Tennessee has officially signed in a Bill to restrict drag performances.
The legislation that is now in action will allow police to charge performers with a misdemeanor or a felony charge for repeat offenders.
So, what’s the bill?
It will make it illegal for performers to display or perform on public property, in an attempt to shield children from erotic themes.
The performers listed in the bill are:
“topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers.”
Do Strippers perform on public property? No – they perform in strip clubs or hired venues.
Do Go-Go Dancers and Exotic Dancers perform on public property? Also no. They perform in Nightclubs and hired venues.
Cabaret and Burlesque also does not happen on public property.
All of these things typically happen behind closed doors, behind an ID checking bouncer.
What happened recently to trigger a bill like this to be signed in?
Well, last month a group of people in white masks protested outside a restaurant/diner hosting an 18+ Drag Brunch. The people were chanting homophobic slurs and even displayed a Nazi flag.
Their reasoning? Well, their signs asked this: “Why do they want an audience of children?”
They were asking this at an event only attended by people aged 18 and older…
The arguments that occurred during Section 28 are happening again. No promotion of anything other than cisgender and heterosexual – conservatives and republicans are once again saying that LGBTQ people existing is promotion of our lifestyle and therefore we should not be allowed to exist on public property.
The reason this ban directly targets drag performers, and even trans people, is due to this: Republicans see drag as a sexual act – no matter how modest the performer is. And its most likely further interwined with sexism and misogyny, in the way that women wearing certain clothes are sexualised no matter their age.
But, of course, our pleas are falling on ignorant ears. However, I suspect we’ll see if they follow through will this bill. Will cheerleaders, who regularly dress like Go-Go Dancers, also have to stop performing in public?
Will they maybe bring a bill in to stop child beauty pageants which are known to give paedophiles access to children?
Will they ban children from church and chapel to keep them safe from the hundreds of pastors, ministers, and vicars that have been outed as paedophiles?
No. No, they won’t.
This ban is not to protect children. It’s to stop an artform from representing a part of the human race that Republicans don’t wish existed.
This bill is against the USA’s Amendment for Freedom of Speech. Protect your rights, stand with LGBTQ and Drag folk.
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