As LGBTQ2S+ members face increasing pressure in the southern USA, Texas lawmakers have pre-filed a bill that would classify any business that hosts drag shows as a “sexually oriented business” through amending an existing statute about such businesses. Venues with this classification are liable to misdemeanour charges on par with vehicle burglary if anyone under 18 enters the premises, are obligated to charge entrance fees of at least USD $5 per patron and are forbidden from having sex offenders owning or operating the establishment. Under the new bill, the state attorney general will also have the ability to sue any venue that hosts drag performances in violation of the bill—which could lead to its potential closure. Advocates have pointed out that this bill effectively bans trans people from performing in any capacity and in effect bans all drag by making it impossible to host anywhere. This comes on the heels of other Texas bills that would criminalize gender-affirming care for minors.
This article is published in Xtra Magazine.