Video of 'Anti-Groomer' Protest Outside Gay Bar Sparks Outrage

Video of protestors surrounding a gay bar in Texas and calling its patrons "groomers" has gone viral, outraging a national audience.

The Dallas bar Mr. Misster was holding an event called "Drag the Kids to Pride Drag Show" on Saturday afternoon, billed as a "family friendly pride experience." A description on Eventbrite said that five spots were available for children to dance on stage with drag performers.

The event triggered a raucous demonstration from protestors who yelled that members of the LGBTQ community were "grooming" children, as captured in a video shared by Twitter user @EFJBGC with 1.2 million views.

"Groomers, groomers," the protestors chanted repeatedly in the clip.

"You guys are disgusting," shouted a man with a loudspeaker. "Repent, repent for your sins!"

"Grooming" is defined by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) as manipulative behaviors that a sexual abuser "uses to gain access to a potential victim, coerce them to agree to the abuse, and reduce the risk of being caught."

Rhetoric associating the LGBTQ community with pedophilia is not new, but gained more mainstream backing when Florida Governor Ron Desantis's press secretary, Christina Pushaw, said the state's controversial bill nicknamed "Don't Say Gay" would be "more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill."

Gay Pride
Video of protestors surrounding a Texas gay bar and calling its patrons “groomers” has gone viral, outraging a national audience. Here, a bar table is seen during Gay Pride celebrations in New York City in 2021. Andrew Lichtenstein / Contributor/Corbis News

"If you're against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don't denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children," Pushaw said on Twitter.

The Florida bill formally called HB 1557, signed into law in March, prohibits "classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner." Activists have argued that it will harm LGBTQ students.

Following the public attention surrounding the "Drag the Kids to Pride" event, Texas State Representative Bryan Slaton announced Monday that he would file a bill to ban minors from attending drag shows.

"Drag shows are no place for a child," he tweeted.

Nationwide Fury

Nationwide viewers expressed fury over the protestors' virulent reaction to an LGBTQ event.

This is not a protest; this is a hate mob.
Twitter comment

"This is not a protest; this is a hate mob," commented one user.

"At the rate things are going, I'm legitimately worried that some of these people will attempt to start a pogrom against LGBTQ people," another agreed. "I fully believe we're going to live to see that."

A professed Dallas resident wrote, "I remember when I went to a gay youth center in Dallas and we had active shooter threats every couple of months [because] someone would just show up with a gun and try to get in."

In a statement to WFAA-TV, Mr. Misster said it was a "place where everyone is welcome to feel accepted, safe and included."

It is so sad to see that in 2022, there are people that still want to protest others celebrating who they are, but our staff and wonderful officers helped keep us safe and kept the protestors at bay.
Mr. Misster statement

"We had a group of protestors outside yelling homophobic threats, transphobic remarks and vile accusations at these children and parents," the statement went on. "It is so sad to see that in 2022, there are people that still want to protest others celebrating who they are, but our staff and wonderful officers helped keep us safe and kept the protestors at bay."

Newsweek reached out to Mr. Misster for comment.