However, the event is generating criticism from some conservative Christian leaders and politicians, who say a drag queen show isn’t suitable for children.
Event Organizers Say the Event is Family Friendly
EOC officials responded to the controversy by saying Family Pride Night will be G-rated and appropriate for families.
And, on Wednesday, the zoo issued a news release stating that it “is proud to celebrate the diverse audiences that it serves.”
Zoo CEO Jon Dohlin also said that “it is our responsibility to ensure our Zoo is safe and welcoming for all.”
The zoo the event “will be fun for all ages and will include games, community partner booths, family-friendly entertainment, and our Animal Ambassadors.”
Said EOC Chief Executive Officer Emilia Reyes: “We are incredibly grateful to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo for hosting this event for LGBTQ+ families in the Central Valley. Having a safe space for families to come together and celebrate who they are while appreciating the beauty of the zoo is priceless.”
Do’s and Don’t for Family Pride Night
Organizers encourage families to don colorful rainbow attire and accessories that embrace and celebrate Pride month.
EOC staff also say event-goers shouldn’t wear attire that reveals too much chest, thighs, stomach, and/or underwear. In addition, there is a ban on clothing that that expresses profane, rude, racially insensitive, gang-related, or abusive language. Those who don’t comply will be denied admission.
Jennifer Cruz, who is the EOC LGBTQ+ resource manager, says a group of drag queens will lip-synch to pop songs to highlight the entertainment.
In addition, there will be booths with information on services and resources, as well as arts and crafts activities for families and children.
Bredefeld: ‘Despicable Effort to Sexualize Children’
Bredefeld, who was highly critical of a pastor’s invocation at City Hall’s June 10 Pride flag-raising, characterized the zoo event as “evil crap” on social media.
The despicable efforts to sexualize our children continues at the Zoo with “Family Friendly Drag Performances” where children can “meet and greet with the queens after the show.” This kind of evil crap presented to children must end and we must unite to put a stop to it. Now. pic.twitter.com/3vHbV4SOZJ
— Garry Bredefeld (@GarryBredefeld) June 15, 2022
Watch: Pride Night at Zoo Debated