My wife and I went to the movies recently and managed not to vape, take selfies, act disruptively or grope each other. These things are, as I understand, traditional acts of heterosexual mating and/or cries for help when one is going through a divorce.
I am one of those people for whom theater etiquette is very important. Whether it’s the movies, the opera or a heavy metal show, I expect folks not to ruin it for me. And usually, they don’t (except for that One Tall Guy at metal shows: Why do you stand directly in front of the stage every single time? WHY?). So I would have been very pissed had I attended the same Denver performance of “Beetlejuice” as U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado).
Vaping, taking flash selfies, singing and dancing to the point of being disruptive — and groping — are not acceptable audience behavior. If Boebert had done just one of those things, I’d give her a pass. Rude but fleeting. But the fact that she engaged in all of them and then pulled a “Do you know who I am?” when she got kicked out of the theater is honestly a perfect encapsulation of the Republican Party as it stands today: You don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself, and you throw a fit when called out for your bad behavior.
And yes, Boebert has apologized for most of it, blaming her actions on the fact that she’s going through a divorce. But the thing is, she should never have been engaging in this behavior to begin with. She’s a grown-ass woman, not a 15-year-old. At bare minimum, she should have stopped vaping the moment the pregnant woman seated behind her asked her to.
According to Newsweek, “Boebert’s date, Quinn Gallagher, is reportedly a Democrat and co-owner of a bar that has hosted drag shows — something Boebert has been an outspoken critic of.”
Boebert’s big takeaway from all of this? “I learned to check party affiliations before you go on a date,” she told TMZ.
Did her date use Democratic mind control on Boebert and then expose her to the world? Um, no. The footage of Boebert released to the press came from the venue’s cameras. Perhaps what she’s more embarrassed about is that she went out with a Democrat.
She called her “Beetlejuice” episode “part of my personal life, my private time. Something I rarely indulge in.” As if she and her date were in the theater alone and not surrounded by people who had paid to have a nice night out, including parents who brought their kids.
Look, do I think a kid is going to be irrevocably scarred by seeing a guy and a gal grope each other at a musical? No, I think they’ll mostly be OK. Kids see worse on TikTok every day. But do I think public groping in front of kids is appropriate? Of course not.
But Boebert claims to be very concerned about what children see, at least when it comes to drag performers.
In 2022, she tweeted, “Sending a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the children in Colorado’s Third District!”
And, of course, Boebert isn’t just against drag performers, she’s against transgender people, especially children, period.
As trans activist Erin Reed tweeted, “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.”
Boebert would be the first one to tweet, “I told you so!”
Boebert may believe that she’s the victim in this situation (after all, she’s said that conservatives face more discrimination than transgender people), but honestly, her privilege is on full display here, as Reed pointed out. A white, cisgender, heterosexual, economically well-off woman is more likely to get called a “Karen” than to, say, get arrested for behavior that would not be tolerated by others.
“I would love to know how the musical ended,” Boebert told TMZ.
Personally, I hope it ends with her being voted out of office.