‘Family friendly’ Hopkins Pride celebration featured pornographic drag performer

Saint James came under fire earlier this year for his performance at the Minnesota State Capitol during a Trans Day of Visibility event.

A drag queen accepts a cash tip from a little girl during the Hopkins Pride festival. (Hopkins Pride/Facebook)

Tomi Saint James, a drag queen who has posted nearly nude photos of himself online, performed at Hopkins’ first ever Pride festival on June 17.

The event was organized by a new group, Hopkins Pride, and featured several drag performances by other drag queens.

Saint James previously posted photos on Instagram dressed as a demon, while other photos show him wearing a black leather harness. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Devil my soul to keep,” says one post from James’ Instagram account.

Hance Ace Hardware and Twin Cities Pride were top “Gold level” donors to Hopkins Pride,  both donating over $2,000. It was advertised as a “family friendly” event.

Video from the festival shows a drag queen accepting a cash tip from a little girl.

Hopkins Pride posted a photo on Facebook prior to the festival, showing off the Hopkins Public Library’s Pride month display, explaining that the library would also be participating in the Pride festival. The display has pamphlets about different sexual orientations as well as a selection of books.

Hopkins Pride/Facebook

A book called “Heartstopper” is on display, which has been removed from some school libraries because of its graphic content. Another book is called “The Bride Was a Boy” and is intended for middle-school children.

Hopkins Pride says its mission is to “cultivate an inclusive, safe, and sustainable pride event for LGBTQIA+ and Hopkins community members.” According to its website, Hopkins Pride was created after a Pride mural was allegedly vandalized last year.

A resident of Hopkins, Dave Ziffer, voiced his concerns about the festival to Alpha News and strongly criticized children attending the event.

In a Substack article, he argued that drag queens are sex workers. “They are men who make their living stripping, gyrating their genitals and booties in front of paying customers.”

He said that calling drag shows family friendly is “asinine.”

Hopkins recently passed a Pride month proclamation, officially declaring the month of June as Pride month. The city also has a rainbow painted crosswalk on 8th Street, south of Main Street, according to Hopkins Pride.

Saint James came under fire earlier this year for his performance at the Minnesota State Capitol during a Trans Day of Visibility event. That event was also “family friendly” and, while performing, Saint James broke capitol rules by dancing on the Minnesota state seal.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.