Texas lawmaker to ban kids from drag shows and everyone is making the same important point
A Republican lawmaker in Texas has vowed to introduce a statewide ban that would prevent kids from attending drag performances.
State representative Bryan Slaton announced on social media Monday (6 June) that he plans to introduce a measure during next year’s legislative session aimed at “protecting kids from drag shows” and other so-called “inappropriate displays”.
The Republican lawmaker thought the bill was necessary following videos that went viral on social media showing children attending a drag show in Dallas over the weekend.
Slaton claimed that the video showed a “disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualising young children” – instead of it being literally just a fun way for kids to enjoy the beauty of the drag community.
“As a father of two young children, I would never take my children to a drag show and I know speaker Dade Phelan and the rest of my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either,” Slaton wrote. “Protecting our own children isn’t enough and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualisation that is happening across Texas.”
Drag shows are no place for a child.
I would never take my children to a drag show and I know Speaker Dade Phelan and my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either.
— Bryan Slaton (@BryanforHD2) June 6, 2022
Texas lawmakers won’t be able to consider Slaton’s proposal until the next legislative session, which is scheduled to begin on 10 January 2023. It’s unclear from Slaton’s tweet how the proposed legislation would be enforced.
It would appear that Slaton was referring to a drag show that took place in Dallas’ Mr Misster bar. The bar hosted a “Drag the Kids to Pride Drag Show” on Saturday (4 June), and the show was advertised as a “family-friendly spin off” to its regular “Champagne Drag Brunch”.
Now, family and kid-friendly drag events are absolutely nothing new as more organisations – including libraries – are welcoming drag performers into their doors.
Several people – including Drag Race icon Michelle Visage – criticised Slaton’s proposal to ban kids from drag shows in Texas on social media.
OHHHHHHHH YOU BETTA HOLD MY WIG FRENS…. THE FUQ https://t.co/C5KsAdFKVE
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) June 6, 2022
My reaction to seeing this! pic.twitter.com/T0s1fAX8YL
— Elektra Fence ⚡️ (@ElektraFence) June 6, 2022
Texas Rep Bryan Slaton wants to ban drag shows if minors are present. It won't stop there, they'll continue to push until they ban drag and cross dressing entirely. Will they ban kids from Hooters too? pic.twitter.com/VMe4l3dKc2
— Alejandra Caraballo 🏳️⚧️🇵🇷 (@Esqueer_) June 6, 2022
This isn't about protecting children, it's about further censoring the LGBTQ+ community and taking more rights away from parents.
— Jessica González (@jessicafortexas) June 6, 2022
More questioned why lawmakers are considering banning drag performances as a priority given the other events currently happening in Texas, including the recent deadly school shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers.
A BUNCH OF KIDS JUST DIED AND THIS IS THE TOP PRIORITY!?!? https://t.co/yZ2f29joBB
— The Jay Agenda (@JayJurden) June 6, 2022
I don’t remember any drag queens murdering children with AR-15s in Texas but… https://t.co/F1TWtxsjXa
— Joey Jay (IS GAY) (@joeyjayisgay) June 6, 2022
welcome to texas where it’s okay to murder 19 innocent children but they draw the line at drag shows https://t.co/DACkHnzGvu
— lexi (@harryscutegf_) June 6, 2022
two weeks after 19 kids were slaughtered in a texas elementary school, texas lawmakers are finally banning *checks notes* drag queens pic.twitter.com/31hEmhrCMW
— matt (@mattxiv) June 6, 2022
First it was CRT. Then it was trans kids playing sports. Now it's….drag?
None of these things fix inflation, bring healthcare costs down, or save kids from gun violence.
It's just the fear tactic of the month for the GOP. And it's embarrassing. https://t.co/VWQQWhVMTk
— Mallory McMorrow (@MalloryMcMorrow) June 6, 2022
Slaton said in his social media statement that he also intends to pursue legislation next session to classify gender-affirming medical care for trans youth as “child abuse”.
He is the latest conservative in Texas to lob a legislative attack directly at the LGBTQ+ community and trans youth.
In February, Republican governor Greg Abbott called on state officials at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the supportive families of trans kids for “child abuse”.
This followed a legal opinion from Texas attorney general Ken Paxton in which he argued that gender-affirming care could constitute “child abuse”. He described the treatments – which researchers have described as ‘life-saving’ – as “monstrous” in a post on social media.
The efforts to erase trans kids in Texas resulted in an enormous backlash against Republican lawmakers and led to a legal challenge that made it to the state’s Supreme Court.
In May, the Texas Supreme Court stopped an investigation into the family of one trans teen who brought their case to the courts, but the ruling also lifted the statewide injunction stopping such investigations into other parents of trans youth.
However, the state’s Supreme Court also declared that Abbott doesn’t have the authority or power to order DFPS to carry out these investigations.