Tennessee Ban on LGBTQ Drag Shows
Hello My ATMS, hope everyone had a wonderful week and is looking forward to New Possibilities. I wanna talk about an issue that is affecting our community and our progress: THE BAN ON DRAG ShOWS IN PUBLIC PLACES. This attack on LBGTQ artistry is a distraction from bigger issues within the country right now. A drag show is a form of entertainment performed by drag artists impersonating men or women, typically in a bar or nightclub. The modern drag show originated in the speakeasies and underground bars of 1920's and 1930's Prohibition America, in what was known as the Pansy Craze. Drag became a part of gay culture and a form of entertainment usually enjoyed by adults in bars, for example the famous gay bar Stonewall.Typically, a drag show involves performers singing or lip-synching to songs while performing a pre-planned pantomime or dancing. There might also be some comedy, skits, and audience interaction. The performers are often given cash tips by the audience members. The performers often don elaborate costumes and makeup, and sometimes dress to imitate various famous opposite sex singers or personalities. Young male dancers have often been included.
NOW, I understand that some people are concerned about what their children are exposed too in the world but people forget (or just do not care) is that we live in the information era or internet era, where information is available via internet, youtube,Google etc. Youth have access to this information on a regular basis, so why is this a problem Now?????
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a bill banning drag shows in public spaces, a measure that will likely force drag shows underground in Tennessee. Other states across the country are proposing similar legislation. A quote from Hella Skeleton, a drag performer in rural Middle Tennessee, says the line is not clear.
"For Bill Lee to say, 'You know, that was lighthearted when I did it,' that is absolutely absurd when a lot of drag is extremely lighthearted," Skeleton says. "Apparently when straight men dress up badly in drag, that's OK. But when gay and queer and trans people do it, that's not OK."
The law calls drag shows "harmful to minors," but the state's American Civil Liberties Union says that the legal definition for "harmful to minors" is very narrow in Tennessee and only covers extreme sexual or violent content. Director Stella Yarbrough from ACLU OF TENNESSEE LEGAL quoted:
"The law bans obscene performances, and drag performances are not inherently obscene," The way the law is written, she says, should not make drag shows illegal in the state. Nashville business owner David Taylor testified before the state legislature that the drag shows at his club are not sexually explicit:
"We know this because we have a Tennessee liquor license and are bound by Tennessee liquor laws. Our more than 20 years in business, we've not received a citation for one of our drag performers."
Taylor says the ban on drag will negatively impact Nashville's economy. Drag brunches in the city's bars are filled with bachelorette parties, and Music City's infamous fleet of party vehicles includes a drag queen-specific bus.
"My businesses alone have contributed more than $13 million to the state in the form of sales and liquor taxes since we opened," Taylor says.
This testimony alone expresses how this new law will hurt businesses and cost people jobs that will affect families. I am no politician, born during the 90s and watching cartoons with certain images like this :
(Mind you these photos as during the early 80s. How many times has Bugs Bunny dressed in drag?
Bugs Bunny, an early example of a cross-dressing character, appeared in ladies garb or cross-dressed in at least 40 cartoons.)
did not bother me or questioned my sexuality as a child. So here is my question .....is this new law about protecting children or pushing personal beliefs with political backing???? Comment below and May your best feedback Win (shout out to Mother Ru aka RuPaul)