According to Big League Politics, the Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano (CEN) was the nonprofit organization that received the grant.
The grant, which was given as part of the State Department’s public diplomacy program, is dedicated to a longterm, ongoing project that includes three workshops, 12 drag theater performances and a two-minute documentary.
CEN claims the goal of the taxpayer-funded program is to “support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world.”
The nonprofit has been a consistent recipient of U.S. grant money in the past, but this appears to be the first time taxpayer funds have gone towards drag shows abroad.
In 2015, CEN was awarded $50,000 by the State Department with hopes of promoting the College Horizons program to teach English to young people of color.
Also in 2015, the State Department gave $234,000 to CEN so they could build a new auditorium.
CEN’s recent grant will not be the first time a U.S. government sponsored drag show has taken place—the American military has taken part in this practice before, hosting a “kid-friendly” drag show in July at an Air Force base in Virginia.
That show, was a part of the Air Force’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summer Festival.”
A drag queen known as “Harpy Daniels—The Navy Drag Queen” performed at the festival, which had many children’s activities on premises.
The State Department refused to comment on the matter.
Prior to that, in June 2021, at least one other military-sponsored drag show occurred at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base.
Following the backlash, Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry, the base spokesman, issued a statement to Breitbart calling it an “essential” morale-booster for the elite fighter pilots stationed there.
“The event was sponsored by a private organization and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the history and significance of drag performance art within the LGBT+ community,” McGarry said. “Ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military.”