The current leaders of U.S. military forces apparently have no tolerance for drag shows on military bases, but that’s a huge departure from days past, because drag shows were embraced by the brass during World War II.
In 1942, the military joined forces with the USO and the American Red Cross to entertain our troops — both at home and abroad — with drag shows. Not only that, the soldiers were the ones in drag.
The Army Special Services published a handbook on how to produce these shows. The handbook referred to the productions as “Girly Shows,” and even gave tips on how to make the GIs look good for the highly choreographed “Pony Ballet.” The Pony Ballet was described as GIs wearing tutus along with army boots.
And get this … General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, said at the time, “The USO has given an impressive demonstration of the way people in our country of different creeds, races and economic status can work together when the nation has dedicated itself to an all-out, integrated effort.”
This is in stunning contrast to the current landscape … Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said there’s no place for tax-supported drag shows on military bases. A drag show scheduled this month at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada — to celebrate Pride Month — was canceled, despite the fact there were 2 previous shows in recent years.
The drag queen who was supposed to headline that show — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Coco Montrese — told us on “TMZ Live” Thursday Secretary Austin was wrong — these shows were privately funded.
As you clearly know, drag shows have become a centerpiece of the culture wars in America.