Recently, the power lines in Moore County, North Carolina, went down, damaged by gunfire, and officials suspect they were intentionally sabotaged, leaving 40,000 or so people without power. Some suspect that the power was shut down to prevent a drag show from happening.

Crooks&Liars points to domestic terrorism and mentions an activist who had loudly denounced the drag show. The activist, a former Army officer, had previously been questioned about her participation in the January 6 insurrection. She posted on Facebook that she knew why the power went out.

The Washington Post reported that the FBI is investigating.

At Sunrise Theater on Saturday night, drag queen Naomi Dix was about to introduce an act when the lights went out. Dix said that participants immediately suspected that the power outage might be connected to those opposed to the performance (Dix spoke to The Post on the condition that she be identified only by her stage name out of fear for her safety).

Dix, 31, said she tried to keep the audience of about 300 people calm and upbeat. She asked them to turn on the flashlights on their cellphones, then led the crowd in singing “Halo” by Beyoncé.

I am not sure when drag shows became popular (probably in Ivy League men’s colleges, where men played women’s roles, or in Shakespeare’s time, when women were not permitted to act on stage). But they seem to be popping up in small towns, suburbs, and big cities, not just gay bars. Recently the Washington Post reported on a city-sponsored Christmas parade in Taylor, Texas, that included floats with drag queens—and caused conservative ministers to launch their own parade, limited to floats with “family and Biblical values.”

I had intended to write a post about Billy Townsend’s latest post, where he declared his solidarity with the drag queens, but I could not help noticing stories about drag queens in other places. Recall that Club Q in Colorado Springs was holding a drag show when the killer burst in and murdered five people. The guy who jumped on the killer and stopped him was there with his wife and family to see the drag show. Evidently, drag queens are funny and make people laugh, and many straight people enjoy their performances.

For many years, audiences in New York City were entertained by the shows written and performed by Charles Busch. They were hilarious send-ups of traditional fare, and they attracted large audiences.

Millions of people love the Billy Wilder’s comedy “Some Like It Hot,” where Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dress up as women to escape angry mobsters. To put it plainly, they pretended to be drag queens.

I remember attending Dame Edna’s Broadway performances, which were drag shows, and Dame Edna is not gay. The Australian performer has been married four times (to women) and has four children. His fourth wife is Lizzie Spender.

Yet despite the long tradition of drag shows, some states are now passing legislation to ban them or to ban children from attending them (whatever happened to parental rights?)

Billy Townsend wrote:

Drag performers are infinitely better, braver, and more productive human beings and citizens than the cosplaying Nazis stirred up by Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis and Kanye and Elon et. al to torment and/or kill them.

This is both obvious and surprisingly difficult for even decent people to say bluntly. I’m not sure that I’ve ever said it. Perhaps that’s because I’ve never perceived a real need to plainly state the obvious until now.

Our community needs to protect the people harassed and death-threatened while minding their own business and making their own joy on Saturday. And it should celebrate their creativity and courage.

I’ve only seen a handful of drag shows in my life. Those I’ve seen were less “sexual” than a Muppet Show number. So I won’t dignify any bullshit excuses anyone may offer for saying, “Yes, but …” when considering how to address out of town Nazis attempting to terrorize Lakeland citizens just days after a MAGA boy shot up a drag show in Colorado.

I don’t have much else to say.

The Ledger and Lakeland Now both have good accounts if you want to read them.

But I would avoid sharing the pictures. That’s what the Nazi boys want. Even if you share the pictures in anger and revulsion, you’re sharing their propaganda/transgressive recruitment value. Think about how you amplify them.

Also, I think it’s important to note that the drag event organizers praised the response of the Lakeland Police Department as fast and protective. It’s very important for institutions of power to do their jobs for all citizens. And we should definitely acknowledge/praise when they do.

This is a time that demands choices, both in rhetoric and deed. I thank Lakeland’s brave drag performers for reminding me of that.

The Nazis can fuck off.

That pretty much sums up my view.