Dozens of competing protesters, some allegedly armed, demonstrated outside a drag show in Texas last night against and in support of a Christmas-themed drag show.The groups met outside the Aztec Theatre in downtown San Antonio where a performance of the traveling show “A Drag Queen Christmas hosted by Nina West” was taking place.No arrests or acts of violence were reported.One of the groups, This is Texas Freedom Force (TITFF), was previously described by the FBI as a “militia extremist group” in court filings, a claim the group denies.
One of its members, Guy Wesley Reffitt, is awaiting trial for his role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C.TITFF said their objection was not about the LGBTQ+ community, but that the drag show could be attended by children.“Since we are dealing with people’s rights, we are not going against LGBTQ,” Ramon Garza, the group’s vice president, told local CBS affiliate KENS. “We are saying that we do not like that these shows are not age-restricted, and that’s a primary reason we are here.” Benjamin Clodfelter, a member of Veterans for Equality, demonstrated in support of the drag show and the LGBTQ+ community, and he came armed with a rifle.
He said he wanted to send a message to groups like TITFF.“I know that they use guns to try to intimidate people on the left, and they can’t do that if we’re also armed,” Clodfelter told Texas Public Radio. “I’m not here to try to shoot anybody or anything like that but if they want to try to intimidate, well, we can stand up to it, and to me, this is an expression of that.”Video of the protests showed a noisy but relatively peaceful gathering.