Florida does the predictable: Ban Drag

Florida does the predictable: Ban Drag

On April 11th, 2023 Florida Legislature passed the Senate Bill 1438 that more or less bans drag shows under the pretense of protecting children from a “presentation that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or specific sexual activities,” according to Local10.com.

Protection of the Children Act, otherwise known as Senate Bill 1438, punishes those who knowingly permit children to go into places that have ‘adult’ live performances, otherwise known as places with drag performers. 

Supporters of the bill say that it’s essential that this bill passed in order to protect their children. That the children going to anything involved with drag queens already have the guaranteed notion that they’ll be exposed to something obscene and lewd. Though the supporting party of the Bill  say that they’re not against drag queens or the drag scene, it’s evident to the LGBTQ+ community that they’re being targeted. 

Opposers are against SB1438 all together because the bill isn’t being inclusive, clearly being discriminatory, denying jobs and their way of living. Drag queens feel as though they’re being targeted just because they’re the standard met for “real” men and women. Not to mention the underlying tone that the supporters of the bill believe that drag shows are inherently sexual in nature. It’s a ‘culture war” according to Newspress.com. Drag queens themselves that they feel as though they are individually being attacked and denied their identity, their culture, their entire way of living. 

To give some insight, Drag shows are all about the theatrics. It’s an art form that utilizes exaggerated makeup, clothes, and femininity that allows expression to fully come through to the audience. Drag shows are not just shows but can also be places to sing at, to read literature at, a comedy club, anything and everything goes on in these shows. They’re, again, a form of expression to these performers. With drag shows being so public it also allows a safe space for queer kids to be comfortable in their own skin and even give it a shot once they get others. It’s a safe space.

When asked about how they feel about the bill being passed Junior Gabby Robertson had this to say. 

“I just feel it’s overkill and no one really gets harmed when they do shows and if anything it teaches kids to be aware of the people around them. The Bill is completely uncalled for and stupid.” 

Janelle Perez was also asked how she felt about this bill and she said,

“It’s terrible and hard to hear y’know. Something like that should not be passed and it’s just stupid how many people agreed with it being passed.”

With the bill being passed it felt like society is being moved back 100 years or so. Hopefully the other states don’t follow in Florida’s footsteps and see reasons.