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  WINDY CITY TIMES

States might make having kids at drag events a felony; LGBTQ+ groups respond
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2022-06-11

This article shared 586 times since Sat Jun 11, 2022
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Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini wants to make it a felony for any parent to bring a child to a drag event, WFLA reported. MYSA also noted that Republican Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton announced on social media that he is going to file a bill to ban drag shows in the presence of minors in the Lone Star State.

Sabatini tweeted, "I will be proposing legislation to charge with a felony and terminate parental rights of any adult who brings a child to these perverted sex shows."

In response, GLAAD; Drag Queen Story Hour, an LGBTQ+ literacy organization; and Transinclusive Group, which advocates to protect and defend equality for Transgender and LGBQ+ individuals in South Florida, are responding to increased anti-LGBTQ sentiment and misinformation targeting drag queens—specifically all-ages Pride events for families and children as well as Drag Queen Story Hour readings at libraries.

The press release from the groups (which Windy City Times received) included examples of developments that have led to where things stand:

—In a May 27 letter and press release regarding a Pride month event at a U.S. Air Force base in Germany, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) inaccurately referred to drag queen story hours as "sexually charged content." The event was canceled in response.

—After protesters flung slurs outside an all-ages fundraiser for an LGBTQ youth organization at a Dallas gay bar, Slaton announced he planned to introduce legislation banning minors from drag shows.

—On June 8, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference that he would explore using existing child protective statutes to fast-track a ban on minors at drag performances.

GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, "Real threats to children include gun violence in school and baseless legislation that bans lifesaving healthcare. One in four LGBTQ teens attempted suicide last year. Let's focus on actual problems facing students, and hold lawmakers accountable to keeping all kids safe from real harm."

Drag Queen Story Hour stated, "Drag Queen Story Hour could not be more disappointed in disingenuous politicians who are trying to score points by attacking programs like ours, which use drag as a traditional art form to promote literacy, teach about LGBTQ lives, and activate children's imaginations." Transinclusive Group Executive Director Tatiana Williams added, "Banning drag shows out of a misguided fear that some youth might find a sense of connection with the LGBTQ+ community would be an invasion of parents' rights to raise their children and support them as their authentic selves. When we think of educating our youth about the world, about acceptance, and about LGBTQ+ people and history, these efforts to erase our visibility are never the answer."

On June 9, GLAAD posted a video interview with Drag Queen Story Hour board member and children's book author Lil Miss Hot Mess, who was specifically targeted in Rubio's press release. See the interview at www.youtube.com/watch .



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