Hey, hey, hey! How are my best girlfriends? Are we ready for another month of LGBTQIA+ news straight from the horse’s mouth?
Usually, this article is split into two: Good Gay News and Not-So-Good Gay news. This month, however, I’m going to take a little moment to deep dive into what’s going on in the US.
…who am I kidding, could I be more vague?
I am talking – of course – about the stripping back of LGBTQIA+ rights in (*checks notes*) The Land of the Free (lol), especially since Tennessee made the decision to ban public drag shows.
In short, this ban marked the first US state to officially place restrictions on drag performances, banning performances from taking place on public property and/or anywhere minors might be present.
Let me make it abundantly clear right here and right now that A Modern Gay’s Guide is staunchly pro-drag, not just as a form of entertainment, but as a form of self-expression and an avenue through which many LGBTQIA+ people come to terms with their gender identity.
And I mention gender identity because let’s be real, these laws being passed in states like Tennessee (and Texas and Florida, etc) aren’t about drag performances. Straight people (read: conservatives) loved it when Robin Williams dressed up as a woman in Mrs. Doubtfire, they sure as hell couldn’t get enough of John Travolta in Hairspray, and let’s not even mention how much they loved the Wayans in White Chicks.
Like I said, these laws aren’t really being proposed because of an artform, they’re being proposed because of the community behind the artform. If we wanted to get even more specific, we could say that they’re being proposed to target trans people. And you know what? We’d be right.
These legislations have such a profound impact on trans people because – under some drafts – the mere prospect of a trans person wearing gender affirming clothing could be enough to warrant an arrest. And that’s terrifying.
Key figures in the LGBTQIA+ community (and allies) are spearheading protests of these bills. Madonna, for example, has added Tennessee to her upcoming world tour to protest these bills, while a heap of Drag Race alum (like Bob The Drag Queen, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Katya Zamolodchikova, Monét X Change, Peppermint, and Trixie Mattel) have announced their involvement with the “Drag Isn’t Dangerous” telethon event to raise funds for relevant causes helping drag performers and trans people.
Even though we – as Australians – aren’t directly affected by these issues, we must fight for our LGBTQIA+ friends and family elsewhere, because if they can’t count on us, who else can they count on?
It’s also important to remember that all it takes is one rotten politician here for our rights to be slowly stripped back.