JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Members of the First Coast chapter of the Proud Boys organization have promised to protest an event where men will be cross-dressing as women and potentially perform in front of young children.
Event organizers and proprietors of the host venue Tepeyolot Cerveceria (Tepey's) in East San Marco were contacted by members of the Bold City Proud Boys, First Coast News reported. The members informed them that they would show up in large numbers to protest if the event was not changed to restrict those under 18 from attending. But the event organizers insisted they wanted to continue promoting the event as open to children.
WHO ARE THE PROUD BOYS?
The Proud Boys are frequently labeled as a far-right extremist group by legacy media outlets. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes them as “violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic.” Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has called the group a “pro-western fraternity” and even sued the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for defamation after the SPLC labeled the Proud Boys a hate group.
In June, The Department of Justice charged five members of the Proud Boys with seditious conspiracy and other charges for actions related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Bold City Proud Boys’ website states that in February 2021, the group formally seceded from the national organization after it was “hijacked by federal informants, grifters, and other nefarious elements.”
“THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT PROTECTING OUR KIDS”
The local group posted a long response to the First Coast News article, which framed the cross-dressing performers as victims of hate.
“Among the things some of us have seen recently were 6 year old boys twerking in dresses, while adults slap their asses. Are you covering it up, ignoring, or aiding and abetting?” the post rhetorically asked the outlet. “Part of these efforts is to hold our neighbors accountable. The government is not protecting our kids. It is not their job, it is our job.”
The lengthy post expounded on what the group considerers a sexualized environment conducive to predators and shared a screenshot from the FDLE website that showed scores of registered sex offenders who live within a five-mile radius of the venue.
“Across the globe at these child friendly drag events, there is always a core of dangerous criminals lurking just below the surface, and Jacksonville is no exception,” the Proud Boys concluded in the post.
WANTS SHERIFF TO PROVIDE SECURITY
Not surprisingly, event emcee Kolbey Criss downplayed the concern for protecting the innocence of children.
“I think the most dangerous thing about a drag queen is that you might get some glitter in your eye,” Criss told First Coast News. “As a drag performer, female impersonator, gay man in myself, that's what we do… We fight.”
According to the article, Tepey’s ownership is considering paying the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for security.
The Florida Standard asked Tepey’s if the venue will be checking IDs and require parental supervision for those under 18 years of age. No response was given.