Newly released security camera footage appears to show Rep. Lauren Boebert, the far-right Republican congresswoman known for her strong stance against drag queens and transgender people, claiming their mere existence “sexualizes” spaces, engaging in inappropriate behavior during a family-friendly musical at a packed theater. Boebert and her companion were asked to leave the show due to their disruptive actions during a performance of the musical Beetlejuice.
In the video, Boebert’s companion, identified by multiple news sources as 46-year-old Quinn Gallagher (a Democrat who owns a bar at which drag shows have occurred), is seen touching Boebert’s chest during the show. Boebert, in response, appears to place her hand near his crotch and whispers something to him, Mediaite reports.
The suggested age for Beetlejuice is 10 and over.
This footage quickly went viral on social media, leading to widespread outrage.
The incident led to various social media posts, including the phrase “Not a drag queen,” along with the video of Boebert involved in the handsy behavior.
Lauren Boebert has talked a lot about LGBTQ people, \u201cappropriate behavior.\u201d\n\nAnd now she gets caught fondling her partner in a packed theatre.\n\nImagine for one moment a trans person was caught doing this.\n\nThe news stories. The bills. The media circus.\n\nStill not a drag queen.
— Erin Reed (@Erin Reed) 1694820428
Independent journalist and trans activist Erin Reed, who is engaged to Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr, called out the right-wing hypocrisy demonstrated by Boebert’s actions.
“Lauren Boebert has talked a lot about LGBTQ people, ‘appropriate behavior.’ And now she gets caught fondling her partner in a packed theatre. Imagine for one moment a trans person was caught doing this. The news stories. The bills. The media circus,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter, adding, “Still not a drag queen.”
Boebert and her companion were confronted by theater officials at their seats inside the Buell Theater, as previously shown in video footage obtained by Denver NBC affiliate KUSA. After a brief conversation, they were escorted out of the theater.
The security camera footage also captures Boebert taking flash photographs, dancing, and using a vape pen inside the theater. Subsequently, she left the venue after theater staff threatened to call police. Initially, Boebert jokingly attributed the incident to “laughing and singing too loudly” and denied vaping, suggesting that the smoke came from the theater’s fog machine. However, a separate video contradicted this claim, showing Boebert using her vape pen and blowing smoke toward the audience.
An incident report stated that Boebert protested her removal, asking, “Do you know who I am?” and referring to her supposed board membership and intentions to contact the mayor.
Many people noted the apparent hypocrisy in Boebert’s actions, given her history of making derogatory remarks about the LGBTQ+ community, painting its members as sexually deviant.
Boebert’s critics enjoyed tremendous schadenfreude, with Boebert being the one caught engaging in public sexual behavior in a theater where children were present.
Boebert issued an apology late on Friday, expressing regret for the vaping incident, which she claimed to have no recollection of, and attributing her disruptive behavior to her ongoing divorce proceedings, The Colorado Sun reports.
“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” she stated. “While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that.”
She added, “There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That’s unacceptable, and I’m sorry.”
The Advocate reached out to Boebert’s spokesperson to ask for an explanation of how Boebert reconciles her behavior with her false smears on the LGBTQ+ community as inappropriately sexual but did not receive an immediate response.