Drag queen accuses candidate of hypocrisy after revealing she performed in front of her daughter
An Arizona drag queen has accused a Republican governor candidate of hypocrisy after she spoke out against children who went to drag shows, but reportedly once had the drag queen perform at her home in front of her young daughter.
Kari Lake, a Trump-backed Republican candidate for governor, tweeted her dismay at schools hosting drag shows on Saturday, writing: “They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens.
“They took down our flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They are trying to disarm Americans and militarize our enemies.
“Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns and Glory.”
But soon after, Rick Stevens, one of the area’s best-known drag artists who goes by the name Barbra Sevilla in theaters, bars and parties, says he threw parties at Lake’s house.
He posted photos to his social media of Lake posing with him and other drag artists — and similar photos, from 2012 and 2014, are being posted to Lake’s social media. They were captioned, “Half of what I know about makeup, I learned from watching friends like @BarbraSeville.”
Stevens also told Arizona Central how Lake invited him to her downtown Phoenix home to perform as Marilyn Monroe at her birthday party about 10 to 12 years ago, and in particular remembers Lake’s elementary school-age daughter in the audience for wearing glasses at the time wore.
He said he felt for her because he hated wearing glasses as a child.
“She’s friends with drag queens,” Stevens said of Lake. “She had her child in front of a drag queen. I dragged her home for her friends and family.
“She’s not threatened by them,” he added. ‘ She would come to shows constantly.
“To make the bogeyman out of me for political gain, it was just too much.”
Still, Lake’s campaign denied that her daughter ever attended a drag show.
“Richard’s allegations were full of lies,” she said in a statement to Arizona Central.
“The event in question was a party at someone else’s house and the performer was there like a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. It wasn’t a drag show, and the problem we’re talking about isn’t that adults go to drag shows.
“The problem is that activists are sexualizing young children, and that has to stop.”
Rick Stevens, one of the best-known drag performers in the Phoenix, Arizona area, posted photos of Kari Lake posing with drag queens after she tweeted her dismay at drag performances. Lake is pictured left wearing a t-shirt advertising Stevens’ drag show, featuring drag artist Celia Putty
Other photos of her with drag performers were posted to Lake’s own Instagram account, with the caption: ‘Half of what I know about makeup I learned from watching friends like @barbraseville’
She tweeted Friday: ‘They kicked God out of school and welcomed the Drag Queens’
Stevens claims that Lake went to drag shows regularly in the 1990s, when she was an anchor on FOX 10 News, and that she and some of her colleagues would come to the 307 Lounge, a gay bar in downtown Phoenix that hosted drag shows.
“They’d come to the 307 Lounge, about a mile or two from the station, and they’d hang out,” Stevens said, adding, “She’d come to the show pretty regularly. I wouldn’t say every week, but it wasn’t uncommon.’
Eventually, he said, they became friends, and he became her “go-to gay person” for interviews on news stories about LGBTQ issues.
And in a Facebook post, Stevens – as Sevilla – wrote: ‘Kari was a friend of mine, and I was standing by her as she turned to the right.
“I held out my hand (and she responded repeatedly) when she took a public beating.”
But Stevens now says Lake is just pretending to be a warrior for the far right.
“She supported Obama, and now I’m here to tell you that she supported drag queens and had her kid for drag,” he told Arizona Central.
“So if I can do anything to expose the hypocrisy, and if I can do anything to keep someone like that a few votes from power, I’ll be happy to do it.”
Kari Lake, dressed as Elvis, posed with Barbra Sevilla in a 2012 photo. Her campaign now claims that Seville’s performance as Marilyn Monroe at one of her birthday parties was not a drag show and no children were present.
Another Instagram photo of Kari Lake shows her making a kiss face with two drag queens