Naples City Council hears complaints and support of Naples Pride Festival drag show

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Naples Pride
Naples Pride Festival 2022 drag show. (Credit: WINK News)

There is outrage in Naples over drag performances in front of children and a push to ban them by some in the community.

A group came to the Naples City Council meeting on Monday to speak out against what they claim to be “lewd” performances at the Naples Pride Festival in Cambier Park last month.

Naples Pride was also at the meeting to speak out against those allegations they say are not true.

They also talked about the value of exposing children to all types of people.

RELATED: Naples Pride Festival at Cambier Park faces criticism over drag show

It was a tense meeting. People were upset by drag shows in front of kids and they used words like “perverse” and “sick.”

One man called the anti-drag crowd “pure evil.”

Nicole Simko’s teenagers were at one of the drag performances. “They walked away from that day with a new appreciation, not just for the LGBTQ community, but for your fellow neighbor as a whole,” said Simko.

On Monday, Simko wanted to share that experience from last month’s Naples Pride fest with Naples City Council members.

“Not a single one of those fabulously dressed drag queens was dressed inappropriately,” said Simko.

She and others with Naples Pride came out to Monday’s meeting donning pride shirts, rainbow signs, and a passionate message.

“It was a beautiful representation of our community coming together to celebrate acceptance and equality,” said Cori Craciun, president of Naples Pride.

“Isn’t it easier to love and accept everyone for who they are? It is harder to hate,” Aletha Shapiro of Naples.

They wanted to counteract the people who said these drag shows are lewd and inappropriate for children.

Anti-drag show signs outside the Naples City Council meeting on August 15. (Credit: WINK News)

“When you subject your kid to a confusing lifestyle, as it is, it’s a form of visual sexual abuse,” said Teddy Collins of Naples.

Collins and others who went before the council want the city to ban drag shows in front of kids.

“The bottom line is, it’s a horrible lifestyle, and it’s damaging to our children what they do as adults. That’s your choice,” said Edward Deason of Naples.

“Why would we allow the LGBTQ community to hyper-sexualize God’s children?” asked Patricia Hoover of Naples.

So how did Naples City Council react to all the testimony? No one said a word.

The question of whether to ban drag shows in front of kids in Naples was not on the agenda and is not scheduled to be on the council’s agenda anytime soon.

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