At the Kadena Air Base located in Okinawa, Japan, gay and lesbian troops performed in drag for a fundraiser. This is so different from the days of the policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
Historically after its repeal, there have been many gay marriage ceremonies and potluck gatherings on U.S. bases in support of the LGBT movement. However, Stars & Stripes reports this is the first time servicemembers took to the stage and performed as drag queens on a military installation in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops. Within the next sentence of their report, they included “drag kings” too.
Six servicemembers – both gay and straight – donned on make-up and wore dresses to entertain the raucous crowds by lip-syncing songs such as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. This all took place in the Rocker NCO Club, which is located within the air base itself. All the money for the fundraiser went to assist the Okinawa chapter of OutServe-SLDN, which is the largest nonprofit advocate for the military’s LGBT community. Navy Lt. Marissa Greene, co-chapter leader of OutServe Okinawa, actually said about the fundraiser:
We didn’t think there was much of a desire for an event like this on the island but it has actually blown up.
Greene also stated that she hoped to sell 75 tickets to fund future support activities for the group, which was formed last summer. The event was approved as a “variety show” by Kadena’s 18th Wing through the same process as other on-base fundraisers. To her surprise, 200 tickets were bought immediately, so another 200 were issued.
OutServe avoided partaking in anything political, but the fundraiser does come at a pivotal time for gay civil rights in the United States. At this moment, numerous states are debating on the topic of legalizing or not legalizing gay marriage along with the arguments of individual liberties. This also shows the direction the military has gone. If a drag show were to happen on base ten, or even five years ago, it would be looked upon with disdain. The offense would probably be enough firepower for a dishonorable discharge.
Not everyone is happy about the drag show. Right Wing News gave a very scathing article calling the performance “disgusting”. They even brought up possible scenarios as an aftermath to the fundraiser which included a bathhouse opening next to the base to making a**-less chaps mandatory uniform wear for drill instructors.
Despite if you are for or against this, the fundraiser is a critical event in the military especially for gay and lesbian troops. It was only one year ago when the Inquisitr‘s Megan Greenlaw reported that gay military spouses were left out in the cold despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. A drag show on a military air base is actually a huge difference from that situation.
[Image courtesy of Wikipedia]