Filed by state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, Tennessee’s anti-drag bill is similar to other proposed legislation in Idaho and Texas and aims to classify drag as “adult cabaret” — i.e., categorize it as something sexual rather than the multidisciplinary art form it is. This would ban it from a public performance where there are any chance children could see it, and result in jail time for violators. The targets are pretty clear: drag-queen brunches, drag-queen story hour, and especially the annual Pride events, where drag queens often give daytime performances before all-ages crowds.
Eureka O’Hara is a co-host of HBO’s We’re Here and a Tennessee-born drag performer who sings with Sarah Potenza and Katie Kadan on the new single ‘Big Mawma’.
She said, “Our intention as drag queens or queer people is not to take away from any other group of people or from families or children.” She added that drag shows are there only to help uplift their life and that is their only agenda. Drag has been a popular target for the right over the last year, spurred along by social accounts like libsoftiktok spreading hate and misinformation under the guise of protecting children. Drag-queen story hours in California, Oregon, and Ohio have drawn angry protestors, some of them armed, and physical squabbles have broken out at hosting venues.