No 101 pound of fun from Honey Bun at Nellis AFB!
A drag show scheduled for Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, to celebrate PRIDE month has been canceled by the Pentagon according to defense officials.
The Pride Month celebration was approved by Air Force leaders, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Air Force it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases.
When Milley was informed about the event this week, he was visibly angry about the decision to host the event on base, a U.S. official and a defense official said.
“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.
Nellis AFB hosted a Pride Month drag show in June 2021, named “Drag-u-Nellis.” A spokesperson for the base said in a statement that it was intended to promote inclusivity and diversity.
If General Miley knew his Armed Forces/Military history he would know that drag is nothing new in military installations.
In early in World War II, the National Theater Conference lobbied to authorize soldier shows as “a necessity, not a frill.” By early 1942, approval was granted by leadership in Washington for the Special Services in concert with the United Service Organization (USO) and American Red Cross to begin soldier show productions to entertain the troops both on the homefront and abroad.
The Army Special Services produced, published and distributed handbooks for soldier shows. These publications, known as Blueprint Specials, contained everything you would need to put on an approved and pre-scripted soldier show. Blueprint Specials for soldier shows even included dress-making patterns and suggestions for material procurement. “Girly” show choreography was outlined in the publications to ensure that the GIs looked good in their highly choreographed “pony ballet” numbers. A pony ballet is one where groups of masculine-looking GIs dress in tutus and perform ballet routines often wearing their army-issued boots.
So sashay away Gen. Mark Milley and go learn your history!
You can read more about Military Drag Shows HERE.
*Above photos: This Is the Army. Army Signal Corps photographs, courtesy of the National Archives.