Friday, February 24, 2023

Banning Drag

 Tennessee is set to become the first US state to ban drag

By Nate DiCamillo Published 2/24/2023

Banned In Public

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill banning drag shows in public on Thursday, sending the measure to the Republican Governor Bill Lee’s desk.

The law would make Tennessee the first state to ban public drag, which could also affect LGBTQ+ pride celebrations and transgender people who are in shows of any kind. There are currently 20 bills in 15 US states aimed at drag queen performances. [The Tennessee bill is the most far reaching so far]

It’s well-documented in economic literature that discrimination against LGBTQ+ people damages their economic, physical, and mental well-being. Additionally, discriminatory bills like the one in Tennessee can lower a nation’s GDP.

In past years, bills in other states that targeted transgender people prompted strong negative reaction from business leaders, out of concern that discriminatory legislation would make it more difficult to woo clients, talent and corporate relocations.

Several of the US’ largest corporations have decried the recent legislation as an attempt to erase protections for transgender people. (It’s unclear if any companies have donated money to stop the bills).

In Tennessee’s bill, a first offense would be treated as a misdemeanor, but a second offense would be treated as a felony.

Erin Reed, a queer legislative researcher and transgender rights activist said:

The language of the bill is very broad and doesn’t differentiate between trans people and drag performers. The bill says “male and female impersonators” cannot “provide entertainment that appeals to prurient interest.”


How does this impact us?  We know this will not be the only state set to do this. 

If pulled over for a routine traffic stop or late night sobriety check, what will we  say; "I am not a drag queen".  Is the officer trained to distinguish the difference. If we are issued a citation, what do we say to the judge or magistrate?  Note that the second offence is a "felony".  A question you have to answer on job applications and a fact the shows up on routine background checks. 

Enough - What is it going to take for us to have the "Stonewall" moment!



  1. this is another slippery slope where certain groups are offended by something and everyone suffers. while small potatoes compared to this absurdity-here in Florida we have a group opposed to gambling so we have no expansion to sports gambling so far even though most states do and the wagering continues illegally. Another group was offended by dog racing so they put kennels out of business just like the drag queens.

  2. It is unvelievable. On the one hand - America is seen here in Europe/Austria as a open minded society with a huge variaty, on the other hand ecpecially in the midlands a very conservative ....it is unbelievable for me, that drag should be banned in public. Where are we going?.....

  3. What to do...
    What to do...
    Given your commentary...
    I guess the law enforcement people have to bear the burden of proof and determine "what" you are. Would they have the right to do a search?
    Plenty of legal headaches acommin' to Tennessee...
    Law probably gets thrown out.
    Stay tuned.
    If this gets to courthouse, fill the gallery with "gender outsiders".

  4. Last night I got all dolled up and went with a friend to see the wonderful musical Kinky Boots, in which one of the main characters is Lola, a drag queen. Thank God we were in Scotland. Will the show even be legal in Tennessee? Surely such a law is unconstitutional as interfering with freedom of speech?
    Penny from Edinburgh.

  5. They had people in drag doing story hour at elementary schools in California. And then some bad optics of drag shows with children present. Some parents got scared. I’m sure you have seen some of the videos. They probably took it a little too far and people start pushing back.

    1. Your commentary seems to be full of 'factual holes'.
      Could you please re-post with a thing called 'research' and documentation.
      Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    2. Which part - the Nate DiCamillo part of my questions as to what could happen? If I have misquoted I will be happy to correct...

  6. google the Tennessee drag bill-the info you provided is incorrect