understands the hesitation surrounding the drag show performance at an event where children will be present, but affirms the show will be family-friendly.
“I understand and I hear their concerns, I do. I mean, everyone in The Queen’s Guard is very, very aware that there is this perception that a drag show is something you go to see at a bar,” Feuilles said. “There is no nudity, there is no sexual suggestiveness, there is no sexual innuendo. That is not appropriate at an all-ages event.”
Feuilles said many stereotypes and misconceptions regarding the LGBTQ+ community still exist, and that part of his organization’s mission is to help educate the public. He even encourages critics to come check it out for themselves.
“It’s an open community event for LGBTQ and allies. If you want to come and see what we’re doing, then come and see,” Feuilles said. “But please leave your hate and any animosity at the gate.”
Underground Pride is free to the public and will take place on the purple trail of the fairgrounds. Alaska State Fairgrounds rules still apply, which state no smoking, alcohol, or weapons and that only service animals are allowed.
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