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Air Show ignites “drag show” controversary

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The Joint Base Lewis-McChord recent air show raised both excitement and controversy. The event featured thrilling displays of tactical military jets, high-performance sports cars, and models dancing on stage in revealing red, white, and blue bikinis.

Pictures and videos of the event flooded Instagram, showcasing the models posing on runways in front of cargo planes, and even in front of hot rods parked inside a hangar. Some of the dancers wore revealing flight suits while performing on stage. This spectacle was part of the Air Force's air show and was open to the public, with the entertainment provided by a company called Hot Import Nights.

However, amidst the festivities, there were questions raised by LGBTQ+ advocates regarding a perceived double standard concerning performances on military bases, according to a story that followed after the airshow. This concern arose due to an ongoing controversy over the Pentagon's decision to limit drag shows on bases. Some critics have expressed concerns about alleged adult content in these shows, prompting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to cancel two drag shows during Pride Month.

The decision to allow the provocative models and musical performances at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, while banning drag shows, has sparked debates about the criteria used to determine acceptable entertainment on military bases. LGBTQ+ advocate Jennifer Dane, an Air Force veteran, criticized the apparent inconsistency, suggesting that it may reflect a heteronormative bias, reported.

Republican representatives, who have been critical of drag shows, emphasized that they are against any type of oversexualized performances, irrespective of the performers' gender identity.

Rachel Branaman, the interim executive director for the Modern Military Association, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQ+ service members and their families, raised concerns with about the lack of clarity in defining acceptable entertainment on bases. She believes that this ambiguity could lead to unequal standards in the future.

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord's spokesperson confirmed with that the event was organized in collaboration with Hot Import Nights, which sponsored the air show. They stated that while models associated with the car show were expected, there was no intention for any form of dance show to take place, said Joe Piek with the base's garrison office. The base will be reviewing the event to prevent misunderstandings in the future, he told

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