One of Alaska’s oldest animal shelters is wading into the controversial world of drag queens in order to spark interest in pet adoptions.

Since 1955 Alaska SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has operated as a private, nonprofit – offering pet adoptions and veterinarian services. On April 28, however, it posted a note to Facebook, asking for “drag queens and kings” to “help with great photos of some of our shelter pets.”

While animal advocacy and cross-dressing drag performers are not an obvious match, the SPCA hopes the unusual pairing generates interest in pet adoptions.

“We are not super well versed in this world, but I think yes. The whole idea is to find a novel way to shine a light on some of our shelter pets,” the SPCA explained under its post. “Again, nothing political. Looking for folks who want to share their fabulousness to help get pets into loving homes. No disrespect intended.”

So far, the post has generated nearly 400 comments and 100 shares in four days. Despite the SPCA’s claim that it doesn’t intend for the initiative to be “political,” responses to the idea reveal considerable disagreement.

Several commentors asked why the SPCA had to turn pet adoptions into something that promotes the LGBTQ agenda.

The SPCA claimed the drag campaign “isn’t political or sexual; this is performance art.” That’s common explanation often used by those who promote drag queens story hours for children in local libraries. They claim scantily clad, cross-dressing men are not actually attempting to be sexual but merely “artistic.”

If the Facebook thread is any indication, the SPCA’s decision is considered by those on both sides of the debate as a way of normalizing and promoting the LGBTQ agenda.

“Amazing way to promote adoptions and honor the whole Anchorage community,” one drag-queen supporter wrote on the SPCA’s Facebook thread. “Also, pride month is approaching. This could get some nationwide attention and props.”

The Alaska SPCA is not the first group to link drag queens and homeless pets.

Kylie Edmond, founder of Rock & Rawhide, has been pairing the two for several years through her New York-based company. In a 2018 article, Edmond admits that putting the two together is “fun.”

“And what’s not fun about a fabulous drag queen?” she said. “Their glittering glory and fabulous outfits are a great way to bring attention to both communities.”

For many, however, drag queens have become some of the most aggressive and controversial figureheads of the more radical and divisive agendas within the LGBTQ political movement.

Whether the Alaska SPCA’s new campaign serves to alienate or generate supporters remains to be seen.

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Anchorage animal shelter uses drag queens to promote pet adoptions

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.