A convergence of right-wing hate mongers menaced a Saturday's drag queen bingo event at a Texas church.
Protesters and counter-protesters lined opposing sides of a divided highway in the Texas town of Katy, west of Houston. The location is home to the LGBTQ-affirming congregation of the First Christian Church, which hosted two drag queen bingo events.
The daytime event was open to all ages, followed by an adults-only event Saturday evening.
Several hundred right-wing radicals to include members of the Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and Nazis, showed up in opposition to the religious institution's activities, Houston's Fox affiliate KRIV reports.
Chief among the participants on Saturday was Kelly Neidert, the University of North Texas student that has spent much of her post-education period directing hatred at LGBTQ+ communities through her organization Protect Texas Kids. Neidert is a self-described "Christian fascist."
Videos and photos from the location show a disturbing scene of armed hate groups flying bigoted signs and flags, including one with a swastika, yelling at and confronting supporters of the LGBTQ+ community that had assembled as a barrier to the hate.
Police in riot gear separated the crowds, which engaged in several minor skirmishes but otherwise without arrests or incidents, according to KRIV.
Right-wing media figures and influencers had stirred up anger and whipped up their followers to target the event, including Steve Bannon, who amplified anti-LGBTQ+ activist Sherronna Bishop on his program calling for the disruption of the Katy affair.
Conservatives have broadly aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and the transgender community in particular out of the false smear that trans people are brainwashing children and encouraging them to mutilate their bodies in an attempt to spread a "woke" liberal ideology that aims at erasing straight people. To do so, activists have now tried to gain access to safe spaces to "expose" what they believe is really going on behind closed doors. The videos are typically harmless but made to sound outrageous.
For example, right-wing troll Tayler Hansen posed as a transgender woman and recorded a video inside the church's Transparent Closet, a boutique that provides free apparel to transgender teens. The drag queen bingo proceeds benefit the boutique.
The video shows several church volunteers trying to assist Hansen, who they believe to be a transgender girl in need. Eventually, a church pastor notices that Hansen is not there in good faith, and he's kicked out.