Blair Briscoe, a mother from Grand Prairie, thought she had found the perfect holiday activity for her children when she took them to a family-friendly Christmas drag show in December. While they enjoyed the show, little did she know that a video taken by a conservative activist and TV host would spark a social media backlash.
Sara Gonzales, with a significant following on Twitter, covertly recorded a video of Briscoe and her kids in the theater lobby. In the video, Gonzales questioned Briscoe about the appropriateness of the show for her children, suggesting it exposed them to se*x at a young age. Unaware she was being recorded, Briscoe responded by comparing it to innuendo in Disney movies.
The video, which was viewed 2.5 million times, was manipulated by incorporating se*xually explicit scenes from other drag performances, not the one Briscoe attended. The backlash on social media was harsh, with comments ranging from fat-shaming to accusations of child abuse and calls for Texas Child Protective Services to intervene.
Briscoe expressed her concern that Gonzales did not fully blur her children’s faces in the video, but her main issue was that the video misrepresented her justifications by making the content seem more explicit than it actually was.
Gonzales, when asked about the misleading editing, did not respond to the inquiry. Drag performances, especially those open to all ages, are increasingly facing opposition in Texas and across the United States, with protests and new state laws targeting such shows. Conservative figures, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have made LGBTQ+ issues a prominent concern, with conservative media often featuring stories about drag performances.
Gonzales, associated with the organization Defends Our Kids Texas, has been unapologetic about her mission to curtail drag shows and expose attendees. The December show Briscoe attended was part of a tour called “Murray and Peter Present A Drag Queen Christmas,” hosted by Nina West from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Protests organized by Protect Texas Kids occurred outside the venue, involving various groups and counter-protesters.
Since the video’s release, Briscoe has faced online harassment and fears for her children’s safety. She has also experienced concerns about her job as parents from her school community are aware of the video. Briscoe’s experience highlights the potential for manipulated media to create dishonest narratives, with the need to call out such practices becoming increasingly important. As the fallout continues, Briscoe hopes to address the misconceptions and safeguard her family amidst what she describes as a nightmare.