Ozarks Pridefest returns in June; Organizers address politicians concerns over drag show

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 9:38 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We are one day away from Pride Month, and celebration plans are underway in downtown Springfield.

The Ozarks Pridefest returns on June 10. The celebration includes 54 sponsors, crafts, an equality parade, and a drag show. Lawmakers have shown concern surrounding the drag show, including the headliner “Crystal Methyd,” who is a Springfield native and a season 12 contestant in RuPaul’s drag race. State Representative Jamie Gragg, a Republican from Ozark, says he is concerned the drag show will be too sexualized for kids.

“I would like to ask the city of Springfield and its sponsors to reconsider this type of event, as it will expose our children to performances that should not be considered age appropriate for our youth,” said State Rep. Gragg. “My interest here is in protecting our children from themes and experiences their minds are not prepared to comprehend.”

”Pride is not about pushing an agenda or indoctrinating kids. It’s simply about celebrating the queer population’s right to exist,” said Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, the President of Glo Center’s board of directors. “The drag queens here are professionals, and they know that we’re gearing for a family-friendly venue and how to tailor their shows to the venue,” said Sherman-Wilkins.

“When your headliner is an individual that calls himself Crystal Methyd, I’m not sure what message that’s really trying to say,” said State Rep. Gragg.

”She’s using that name to focus on a real problem facing our community,” said Sherman-Wilkins. “Whether we like it or not, meth impacts the Ozarks, and it’s a way of calling attention to a particular issue.”

Pridefest will have Springfield police and security at the event.

For more information on the event, click HERE.

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