anti drag legislation direct attack on the lgbtq+ community
The safety and rights of transgender and nonbinary people are being attacked as several states start to outlaw drag performances.
Drag show restrictions have recently been threatened in at least 11 states, continuing the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ laws that have been passed in recent years. Tennessee is infamous for both its anti-trans laws and for passing oppressive anti-drug legislation in recent weeks.
Gender expression is prohibited by law and has been for centuries. One of the first was implemented in 1863 in San Francisco, where anyone wearing clothing that was “different” from their assigned sex was forbidden from being in public. In the late 19th century, similar laws started to appear frequently.
A look at anti drag legislation , it is a direct attack on the LGBTQ+ community
A total of 315 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures in 2022, but only 29 of them were passed into law. It goes a terrifying step further when restrictions on drag shows and gender expression are imposed; The Guardian calls these restrictions “draconian restrictions.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, Tennessee has passed more anti-LGBTQ legislation than any other state since 2015 with 14. A Tennessee law that prohibits “adult cabaret performances” in public or in front of children was passed last week. Additionally, the bill stipulates that the “performances” cannot take place within a distance of 1,000 feet of any school, public park, or house of worship.
The language of this Tennessee bill, according to its opponents, is ambiguous, making business owners and entertainers wary of the wide range of reactions that people might have. Despite a lack of constitutional clarity, the penalties are severe. People who break this law for the first time risk misdemeanor charges, fines of up to $2,500, and/or up to a year in jail. Additional offenses could result in felony charges and up to six years in prison.
Along with other anti-trans legislation, this bill forbids trans teens from receiving care that is gender-affirming. The LGBTQ+ community is harmed by anti-drag laws, with transgender and nonbinary people suffering the most. The Tennessee bill uses extremely sexist and ambiguous language to say that performances by “male or female impersonators” are forbidden. Transgender people, who most definitely are not impersonators, are completely ignored by this.
Today, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is pervasive in many settings, and extremist messages replete with lies are frequently spread. Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller is said to have spent $50 million on anti-trans advertisements, many of which spread false information about gender-affirming medical treatment. The hateful messages stigmatize and dehumanize LGBTQ+ people, giving conservative lawmakers the confidence to openly express and pass laws reflecting their discriminatory beliefs. Research indicates that domestic terrorism is rising along with this hate speech and legislation, which has put LGBTQ+ people’s safety in danger.
Under the pretense of “protecting” their children, conservative and far-right legislative advocates support discriminatory and anti-LGBTQ laws. The discriminatory legislation in these countries is driven by a fear that the “white Christian heterosexual” values will be threatened. These people think that people must be assigned to a very specific and normative definition of gender. When queer people reject these gender norms, their freedom and security are attacked.
Under this “protect the children” guise, we have witnessed the exclusion of critical race theory from the curriculum of public schools, the violation of bodily autonomy and abortion rights with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the total ban on gender-affirming treatment in many states, with further ramifications for healthcare professionals.
By promoting LGBTQ+ stories that are shared online, exposing websites that spread anti-LGBTQ+ slurs and false information, and putting pressure on advertisers who support hate speech, we can fight it.
Legislators must work to safeguard the rights of the LGBTQ+ community to abortion and gender-affirming medical care. To protect transgender children seeking gender-affirming medical care, California became a sanctuary state. Transgender and nonbinary people are in danger as a result of recent attacks on drag shows. Through advocacy, we must support the freedom, rights, and security of our LGBTQ+ community.