Even though a drag show hosted by a Fairhope business earlier this month has come and gone, residents are still voicing their concerns about it.

Monday at a Fairhope City Council meeting, a woman who identified herself as Rebecca Watson warned neglecting the situation could turn the community into a "warzone."

Watson told the councilmen and others at the Fairhope Civic Center about her experience living in Washington State. She said she had moved to Fairhope over a year ago, but because of what she described as a scenario in her former Pacific Northwest hometown where she said "children were being "brainwashed" to the extent that 60% of her daughter's former middle school class was identifying as "somewhere in between one of the letters," apparently referring to LGBTQ.

Partial remarks as follows:

[I] watched the deterioration of my city to the point where I don't even want to say we moved away to protect our kids. We left our family. We have no family here. We have no relatives anywhere near here. We were born and raised on the West Coast our entire life. We had to come here. We fled. We ran because of the things that had been implemented into the elementary schools and middle schools and high schools to the point where my daughter was in a Mandarin immersion program since kindergarten. She is now a junior at Fairhope Junior High School. She speaks Mandarin Chinese. Her little program was 26 kids per class. By the time those kids got into middle school, it was probably down to 23. And over 60% of the kids in that tiny class identified as somewhere in between one of the letters. And the problem with that is these children are being brainwashed. It is a constant discussion with the teachers, with the school boards. People are fighting. It is like a warzone. And if you think that can't happen here, you are wrong.

There is nothing wrong with accepting people for who they are, but when it comes to inviting children into that realm of drag shows and inappropriate behavior that they don't even care about and should not be subjected to — that is where the problem is. It is not about a neighbor that is gay or anything like that. If anybody that I know needs help, I don't care what they are doing in the privacy of their own home. I will be there. The problem is being gay or any of the other things has to do with who you sleep with what you do in your personal life, and personally, I don't really care what you're doing. I care what you're doing with my child and how my child is being raised. That's my job, to bring them up. And if I want to take them to church, I can. If I want to stay home with them and take them to the park, I can do that. I'm their mother. But I am never going to be OK with a drag show, which by the way that drag show did have children invited. And when everyone got upset, they changed the rule. And last year, there were kids at the drag show. So let's just start telling the truth and talking about the facts, and that is what really happened.

And so, if you want to start inviting children into spaces where there are adult things happening, then that is where the problem lies. Children should not be exposed to that, and as a parent, we should be able to protect our kids. And if you want to have a public show — and I pay my taxes, and living here, you pay a lot of taxes — I should be able to say no. Now, if there is a private place in a restaurant and kids aren't invited, and they can't go, that's great. Yes, that is how it should be. And I hope they make a lot of money, but children should not be allowed to be exposed to it. There needs to be rules, and if these organizations are going to create situations where we actually have to make a rule — we literally have to make a rule that a kid can't be exposed to a half-naked man or a woman dressing up and putting money in their underwear or whatever else is going on. Maybe that is not what is happening at this particular one, but it is coming, and that is the truth. It is coming here if we don't make some rules, think sensibly, and give our children a childhood. They deserve that — even gay, straight, whatever. Every single child deserves a childhood. They should not be exposed to this. If it is not stopped, there is going to be a war here, and it is not going to be about no longer gay and straight and 'let's all get along.' People start going crazy and bad things start happening."

This is a beautiful community where we can all coexist. Just leave the children out of it. Please. I am begging you. I have seen what happens. It is a nightmare. You take God out of the schools. I think it is a disaster. You take God out of a community. It is a travesty. We should all be able to get along, have freedom and live and love. That's not what this is about. This is about children and protecting them and giving them the life they deserve — the life you had, and you and you and you. And the life you want your grandkids to have and your own children to have. A life of playing baseball and tag and not being concerned with these questions and things that are coming up. That's not what children should be thinking about. They should not be exposed to it.


Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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