Washington D.C., May 9, 2023 / 10:00 am
The Navy’s decision to enlist a TikTok drag queen influencer as a digital ambassador to entice people to join the United States armed forces has some lawmakers and others questioning the Navy’s thinking.
Joshua Kelley, a drag queen who uses the stage name Harpy Daniels, participated in a digital ambassador pilot initiative run by the Navy from October 2022 through March 2023.
Kelley, who is a sailor in the Navy, posted a series of TikTok videos during that time period wearing either a Navy uniform, a drag outfit, or sometimes switching between the two within the same video. The videos often discuss topics related to military service and being a drag queen.
A group of 14 Republican senators sent a letter to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro that asked questions about the appropriateness of the content and specifically about the use of TikTok, which has raised national security concerns in recent years.