One of Arizona’s best-known drag queens has taken off his gloves to attack longtime former pal and professed MAGA fanatic gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake for what he considers her baldfaced hypocrisy about drag shows.
Lake’s campaign indignantly tweeted Friday that “they kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens. They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow.”
But Lake has attended “countless” drag shows and private events featuring Richard Stevens, who has performed for 25 years as sassy Barbra Seville, the Arizona Republic reported Friday. Stevens has shared text messages from Lake, and photos and social media posts of her links to Stevens and drag shows.
Stevens told the newspaper he once even performed as Marilyn Monroe in front of Lake’s daughter when she was 9 or 10 years old.
“She’s picked a side in the culture war, but her actions in the past don’t support it,” Stevens told the Republic in an article published Saturday.
“Of course my feelings are hurt. It just proves that she is a hypocrite. ... She’s thrown away my friendship to get votes from people that would rather hate gays or hate drag queens,” said Stevens.
In a 2014 Instagram message — unearthed by Brahm Resnick, a reporter with NBC affiliate KPNX in Phoenix — Lake writes: “Half of what I learned about makeup I learned from watching friends like Barbra Seville.”
Lake’s campaign told KPNX on Saturday that “Richard’s accusations are full of lies.”
The candidate’s spokesperson, Ross Trumble, told the Republic that Lake’s daughter had attended a baby shower where Stevens “showed up as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator.”
It “wasn’t a drag show, and the issue we’re talking about isn’t adults attending drag shows, either,” the campaign told KPNX. “The issue is activists sexualizing children and that has got to stop.”
A campaign statement also noted: “Not once has [Lake’s] daughter been to a drag show. But since she is over the age of 18, if she chooses to do so, that’s completely up to her.”
The campaign apparently did not address whether Lake and Stevens, who was referred to by his first name, had been friends, or whether Lake attended drag shows.
Others have accused Lake, who was previously a Democrat, of faking her right-wing credentials and indignation in a bid to ride the extremist train to victory over Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. She’s also highlighting the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump as part of her campaign.
When pressed, Lake could only prove she has been a member of the National Rifle Association since last year, according to the Republic. She also once proposed an amnesty plan for millions of migrants, but now wants them out of the state.