Tampa LGBTQ Parade Cancelled Over Obscene Sexual Displays in Front of Children

Organizers of Tampa Pride on the River, a scheduled LGBTQ Pride Parade, canceled the event after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an expansion of the “Protection of Children” Bill, which penalizes organizations for exposing children to sexually explicit live performances.

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Due to this law, Tampa Pride felt it was necessary to cancel the scheduled “Tampa Pride on the River” Event instead of preventing children’s access or removing any sexually explicit performances. Tampa Pride President Carrie West confirmed the cancellation on Thursday.

“Really, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this has happened, but you are going to be the generation to make the change….Very sad. Because this was a very fun event. People already, they’ve been talking about it, they’ve been making plans to come to Tampa, fly to Tampa, drive to Tampa…..Lot of famous Ru Paul drag queens that come in for the event,” said West. “People come flying in for that event just to see the famous drag queens.”

Several observers on Twitter pointed out the troubling implications of the organization’s decision.

“This is sad that you kinda have to do this. You know, there are these adult performances, there are these drag shows, sexually explicit in what they’re doing,” DeSantis said before signing the bill. “And look adult entertainment, people can do what they want with some of that, but to have minors there…. that is just inappropriate.”

In essence, the law establishes that if you’re a business or organization and you host a sexually explicit show with minors present, Florida heavily will fine you, even put you out of business.

“In Florida, what we’ve said, and we’ve taken some action administratively against some of the offending establishments but the reality is we needed the legislature to come in and really really clarify that if you are an establishment that is having adult performances, you have an obligation to make sure that these young kids are not permitted on the premises and we’re gonna hold you accountable if you’re not meeting that obligation. There are certain things that we would never say would be okay to have a 12 year old at some of these things. And so, we want to make sure that that is uniform; when you have adult entertainment, when you have these sexually explicit performances, there should not be any of these kids there, and this is going to make sure that’s the case.”

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LGBTQ activist groups are in an uproar over the bill. Lambda Legal, a leading national organization dedicated to representing “LGBTQ Rights,” called the legislation “an anti-drag bill seeking to censor art.”

“We receive this as it is intended, as an all-out attack on freedom,” Joe Saunders, Senior Political Director with Equality Florida, said in a news conference after Wednesday’s bill signing.

DeSantis, however, expected the backlash, mentioning potential unpopularity before the signing, and remains unphased.

“We’re protecting kids. And we’re going to protect kids when it’s popular, we’ll protect kids even when you take some incoming as a result of maybe offending some ideologies or some agendas out there, but that’s fine.”


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