Though Arlington’s highly sexual “Pride” festival exposed children to half-naked men strutting around in women’s lingerie, harnesses, and dog masks, Arlington Mayor Jim Ross has praised the event publicly.

At one point during the hyper-sexual event, Ross was invited on stage to give a speech. Ross was introduced as a “steadfast supporter of the [LGBT] community since day one.”

“We have a little saying in Arlington that says, ‘We’re better together,’” Ross said at the beginning of his speech. “And I don’t care what your skin color is, I don’t care what your age is, what your gender is, what your religious differences are, or your sexual preferences. We are all better together.”

Ross then announced the City of Arlington’s Gay Pride Proclamation, saying that this would be the fifth year for the proclamation.

He then pointed out the City of Arlington got a perfect score for the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index for 2022, which focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion of the LGBT community.

Ross was then given Pride Arlington’s first ever ‘LGBTQ+ Leadership Award’ in honor of his acceptance and work he had done for the LGBT community.

Before leaving the stage, Ross didn’t comment on the several attendees dressed in fashions not acceptable for children or the sexual nature of the performances that were inappropriate for children.

Some attendees were dressed in outfits for pet-play, where they wore bondage gear, harnesses, chains, collars and animal masks—specifically dog masks— while others sported nothing but loincloths, outfits of the opposite gender, LGBT merchandise, or sheer tops and shorts.

The festival put on a drag show as well, which they claimed was suitable for children to attend. However, the performers chose explicit and revealing costumes to exhibit while lip-syncing and dancing.

One performer wore a bodysuit, where the leg gaps went up well past his hips, highlighting his crotch area, and his body suit revealed the cleavage of his false breasts.

Others wore similar bodysuits, with one being completely sheer with a neon green frill to prevent audience members from being able to see his groin, and another a low cut black bodysuit with a black loincloth to hide his groin. Another bodysuit had neon colored tape emphasizing his faux breasts, and was thong-styled in the back to reveal his buttocks.

Meanwhile, another sported a black and red bodysuit with red frills around his groin area and a very low cut top, which he stripped off his black coat to reveal—resembling the performance of a stripper.

Another performer’s costume included a belt to cover his chest and pants that had cutouts over the lower stomach and upper buttocks. Any time he bent over, his buttocks would hang out the top of his cutouts.

“What they are wearing belongs in the bedroom, not in the street,” one Twitter user wrote in response to the pictures of the event.

Hundreds of people attended the festival, and several brought their children.

While Ross did nothing to condemn the event for sexualizing children, several Arlington residents peacefully protested against the festival’s blatant sexualization of children and attempted to evangelize to attendees.

Senate Bill 12, legislation to ban sexual performances including drag for children, is currently awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. Once signed, the measure will take effect on September 1, 2023.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.