The War On Drag

America’s newest fight to “protect our children” is a fight against drag queens. Once again Republican lawmakers are looking away from the real issues and placing blame where they know they can stir up drama. 

At least 14 states are trying to pass laws pertaining to banning drag shows, including here in Montana. There are many problems with these bills, which are mainly caused by a complete misunderstanding of drag. 

HB 359 in Montana is the bill currently trying to ban minors from attending drag shows.   This bill formally defines drag as “a performance that features topless dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, or male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration” with prurient interest meaning “having a tendency to excite lustful thoughts.” 

These bills are specifically targeting people under 18, prohibiting drag shows for minors as well as prohibiting drag experiences in public libraries and other government funded spaces. The problem with this bill isn’t that we want all children to experience a drag show, but the villainizing and sexualization of drag and all things queer.  

The main issue with the arguments of these lawmakers is the case for protecting our children which is what many of the lawmakers behind these bills are using as justification. If these lawmakers were really protecting our children, they would focus on gun violence or our education system. The current number one cause of death in American children is firearms, but instead of focusing on how to keep children alive we are focusing on how to keep them away from drag queens. 

The whole idea behind these bills is completely useless. So useless that it almost seems like a violation of rights, trying to restrict what people do in their day to day, what events you let your children attend. Censorship will do nothing to better our world nor “protect our children.” 

No matter how long we call to focus on the real issues, the things that actually affect youth in the U.S.; gun violence, global warming, and failing education systems are all ignored in favor of protecting kids from drag queens. When will lawmakers focus on what really matters?