Armed conservative activists and Proud Boys faced off against gun-toting Antifa counter-protesters at a children’s drag brunch in Texas over the weekend.
A viral video showed the right-wing and left-wing demonstrators yelling at one another on Sunday afternoon outside Anderson Distillery & Grille in Roanoke.
The sold-out “Barrel Babes Drag Brunch” was billed by its organizers as a place where “kindness and inclusion meets fabulous fun.”
But as the video shows, there was more fury than fun on display outside the venue, with gun-wielding conservative group members picketing the restaurant, and masked anti-fascists dressed in black standing guard outside while brandishing AR-15-style rifles and Gay Pride flags.
The angry confrontation, which was watched over by a throng of police officers acting as peacekeepers, did not escalate to physical violence and resulted in no known arrests, according to an official with the Roanoke Police Department, Dallas News reported.
News of the brunch, which saw drag performers entertain children with musical numbers and comedy skits, had been bouncing around social media platforms for days, prompting conservative groups to call for protests — despite the restaurant owner’s reassurances that the event would include no sexual content, foul language or “erotic behavior.”
“It was never my intention to host an event that would result in controversy, hate and divisiveness,” Jay Anderson wrote on Facebook ahead of the brunch. “It is my intention to welcome people from ALL walks of life into Anderson Distillery & Grill.”
Anderson noted that his son, Bailey, performing under the drag name “Trish Delish,” will be overseeing the variety-style show and making sure it “remains clean.”
Unconvinced, Protect Texas Kids — a nonprofit founded by an anti-trans activist to protect “kids form the toxic agenda of the left” — urged its supporters “to show up in full force and show that the majority of us are against children being involved in these disturbing, sexually explicit shows,” Fox News Digital reported.
Protect Texas Kids protesters were joined by others of their ilk, including a person identified as an alleged member of the far-right neo-fascist Proud Boys group, who was photographed holding a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, the Los Angeles Blade reported.
Picketers appeared outside the crowded eatery carrying signs that read “drag the queens out of town” and “children cannot consent.” But they were visibly outnumbered by the counter-protesters.
Despite the palpable hostility between the two sides, which manifested itself mostly in shouting matches and menacing glares, the brunch was a success, according to the restaurant’s owner.
“Yes, every table was full before we officially opened. Yes, we reached maximum capacity and had a wait list to get inside. Yes, we ran out of food. Yes, we passed the “no sexual content” inspection from the Texas Comptroller’s Office. And, yes, love won today,” Anderson wrote after the event.