GOP and drag queens. Never thought I would say those words in the same sentence. What do GOP and drag queens have in common? Well, apparently they're both political now.
Credit: Instagram account @fhersoberanes
The state of our country is concerning, quite frankly. We have gone one step forward and three million steps back.
Texas just had another mass shooting, which sadly feels like just another hopeless day in America. Gen Z has become so desensitized to mass shootings. Groups such as Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and more have advocated for common-sense gun reform since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. The tragedy of Sandy Hook should have been the end of senseless gun violence. Yet, nothing substantial in public policy has been changed.
Policy and change are long past due.
A couple of weeks following the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Greenville, asserted he would file legislation banning minors from seeing drag queens. This came after an all-ages drag event in Dallas. He tweeted that drag queen culture is “.. is disgusting and dangerous. It can't be allowed to continue."
Texas GOP tweeted “I know their whole plan was indoctrination, but we went from drag queens reading with kids to drag queens are kids awfully fast.”
Drag queens are a threat?
His priorities feel insensitive to families and friends who just lost their loved ones in mass shootings. It seems to imply that the GOP sees drag queens as a larger threat than guns.
You would think gun safety would be a bigger priority in Florida, as we have had two fairly recent mass shootings: Parkland and Orlando. In the Florida 2022 legislative session, there was a clear lack of priority on gun legislation coming from the GOP, which is the majority party. The narrative of the sexualization of children was used within the HB 1557 - Parental Rights in Education AKA “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The narrative of sexualization goes against the family values held by conservatives.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill gained a lot of attention because of its controversial nature. The White House even condemned the legislation.
President Joe Biden tweeted, “I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community — especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill — to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are.”
With the conservative climate of Florida politics, the bill was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law with the stroke of a pen by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In Texas and Florida, this prioritization of parents’ rights when protecting their children reveals the flawed agenda-setting of public policy. The theme of parental rights is something we will see in other states’ policies from the GOP across the entire country.
The bill that would ban drag queens has only been filed — but the notion itself is looming.
The term “drag” originates from the Shakespearean theater, where men would play female characters. In contemporary times, drag queens are associated with eccentric characters like Rupaul. So how did drag queens, a form of entertainment, become political?
Drag queens offer a sense of liberation and creative expression to performers as they take on an identity in their shows.
While drag queens should not be political, they somehow have seeped into the agenda of GOP representatives.
I don’t understand how there could be a policy regarding drag queens and not gun control. Representatives should be filing gun safety policies — not drag queen bans.
Without a doubt, deconstructing the agenda-setting aspect of banning drag queens reveals a complex narrative and nature about the state of the GOP.
I cannot stress this enough, but it is incredibly important to vote, volunteer, and donate to progressive candidates ahead of the midterm elections this November. We need representatives who set their priorities on protecting the lives of people from true threats, rather than creating false narratives. We need to take steps toward a better future.
The math is simple: Drag queens > GOP.