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Drag Kids event at Boise Pride Festival postponed due to 'safety concerns'

Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 20:00:55-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Drag Kids event scheduled for Sunday's Boise Pride Festival lineup is postponed due to "increased safety concerns."

Organizers with Boise Pride Festival announced the decision to postpone the event following several sponsors backing out of the event and controversy over the Drag Kids.

"The health and well-being of the kids, their parents, and the attendees of the Festival are our priority," Boise Pride organizers said in a statement. "The kids who were going to perform have the enthusiastic support of their community and support and consent of their parents. We support the kids 1000% and their choice to be themselves, stand in their truth, and express themselves. They are brave, beautiful and deserve their chance to be in the spotlight, and we want to give that to them at a later date."

Drag Kids host and co-producer Riley Burrows said in a statement the decision was hard to make but the safety of those involved is number one priority.

"All of these youth are extremely hard-working, talented, and amazing individuals who deserve to be showcased but also deserve to do so in a safe space," Burrows said in the statement. "So we will be making it our top priority to bring these kids the safe and incredible show that they deserve."

Several major sponsors had already backed out of Boise Pride over the Drag Kids event, including Zions Bank and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The controversy comes following several emails from newly elected Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon calling on "concerned citizens" to stop supporting businesses involved with Boise Pride Festival.

"If you oppose taxpayer funded events that sexualize children, particularly when they are held on 9/11, then please place a civil call to the event’s sponsors, expressing your disappointment," Moon said in an email.

Boise mayor responds to backlash, postponing Boise Pride event

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean released a statement Thursday commending festival organizers for protecting their community.

Read her full statement here:

"I appreciate the actions the Boise Pride Festival is taking to protect everyone who will join in their celebration this weekend. I applaud their continued focus on providing a positive, inclusive, community-based event where our LGBTQIA+ friends, neighbors, and family members can come together in celebration and community.

Boise is always at its best when we come together, stand shoulder to shoulder with one another. That’s what it takes to be a city for everyone. The inflammatory rhetoric of the past few days has put a spotlight on the critical need for our community to have a conversation about standing together in times like these to encourage, embrace, and support the diversity and dignity of all people. I hope to see many of you at the festival this weekend."