LCRW is 100% reader-funded!Support LCRW
This article is being published simultaneously by Double-Sided Media.
On April 29, neo-Nazis from Rose City Nationalists, Evergreen Active Club, and Vinland Rebels—all under the umbrella 3N, or Northwest National Network—traveled to Florence, Oregon to protest an all-ages show at the Florence Golf Links. They were joined by McKenzie River Proud Boy Dustin Grant and his wife, Carrie.
“Fanny Rugburn’s Magical Queendom”—an all-ages drag show hosted by Jason Wood, a.k.a. Fanny Rugburn—was Disney-themed; included singalongs to popular songs; read from “Neither,” a children’s book by Airlie Anderson; sang about giving yourself affirmations; and even included a bubble gun.
Wood is a private voice and piano teacher in Florence, a founding director with the Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops, and current candidate for Siuslaw School Board. He performed twice. His 1 p.m. show was sold-out at 65 tickets and the second show, at 3:30 p.m., only had a few less people and was mostly attended by adult supporters.
But supporters and attendees weren’t the only ones there.
The Nazis, in dark clothing and face-obscuring terrorgram-style “skull masks” took over the sidewalk on the corner in front of the Florence Golf Links.They held a banner that read “pedophiles out of our schools” and waved a flag with a Nazi symbol called a black sun. The Nazis harassed both people arriving for the event or simply driving by.
“This was the first time I had been protested, personally,” Wood said. “I’ve done other all-ages shows in Florence in the past. But the reactions were not like what I’ve seen lately.”
Woods said that “blowback” over his drag performances “started a little over a year ago” and became more intense when he did an “all-ages show at Eugene-Springfield Pride with some students from my studio.”
“That’s when the accusations and threats became more frequent.” Woods recalled. “This last all-ages show, which was magical, really opened it up to even more threats of violence and horrible accusations not based in a flicker of truth.”
But because of the recent rise in anti-drag and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and sentiment sweeping the country, Wood said that criticism is on the rise — especially after he started running for elected office.
Wood initially ran for school board during the Summer 2022 special election and did not win. He announced his current candidacy on March 17.
“This time around, I struggled with the decision to run,” he said. “But in the end, I knew I needed to. I hope I can provide support and representation on the board if I’m elected.”
Naomi, who attended the drag performance, said the nazis waved when they initially didn’t pull into the golf course’s driveway, but weren’t confrontational at first. Even when Naomi pulled into the driveway, the Nazis were silent—until two lesbian couples arrived. The nazis proceeded to yell at them.
Naomi later saw the nazis at Jerry’s Place Bar and Grill where they stared and “were trying to come off as intimidating.” Overall, “it all seemed so silly considering how wholesome the show was and Jason Wood’s amazing attitude.”
Event photographer Dusk McNeely said that she wasn’t surprised to see a protest but was surprised who was protesting. She said she expected the protest to be by members of Florence Patriots, a local right-wing group, but “the military style all black with mask stand-off really took me off guard.” As she drove by, they called her a “pedophile” and asked if she “enjoyed a lap dance from Jason” among other things that she couldn’t hear clearly enough.
The performances inside were never interrupted and the show went on without a hitch.
“[It] was amazing,” McNeely said of the event. “Uplifting and fun! Jason Wood is great with the kids and everyone was having a great time.”