Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, under The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, has served a lawsuit to the owners of R House Bar in Miami which hosts and advertises drag shows for children.
In a video taken around July 3, a topless drag queen was seen parading a girl, somewhere between two and four years old, around the Miami bar. The drag queen was wearing a thong and panties, with dollar bills stuffed into it.
A video of the incident was posted to TikTok by a user known as “nononie”, who celebrated the actions seen in the video. “Children belong at drag shows!!!! Children deserve to see fun & expression & freedom.”
The bar’s menu is riddled with promotion of its drag show and offers a $30 “kids brunch” that includes a meal, a soft drink “and of course our fabulous show.”
R House bar has 21 days to respond to the state’s complaint. Should the bar’s activity be determined to violate state and local statutes, it will be revoked of its liquor license, a penalty that would likely put it out of business.
“The sexualized nature of the Brunch performances is pervasive,’” DBPR’s states in the complaint. The complaint cites multiple instances in which children were present to observe the performances of nude or partially nude drag queens. “Florida Statutes, prohibits unlawful exposure of sexual organs. Specifically, it provides that ‘exposing or exhibiting … sexual organs in public or on private premises of another… in a vulgar or indecent manner’ is unlawful.’”
A child “between the ages of ten and twelve” was “seen recoiling and turning away in her seat as a Brunch performer climbed on the back of the child’s bench, squatted, and gyrated a couple of feet above the child’s head,” the DBPR complaint continues.
DeSantis addressed the investigation at a press conference on Wednesday.
“There was a video out of Dallas where they had all these young kids putting money in the underwear of these drag queens at a bar, and that’s totally unacceptable, and I said that at the time,” DeSantis said. “Then what happened was a week or two later there was a video from a place who had similar stuff and then that was identified as being in Florida.”
“So we said, ‘wait a minute, having kids involved in this is wrong,’” DeSantis continued. “That is not consistent with our law and policy in the state of Florida and it is a disturbing trend in our society to try to sexualize these young people. That is not the way you look out for our children. You protect children. You do not expose them to things that are inappropriate.”
The DBPR began their investigation of the bar immediately after footage of its drag performance for children went viral, DeSantis explained.
“They actually had agents going to this place and conducting effectively just gathering information – getting intelligence – seeing what’s going on. What they found was not only were there minors for some of these, and these are sexually explicit drag shows, the bar had a children’s menu.”
A spokesperson for R House said that they ‘are aware of the complaint and are currently working with the Department of Business… to resolve the situation.’
‘We are an inclusive establishment and welcome all people to visit our restaurant,’ a spokesperson said. ‘We are hopeful that Governor DeSantis, a vociferous supporter and champion of Florida’s hospitality industry and small businesses, will see this as what it is, a misunderstanding, and that the matter will be resolved positively and promptly.’
This is just one of several drag shows over the past several months that have come into the spotlight for performing in front of young children. A video from 2021 resurfaced in which a young child could be seen tipping Yara Sofia of RuPaul’s Drag Race, handing the drag queen a dollar bill at Hamburger Mary’s in Michigan.
The child was seated on the lap of an adult woman, who smiled as the child tipped the drag queen, real name Gabriel Burgos Ortiz.
Ortiz could be seen strutting around the establishment in synthetic breasts with small coverings for the nipples. The video was picked up by Twitter account Libs of TikTok, an anti-woke account dedicated to republishing videos such as these in order to spread awareness of such events.
The video can be seen here, and may be disturbing to some viewers.
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