In the last three months, drag performers and people who identify as trans or on the transgender spectrum have been in legal hot water and under the pressure of state lawmakers. Some might infer that this is coming from a history of abuse from said communities or previous incidents that caused uproars in “everyday life”, but that is the farthest from the truth. From volunteering at libraries to read to children to giving entertainment at clubs and brunch; from finding the truth of one’s self to questioning the norms of western ideas of gender expression, this facet of the queer culture has been put in hot water. The reason: lawmakers and politicians think the youth and future generations are in danger.
There have been almost 200 signed bills against the transgender community, with an emphasis on trans youth. Most of them deal with bathrooms and sports, but there have been some, especially in states like Arkansas and Florida that have threatened to take away children if their parents agree to let the child go through their transition. This mostly goes for medical instances, but the conversation of socially transitioning is coming up. As for drag performers (or “crossdressers”), they have been a popular talking point when it comes to conservatives as of late. The most notable, dare it to be called this, trailblazers in the conversation are Tennessee. Even though the language isn’t banning drag queens, reading between the lines isn’t hard to do. Phrases like, “adult cabaret performances” or “male or female impersonators” are listed as things that are prohibited in the state. But not entirely. One if there aren’t any children around.
Drag and other identities that fall outside of the norm of the gender binary have always been taboo issues. It goes against traditionalism and the strict orders of what America, as well as western culture, deems acceptable. There have been instances where yes, there was some level of risque acts at drag shows. Yes, there are times when there are kids there. But that happens sometimes. We can not promise that there won’t be kids in every space that we go into. That’s not logically sound to believe. For the transgender community, almost everything that is being said about the community is false. There aren’t trans people who are out there, openly forcing themselves into bathrooms to take advantage of people or attack them. It is quite the opposite.
The conversation on this topic has too many levels of hypocrisy. Conservatives want to protect children, yet they want to take away instances where they can learn. Banning drag shows and performances because the possibility of a drag artist reading “The Cat in the Hat” to children is lewd and immoral. Conservatives want to protect children, but they want to take away medical accessibility that could save a child’s life. It’s a bunch of lies. What are politicians protecting children from? The freedom of expression? Or do they fear that they’re slowly losing the battle of traditionalism?