A Naples, Florida, church is hosting a youth event centered on LGBTQ lifestyles on Saturday that will feature a show put on by local “drag queens.”
The Naples United Church of Christ (UCC) is hosting the first Youth Pride Conference, which is being presented by GLSEN of Collier County. GLSEN says that its purpose is to provide every school child with a “safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education.
The material promoting the conference states it is being held for “LGBTQ youth seeking to explore LGBTQ-related issues they face today.”
The full-day event is designed for children from ages 12 through 18. In addition to free breakfast and lunch, the youngsters are promised a “drag show from some of our local drag queens.”
The program includes several small-group sessions with presenters from around Florida. They are expected to discuss gender dysphoria, mental health, and “inclusive” sex education.
The youth will also have breakout sessions available on “forbidden queer literature,” “intersectionality and prejudices,” and “polictal action and advocacy.” One session will be led by an “evolutionary biologist” and will be about “sexuality and science.”
The keynote speech at the event is to be delivered by Zebra Coalition education coordinator Isaac Salazar. That organization is also based in Florida and it says that its mission is to assist young people facing bullying, sexual abuse, and isolation with “individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.”
Persons signing up to attend the event are required to acknowledge that it is not being conducted by Naples UCC or the Collier County public school district.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw helped bring attention to the possible involvement of the public school district in the event. She shared a post on Twitter indicating that organizers had planned on using school parking lots to stage shuttle transportation to and from the conference.
After the plan became public, the school district said that it had not been informed of the planned use of school property and said it would not be permitted.
Some public school districts around the country have taken some criticism recently for hosting drag shows for minor children.
Pennsylvania’s Hempfield School District issued an apology in April after a school-affiliated LGBTQ club hosted a drag show for students. The district’s statement indicated that it was “appalled at what took place” and added that it did not condone the type of activity that occurred. It added that the “dress of the guests” and their performance was inappropriate in the public school setting.