Texas lawmaker to ban kids from drag shows and everyone is making the same important point

Republican Texas lawmaker Bryan Slaton stands in front of a brick building while wearing a white button up shirt, blue striped tie and blue suit jacket. He is gesturing with one hand towards the camera

A Republican lawmaker in Texas has vowed to introduce a statewide ban that would prevent kids from attending drag performances. 

State representative Bryan Slaton announced on social media Monday (6 June) that he plans to introduce a measure during next year’s legislative session aimed at “protecting kids from drag shows” and other so-called “inappropriate displays”. 

The Republican lawmaker thought the bill was necessary following videos that went viral on social media showing children attending a drag show in Dallas over the weekend. 

Slaton claimed that the video showed a “disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualising young children” – instead of it being literally just a fun way for kids to enjoy the beauty of the drag community. 

“As a father of two young children, I would never take my children to a drag show and I know speaker Dade Phelan and the rest of my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either,” Slaton wrote. “Protecting our own children isn’t enough and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualisation that is happening across Texas.”

Texas lawmakers won’t be able to consider Slaton’s proposal until the next legislative session, which is scheduled to begin on 10 January 2023. It’s unclear from Slaton’s tweet how the proposed legislation would be enforced. 

It would appear that Slaton was referring to a drag show that took place in Dallas’ Mr Misster bar. The bar hosted a “Drag the Kids to Pride Drag Show” on Saturday (4 June), and the show was advertised as a “family-friendly spin off” to its regular “Champagne Drag Brunch”. 

Now, family and kid-friendly drag events are absolutely nothing new as more organisations – including libraries – are welcoming drag performers into their doors. 

viral video from the Mr Misster event – showing kids enjoying a drag performer’s dance and tipping them – inspired vile hate online and attracted a crowd of protestors to the bar

Several people – including Drag Race icon Michelle Visage – criticised Slaton’s proposal to ban kids from drag shows in Texas on social media. 

More questioned why lawmakers are considering banning drag performances as a priority given the other events currently happening in Texas, including the recent deadly school shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers. 

Slaton said in his social media statement that he also intends to pursue legislation next session to classify gender-affirming medical care for trans youth as “child abuse”. 

He is the latest conservative in Texas to lob a legislative attack directly at the LGBTQ+ community and trans youth. 

In February, Republican governor Greg Abbott called on state officials at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate the supportive families of trans kids for “child abuse”

This followed a legal opinion from Texas attorney general Ken Paxton in which he argued that gender-affirming care could constitute “child abuse”. He described the treatments – which researchers have described as ‘life-saving’ – as “monstrous” in a post on social media. 

The efforts to erase trans kids in Texas resulted in an enormous backlash against Republican lawmakers and led to a legal challenge that made it to the state’s Supreme Court. 

In May, the Texas Supreme Court stopped an investigation into the family of one trans teen who brought their case to the courts, but the ruling also lifted the statewide injunction stopping such investigations into other parents of trans youth. 

However, the state’s Supreme Court also declared that Abbott doesn’t have the authority or power to order DFPS to carry out these investigations. 

The Texas DFPS confirmed on 19 May that it would investigate all allegations of abuse, and reports have trickled in that officials were resuming investigations of families of trans kids