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Opinion: Drag Performance Bans Violate Freedom of Expression

Bans will only encourage defiance and promote interest in the LGBTQ+ community.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Estrada
Drag queen Perra Strutts poses in full drag for a photoshoot. Recent proposals aiming to ban drag performances are threatening the LGBTQ+ community.

With a magnificent presence and bold performances, drag queens encompass the LGBTQIA+ community and entertainment business. The dazzling performers provide endless exciting shows, whether it’s lip syncing and dancing, or fashion trends and comedy.

Despite the joys that drag performances bring, extremist conservatives are attempting to ban them by labeling the shows and talent as a felony, claiming that drag queens are “harmful to minors” by freely expressing one’s sexuality. Drag queens go against the restricted mindsets of limited gender expression and challenge the narrow mind of sexuality. They open up the floor to embrace and question one’s identity and sexuality in a safe and thrilling way.

Although drag queens are highly admired by people in and out of the LGBTQIA+ community, drag queens have once again been receiving backlash for performing and expressing oneself. Drag queens have recently gained the ability to freely showcase who they are and stun people with their wit and style, so placing this ban on their performances is beyond incomprehensible.

The states that are adamant on destroying the drag queen success are Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, West Virginia, Montana, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.

The ban claims to protect the mindset and physical wellbeing of minors by shielding them from “indecent” drag shows. The claims go as far as to say that the performances are pornographic and sexually explicit to minors. The ban is broad enough to allow states to forbid underaged audiences from watching any sexually explicit performances, and many Republicans can twist drag shows to make it seem explicit.

Drag queens wear outfits that embrace the femininity of the body. The show context is the same as a comedy show, the same as a fashion show, the same as a dance performance and the same as a concert, all tied into one huge dazzling show. Each drag show deserves the same amount of respect that other entertainment shows are given.

Drag queens don’t perform sexually explicit shows, instead it encourages people to embrace and find joy in being oneself. Drag shows have never been publicly indecent or performed any pornographic shows by any means. Politicians’ discomfort with freely expressing sexuality should not impact the lives of drag queens, who are comfortable enough to be expressive. Rather, people should take the opportunity to learn from drag queens to keep a positive and encouraging mindset.

Drag queens are able to express themselves on multiple platforms, ranging from in-person stage performances to social media. This creates new ways to expand the mindset of acceptance in the broad scope of the LGBTQIA+ community.

As the ban is being reviewed, concrete evidence as to how drag is harmful is being questioned. Drag queens have never threatened or harmed a child. Drag queens have never forced anyone to watch their shows or forced people to accept the performances. Drag queens want to continue the freedom to perform, with people’s acceptance or not. Their goals are to broaden the horizons of one’s thinking, and provide a safe space for people to find themselves.

In addition to the lack of concrete evidence, the ban goes against the first amendment of freedom of speech and assembly, limiting range of expression. Stripping away basic human rights stands against everything the constitution represents.

With this ban, drag queens would lack the ability to confidently and safely be themselves, forcing drag queens to perform illegally, as well as find other ways to express themselves. This causes harm to many drag queens, incurring physical and mental blocks of freedom of expression. The ban would be multiple steps backwards from the goal of equality and freedom. Drag queens have never mastered the art of subtlety, with the ban already facing passionate resistance. With or without support, drag queens will find a way to prevail and find the opportunity to pose again on stage.

Photo courtesy of Jorge Estrada
About the Contributor
OS Keijsers Koning
OS Keijsers Koning, Reporter
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Expanding my writing skills and hanging out with the Newspaper staff. What are your favorite TV shows/movies? Knives Out and New Girl What are your hobbies? Running, archery, and my writing internship with DONE Magazine