The Attack on drag shows

The highest heels, the biggest wigs, the most extravagant makeup, and of course, only the most exotic of outfits for the drag queens of America!! Drag shows have been traced back in America since the 1920’s and for over 100 years drag shows have been a form of expression for many. Expressing femininity through fashion, cosmetics, comedy, and performance has been a vital part to the LGBTQ+ community for over a century and the longstanding practice is now under attack in the United States (again)

There have been 32 bills introduced since the beginning of 2023 in 17 states in America. The states that are involved are:

  • Arizoona
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

Tennessee however, was the first one to pass one of the bills on March 2nd which bans drag shows from happening in public places. Any violators of this new law could possibly face felony charges. While Texas is looking to put drag shows in the same category as strip clubs and adult movie theaters.

The main motive behind these new laws and policy changes is the so-called “threat” that drag shows are towards children. Republican leaders and their supporters believe that drag shows impose confusing ideals about gender and that the children must be protected from such ideas. These fears stem from gender norms being challenged and the increased visibility of non-binary or transgender identities. And the Republican lawmakers seem to be framing these identities as ones that conservative parents should be avoiding and protecting their children from.

Content creator and activist Matt Berstein, often shares posts on their Instagram profile regarding topics that affect the LGBTQ+ community (if you don’t already follow them, you definitely should). The following posts are examples of how conservatives view the expansion of the LGBTQ+ community as a threat to their heteronormative views.

This first post is addressing the absurd assumption that drag queens are sexual predators to children. Not only do they point out the lack of evidence to back this belief up but they go further by providing over 100 examples of how a lot of people who hold important offices like principals, police chiefs or priests are in fact, statistically more of a threat to the safety and well-being of children.

The second post shows someone being upset over the image of a rainbow being featured on what is being labeled a boys shirt. By the rainbow being present in what conservatives believe should be a heteronormative masculine space, it is now a form of indoctrination on little boys. It is a threat to their worldview. Although I think it is more of a threat to the conservative parents’ worldview. Matt Berstein adds to this post by providing a brief history on the colors that have been assigned to represent boys and girls.

The laws that are being put into place frame those who do not identify as a heteronormative individual as a threat and something that should be feared. These assumptions being spread about non-binary and transgender individuals is the thing that should truly be feared. The safety of these folks is truly put at risk if those in office are telling their constituency that drag queens are there to hurt their children and are a threat to their reality, and it is important for us supporters of LGBTQ+ rights to stand up in this time of need.

“We’re all born naked and the rest is drag…” – RuPaul

4 thoughts on “The Attack on drag shows

  1. I love this post. It really makes no sense how drag shows could be put in the same category as strip clubs. This definitely just feels like another strategy to limit the LGBTQ+ community.


  2. Very important post! It just seems like people who create these laws are scared of what they don’t know or don’t want to understand. And they want to push their values onto others without any kind of acceptance for other lifestyles. Also the lack of evidence behind their claims is absurd.


  3. Wow! It is unbelievable that so many states are proposing these bills. This post shocked and informed me, thank you so much for this!


  4. Your first sentence was extremely captivating, along with the entire blog post! This was extremely informational as I had no clue anyone would actually ban drag shows – since it is used as a way for people to express themselves or even, allows people to truly be themselves in a positive light. I know many have said negative things about drag shows and the people who are in them but I never thought they’d go as far as to ban them, completely.


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