Gay congressman blasts Marjorie Taylor Greene & GOP for trying to ban drag on military bases

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) shares an image of Rudy Giuliani as a drag queen with former President Donald Trump. Photo: X video screenshot

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), the nation’s first out gay immigrant congressman, recently blasted House Republicans — and anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — over the party’s proposed amendment banning drag performances on military bases. Garcia made an impassioned speech against it, noting that drag performances have occurred on military bases during wartime without issue, and that at least two Republican presidents have acknowledged that drag can be fun.

The amendment is one of several anti-LGBTQ+ amendments Republicans are trying to add to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a massive annual military spending bill. The anti-drag amendment was proposed by Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK). Republicans are also seeking to remove any military funding for gender-affirming surgeries and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to help make the military more diverse and welcoming to people from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

“On behalf of the LGBTQ families, gay people who serve in our country, and frankly, anyone who just likes to have fun, I rise in strong opposition to this amendment,” Garcia said at the start of his speech. “There are a lot of threats to the health and well-being of our service members: oison water on military bases, toxic mold in military housing, PTSD, and suicide. So I see that a top Republican idea to protect our troops is actually to ban drag shows.”

Garcia then displayed an image of gay ally and actress Jennifer Coolidge in the HBO series The White Lotus saying, “these gays, they’re trying to murder me.” The image repeatedly appeared in social media memes around the series’ finale in December 2022.

“My Republican colleagues want us to believe that gays are trying to murder us,” Garcia continued. “They want to believe that drag is harmful or immoral or wrong. This is completely ridiculous. Now, I hate to break it to my Republican colleagues, but LGBTQ people have fought and died for this country since the American Revolution, even if they were forced to hide their true selves.”

“We can document and celebrate drag shows on military bases, and they’ve been celebrated since the 1800s and through both World Wars,” he continued. “The USO and Red Cross hosted drag shows during World War II. The army that defeated and saved the world included drag queens. [Former President] Ron Reagan starred a movie called This Is The Army, a movie about World War II that featured four drag performances. And he’s not the only Republic president who knew that drag can be fun and sometimes silly.”

Garcia then displayed an image of former President Donald Trump appearing next to his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani dressed in drag.

“Drag is art, drag is culture, and drag is a form of comedy. Drag is not a crime and it’s not pornography,” Garcia continued, referencing recent Republican attempts to ban drag as a “sexual performance” that threatens children.

“Now, real obscenity is when one of our colleagues, the gentlewoman from Georgia [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene], shows photos of revenge porn in our oversight committee,” Garcia added, referencing the time that Greene showed a picture of Hunter Biden’s penis in a congressional hearing. “So if we want to end porn in government facilities, let’s ban that.”

“We know that inclusion in our military is good for our country,” Garcia said in his conclusion. “We want to welcome anyone who wants to serve, and I’d invite my Republican colleagues to join at a drag show in the future. You’ll see that drag is not a threat. I’m convinced that some of you would really enjoy it. It’s my deep concern that this amendment is legitimizing an extremist narrative that drag performances are somehow harmful or threatening. Drag is art.”

“So Mr. Speaker, this amendment should sashay away,” he concluded, paraphrasing the line that the titular hostess of RuPaul’s Drag Race says when eliminating competitors from her reality TV competition.

The political news website Politico recently dubbed Garcia as “The Most Likely to Trumpet His Own Thirsty Award” in its second-annual Thirsties Awards, an honor for “the members of Congress who have worked the hardest — at getting attention.”

Garcia celebrated the award by posting an animated GIF of a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, Adore Delano, sipping on a straw in full drag. “I’m parched,” Garcia wrote.

The aforementioned publication noted that Garcia is a self-described “Bravo gay,” a reference to the cable TV network that shows lots of reality TV programming. Garcia once recited a speech from Bravo’s reality show, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, during a House Oversight Committee hearing. He also once gave an impassioned tribute to Beyoncé on the House floor to mark both the end of Black History Month and the beginning of Women’s History Month.

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