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Adrienne Lawrence

Legal analyst, law professor & award-winning author

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Chilling anti-drag bills distract from real issues threatening children

Jun 07, 2023

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Though a Tennessee law restricting drag performances in public spaces was recently declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, that’s not stopping the anti-drag bill trend from sweeping the country. In May, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed the state’s anti-drag bill into law, the first state to ban people dressed in drag from reading to children in schools.

Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence argues these misguided bills are enacted to instill fear, and distract from the real issues threatening our children.

These attacks on drag shows are really just transphobia packaged up as protecting children. And by way of this agenda, those in power keep greater control of the masses. Because hey, if you’re busy focusing on a non-issue like a drag pageant festival, you won’t be challenging lax gun laws. That’s right. Despite knowing that gun deaths are the number one killer of children in the United States, if you’re tied up in trepidation over the occasional trans girl in the girls bathroom, you’re ignoring the sexual abusers in houses of worship, police departments and other positions of power.

Less than 2% of our nation is openly transgender, and the vast majority of trans people are not in positions of power. So where is the threat? It’s exhausting watching people continuously believe that they need to be running from some non-existent fear concocted by the 1% and the 1% adjacent. Yet here we are in 2023, welcoming in June, with just as much collective common sense as a 246-year-old nation unnecessarily clinging to faux puritanical notions of sexuality and gender identity rooted in good old-fashioned white supremacy and colonialism.

Pride spawned from a rebellion led by Black and Brown trans and gender-nonconforming voices. They took to the streets in the late 60s to fight against white domination and its underlying ideologies that denied full humanity to any non-white non-cishet person. That fight still goes on today and it seems to be getting bigger than ever.

Our nation should be focused on protecting our children from actual threats, and preserving our future from imminent threats. To that end, I implore upon you this Pride month to use your reason and your voice. Let’s focus on the real issues, hold our leaders accountable for addressing those issues and mandate meaningful change. This Pride, let’s reshape our nation to one that we can all be proud of.

Tennessee opened Pride Month by taking an L on the national stage and it should serve as a warning to all. Basically the Volunteer State voluntarily showed its ass in March by becoming the first state to explicitly banned drag performances. And on Saturday, a Tennessee federal judge that Donald Trump had appointed struck down that anti drag law without a second thought. Why? Because it encroaches on the First Amendment right to free speech and expression. This is law school one on one. And this well reasoned ruling should send a message to anti queer conservatives out there to stop pushing their unconstitutional agenda. But I doubt that it will. Because the goal of these attacks on the queer community is to instill fear, not new law. That’s right, those on the right couldn’t give a damn about whether their laws banning drag shows trans access to gender affirming care, or even access to basic books actually passes constitutional muster. That’s relevant to them. Rather, their mission is twofold. First to make dimwitted predominantly white demographics believe that there is a newfound threat to their children and progeny rooted in queer identities. And second, to eradicate those identities from our society. These attacks on drag shows are really just transphobia packaged up as protecting children. And by way of this agenda, those in power keep greater control of the masses. Because hey, if you’re busy focusing on a non issue like a drag pageant festival, you won’t be challenging lax gun laws. That’s right. Despite knowing that gun deaths are the number one killer of children in the United States. If you’re tied up and trepidation over the occasional trans girl in the girls bathroom, you’re ignoring the sexual abusers and houses of worship, police departments and other positions of power. less than 2% of our nation is openly transgender, and the vast majority of trans people are not in positions of power. So where is the threat? It’s exhausting. Watching people continuously believe that they need to be running from some non existent fear concocted by the 1% and the 1% adjacent. Yet here we are in 2023 welcoming in June, with just as much collective common sense as a 246 year old nation unnecessarily clinging to fold puritanical notions of sexuality and gender identity rooted in good old fashioned white supremacy and colonialism. Pride spawned from a rebellion led by black and brown trans and gender nonconforming voices. They took to the streets in the late 60s to fight against white domination and its underlying ideologies that denied full humanity to any non white nonsense head person. That fight still goes on today. And it seems to be getting bigger than ever. Our nation should be focused on protecting our children from actual threats, and preserving our future from imminent threats. To that end, I implore upon you this pride month to use your reason and your voice. Let’s focus on the real issues hold our leaders accountable for addressing those issues and mandate meaningful change. This pride, let’s reshape our nation to one that we can all be proud of

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