Residents in the small town of Semmes, Alabama were surprised when one of the acts in the annual Christmas parade was a group of black drag queens known as “The Prancing Elite.”
The captain of the troupe, Kentrell Collins, said he believed the offer had been made in good faith, and that the representative for the Friends of Semmes to whom he spoke knew who she was hiring.
“I said we’re all over 21 and we’re guys. She was so excited. She was like I didn’t know they had any groups like that in Mobile,” Collins told Fox 10 News.
The reaction of local residents to the troupe’s performance was overwhelmingly negative.
“I was outraged and appalled. I never expect anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade,” Claudia Davis told Fox 10 News. “If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted out children to attend and see something like that.”
The members of “The Prancing Elite” sympathized with those who were offended.
“We do want to apologize if we offended anybody who did not know who we were before today, but still at the end of the day, we only just came to dance and we did get invited,” troupe leader Collins said.
Since news of the incident at the parade hit social media last night, the group has booked events for New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras.
Meanwhile, according to Claudia Davis the Friends of Semmes have been removed as organizers of the Christmas parade. The city council will organize the event next year.
Watch the Fox 10 News report on the controversy below:
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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