Six service members performed at the event held at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, dancing and lip syncing to popular secular tunes, such as Whitney Houston’s I Want to Dance with Somebody.
The event was a fundraiser for the newly-formed chapter of OutServe, a homosexual advocacy group for the military.
Organizer Lt. Marissa Green told reporters that she was initially unsure whether there would be much interest in the show, seeking to sell just 75 tickets. But she said that she was surprised when ticket sales surpassed her expectations.
“We didn’t think there was much of a desire for an event like this on the island, but it has actually blown up,” she said. “We ended up selling 400 tickets in 10 days.”
The five male performers—the drag queens—dressed as women for the event, donning formal wear and high heels, and wearing wigs and makeup to appear feminine. The sole female performer—the drag king—dressed as a man and lip synced songs sung by male artists. The crowd cheered as they strutted across the stage one by one, dancing and singing along with the selected tunes.
The event was stated to be the result of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was officially discarded in September 2011 after being overturned by both houses of Congress the year prior. One of the most prominent congressmen that voted for the repeal was Representative Ron Paul of Texas.
“It isn’t the issue of homosexuality, it’s the concept and understanding of individual human rights,” Paul stated at a 2008 presidential debate when asked to outline his position on the matter.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have spoken favorably surrounding the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Ryan told a television station in Palm Beach, Florida during the 2013 election season that to reinstate the policy would be a “step in the wrong direction.”
“Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves,” he told WPJV-TV. “I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on.”
Since the repeal, a number of homosexual events have taken place on military bases, including a homosexual pride event at the Pentagon and various same-sex “weddings” and commitment ceremonies at installations nationwide.
However, historic documents outline that homosexuality has been sharply proscribed in the military since the nation’s founding.
In 1778, General George Washington ordered Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin to be drummed out of the camp for “attempting to commit sodomy” with a male soldier. His March 14th proclamation stated, “His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, approves the sentence, and with abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes, orders Lieut. Enslin to be drummed out of camp tomorrow morning by all the drummers and fifers in the Army never to return; the drummers and fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at guard mounting for that purpose.”