Devastating New Law for the LGBTQ+ Community – by Sean Meehan, Leonardo Vega

The LGBTQ+ community continues to be facing diversity, as a new law was passed recently in Tennessee that restricts adult cabaret performances in public or in the presence of children, and bans them from occurring within 1000 feet of schools, public parks, or places of worship.” This law strictly prohibits people in this community from expressing themselves in a country that is supposed to be known for their freedom. My uncle is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and has done drag before. He was simply devastated by the news, as many others in this community were and he even called my Father and angrily ranted to him how awful this new law is. 

It seems like wherever things seem to be going smoothly for this community and they actually feel accepted by society it all comes crashing down. A law like this is simply a violation of  freedom and rights and the bill needs to be recalled. Everyone should be outraged because of this law since it is taking away our freedom. It is personal to everyone that lives in Tennessee and The LGBTQ+ community or anyone who has ever taken part in drag. More people have done drag than you might think. Bill Lee can be seen in a picture from Franklin High School, yet years down the line as Governor he basically takes away anyone’s ability to do something he participated himself. 

This law is obviously putting a lot of people on edge, which is why many people are trying to figure out why the state of Tennessee would do something like this. According to the New York Times, “The word “drag” does not appear in the legislation. And to some legal experts, the description provided in the letter of the law would not apply to drag as they know it. But many in the state are still trying to grasp how the measure will ultimately affect drag events, theater performances that involve drag, and even transgender and gender nonconforming people as they go about their lives.

The law is part of a cascade of legislation across the country fueled by a conservative backlash to drag events, which has also spurred protests from far-right groups and threats directed at performers. Now that it is one of the first to succeed, with lawmakers in other states pursuing legislation with similarly ambiguous language, the law has prompted concerns about how it will be enforced and the implications it could have.” This could be the beginning of new laws being passed against drag and the LGBTQ+ community. 

“It should not even touch any drag performances,” says the New York Times.. But after watching public commentary and a series of legislative hearings debating the merits of the bill, she said, “it’s clear that some people think that drag in and of itself as an art form is obscene and that it should not be viewed by children.” The legislation is trying to tell the community that this is not an anti drag law whatsoever. However, it seems pretty clear that they think kids should not see things like this so they ate putting a 100 feet law in place so they can’t be seen. There are much worse things kids nowadays could see, not to mention that most drag show stats show no more skin than your average Tennesee Titan Cheerleader. 

In conclusion, this law strictly prohibits people in this community from expressing themselves in a country that is supposed to be known for their freedom. Outrage has swept over the entire state of Tennessee and throughout the entire southeastern portion of America. We are ok with taking away a right for people to express themselves but we are not ok with getting rid of our right to bear arms even though we have a higher mass shooting count than any other country. Changes need to be made, and they need to be made quickly.

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