Armed volunteers were seen outside of Anderson Distillery and Grill on Sunday after tension between right-wing protesters and counterprotesters escalated during a drag event in Roanoke, Texas, Fox 4 reports. Dallas investigative journalist Steven Monacelli captured a video of the incident, showing protesters shouting at each other as a police officer attempted to intervene.
Though the “Barrel Babes Drag Brunch” event was described on Facebook as a place where “kindness and inclusion meets fabulous fun,” protesters were furious about the brunch.
Protect Texas Kids, a nonprofit that aims to protect children from the “toxic, indoctrinating agenda of the left” protested the event. On Facebook, the organization asked supporters “to show up in full force and show that the majority of us are against children being involved in these disturbing, sexually explicit shows.”
Distillery owner Jay Anderson, whose son was hosting the event, was quick to shut down the speculation about the show.
“The show will be hosted by my son, Bailey (a.k.a. Trisha Delish), who will ensure the show remains clean: No foul language. No sexual content. No erotic behavior. Performers will be fully clothed. Music will not contain explicit lyrics,” he wrote on Facebook.
According to Monacelli’s video, protesters said they want to protect children from drag shows, Dallas Morning News reports. One of the demonstrators in the video said he’s “here to support people that don’t indoctrinate and groom little 8-year-old kids.”
Counterprotesters were also shown wearing riot gear and carrying guns.
NOW: anti-trans activists are protesting a drag brunch in Roanoke, Texas, but are outnumbered by supporters of the event. I've only been here for about five minutes and I've already seen quite a few heated exchanges. pic.twitter.com/l4RcwWFlSZ
— steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) August 28, 2022
Monacelli’s tweet showed a few pictures from the protest with people holding up signs promoting their message.
“Drag the queens out of town,” one sign read.
“Children cannot consent,” another read.
Police said they were aware of the event and were stationed in the area as a precaution. Sgt. Ryan Otero said that no one was arrested, and no police reports were filed after the incident.
“We were there to try to keep the peace and basically keep these two sides apart,” he said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Despite the protest, the distillery thanked its many supporters for attending the brunch.
“Yes, every table was full before we officially opened. Yes, we reached maximum capacity and had a wait list to get inside. Yes, we ran out of food. Yes, we passed the “no sexual content” inspection from the Texas Comptroller’s Office. And, yes, love won today,” it wrote in a Facebook post.