Lawmakers Push To Restrict Drag Shows

Lawmakers Push To Restrict Drag Shows

New bills propose to restrict drag shows in the presence of children. Republican lawmakers believe the performances are explicit and inappropriate in imagery. The claim is controversial because it discriminates against the LGBTQ community and could violate the First Amendment law.

An estimation of eight state legislations is in agreement to censor the shows, according to sources. States such as Arizona, Texas, Nebraska, and Tennessee are introducing the thought of cracking down on shows. Other states like Montana and Idaho are drafting the bill as well.

“We’re not trying to be anti-anybody, anti-trans, anti-anything, we’re just trying to protect our kids,” says Arkansas Republican state representative Mary Bentley. State representatives across the country are commenting on how they’re not anti-drag, but pro-child

Anti-drag vs Pro-child

Transgender topics and drag culture have become more mainstream in recent years. Shows often featured men dressing as women in serious makeup while entertaining a crowd. Right-wing conservatives find that drag shows display bawdy expression. Shows are often hard to categorize due to the material and how it can come off. The evolution of drag shows originated from the underground clubs of the 1920s and are now a part of pop culture. 

LGBTQ advocates considers the bill to be a threat to the community. House Minority Leader Josh Boschee doesn’t agree with the bill. He believes the ideas are coming from the “dark sides of the internet.”

Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, finds the issue to be “brand new”. A lot of critiques put out backlash last year, but not legislative attacks. LGBTQ advocacy ground, GLAAD, found that at least 141 anti-LGBTQ protests, threats and violence were put out towards drag events last year in the U.S.

“If you are a parent that is concerned about what your child is seeing, then you stay involved in what you’re allowing your child to be exposed to.” Warbelow says. 

Featured Image by Sergio Flores for The Washington Post/Getty Images

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