Three RuPaul’s Drag Race stars from Tennessee have blasted horrifying legislation in their home state criminalising drag in public.
Tennessee Republicans this month passed the bill putting harsh restrictions on drag shows and banning gender-affirming care for transgender children.
The hateful bill classifies drag shows as “adult cabaret entertainment” and criminalises them in public spaces or in front of children, regardless of the content of the show.
Under the laws, a first offense is a misdemeanor, then a subsequent offense is a felony punishable with prison time.
The legislation also broadly criminalises “male or female impersonations”. LGBTQIA+ groups warn the bill’s vague language has chilling implications for trans and gender diverse Tennesseeans.
Drag Race season 15 queen Aura Mayari, All Stars 6‘s Eureka (above), and season 7 alum Jaidynn Fierce are all based in the US state. All three performers have furiously slammed the bill.
Aura said the bill is simply LGBTQIA+ discrimination under the guise of “protecting children”.
“Public indecency is already illegal in Tennessee. This is yet another awful attempt at trying to take away our rights,” Aura told EW.
Aura added that the bill also “wrongfully targets our trans community”.
“Trans people are marked on their ID as their biological sex. If a cop stops them, the cop has the ability to jail them because ‘cross-dressing’ is illegal in public,” Aura warned.
The Drag Race star added, “People come to our shows to have a good time and to escape the cruel reality of life. Drag brings joy and inspiration to all audiences.
“Drag changes people’s lives and that’s what pushes me to continue fighting for our community.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Eureka slams drag ban
Drag Race alum Eureka, who is transgender, also co-hosts HBO’s We Are Here. She called the “blatantly unconstitutional” bill an “extremely shameful” attack on LGBTQIA+ pride as well as trans people.
She slammed lawmakers for fostering a “really scary time” for American queer communities.
“It’s all disheartening and targeted towards minorities who aren’t ‘normalised’ by society,” Eureka told EW.
“It’s going to affect jobs, ways of life, and personal security for individuals trying to live — and barely survive — in Tennessee.”
‘My trans brothers and sisters could be targeted’
Jaidynn Fierce also warned the bill “not only affects drag queens, but our community as a whole” when signed into law.
“My fear is also for my trans brothers and sisters as they could be targeted for being in ‘drag’ in public when they are just living their normal lives,”
“The drag bill is being disguised as only for the ‘protection of children’. Firearms are the number one cause of death for children and teens. Depression and anxiety is also increasing among our youth.
“These problems should be addressed rather than blaming [drag shows] that are, for the most part, private and ticketed.
“Drag is an art form. It’s entertainment, and it’s inspiring to many. It has saved the lives of many people and without it, our community will miss it greatly.”
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.