Multiple States Move To Ban Drag Shows in Front of Children

Red states are seeking to ban sexually suggestive drag shows from being performed in front of minors.

Photo by Quino Al / Unsplash

What’s going on? In March, Tennessee became the first state to ban sexually explicit “adult cabaret entertainment” from being performed in public spaces where children could be present. Now, 14 more states are pushing forward similar legislation regarding sexually suggestive drag shows.

State legislation: Similar bills have already been passed in some red states like Arkansas and Kentucky and are being considered in others. The general idea behind these bills is the same, though they each differ in the details. Some refer to “adult cabaret shows” or “sexually explicit performances,” while others refer directly to “drag shows.” Some ban these performances from public spaces while others from all events where children are present.

Drag shows for kids: Drag shows used to be performed almost exclusively in bars. With the cultural push for LGBT “tolerance,” parents are being encouraged to bring their children to such events. “Drag story hours” have also gained popularity—New York’s attorney general hosted one just this Sunday. Last December, a performance called A Drag Queen Christmas was held in Texas. It was advertised as an ”all ages” event, yet included graphic sexual content, sparking controversy.

Big picture: Critics of the recent bills claim that bringing children to drag shows will help them become more open-minded individuals. Proponents argue that the shows are inappropriate for minors due to their sexual nature and ideological undercurrents. The recent legislation is a part of the broader battle against progressive influence on children.