Anti-drag attacks surged in 2022 as LGBTQ+ hate creeps across US
LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD have confirmed there has now been a horrifying 142 attacks on drag shows in the US in 2022.
The media monitoring group updated its report on Friday (16 December) to reflect new data found from a Texan equality group, as well as legislative updates in various states.
The shocking number of anti-drag attacks in the US during 2022 has risen from 124 – as recorded on 22 November – to 141, factoring in the newly reported incidents.
GLAAD reportedly reviewed articles and news reports in all 50 US states, as well as various other sources, to reach their findings.
The state of Texas has the highest number of anti-drag attacks per state, with at least 20 reported incidents targeting drag events in the region.
According to Equality Texas, these attacks included armed demonstrations in San Antonio and Roanoke, as well as protests at family-friendly shows.
The shockingly high statistic is double that of its nearest rival, North Carolina, where 10 anti-drag incidents were reported.
Only three states in the entire country have seen no reported attacks, including South Dakota, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, although GLAAD states that incidents could have occurred but were not reported.
“A number of incidents involved violence or weapons,” the report read. “Extremist groups like the proud Boys, Patriot Front, and local white supremacist chapters were involved in several incidents.”
The report also details thirteen notable attacks from 2022, including an Idaho incident in June where 31 Patriot Front members were arrested after protesting a Pride event with riot gear and smoke grenades.
Another, in Eugene, Oregon, saw protestors carrying semi-automatic rifles to a drag story time event in the park.
The updated statistics also factored in the 19 November Colorado Springs shooting at the LGBTQ+ bar Club Q, which was not included in the original report, because a motive “had not yet been formally declared” at the time.
It attributed these and many more incidents to the rise of right-wing media outlets pushing LGBTQ+ conspiracies and misinformation.
GLAAD especially noted Fox News, Daily Wire, and the social media outlet LibsofTikTok as major influencers in anti-drag vitriol.
“The outlets and accounts often misrepresented what would occur at upcoming drag events, spinning them as harmful to children,” the group wrote.
“Protests or threats would follow.”
A Media Matters report from June found that anti-drag reports by right-wing organisations ramped up just weeks before an individual firebombed a donut shop in Tulsa for hosting a drag event.
A number of bills vowing to ban or restrict public drag performances were proposed across seven states in 2022 according to the report.
Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida have all proposed one or more bills aiming to suppress open drag events.
It included Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who announced June he would consider a proposal to ban minors from family-friendly drag shows.
Additionally, it cited the two bills proposed in Texas – one in June and the other in November – that both seek to ban minors from attending drag story hours and classify drag as a “sexually oriented business.”
The updated statistics mentioned that Montana state representative Braxton Mitchell filed a proposal to ban minors from drag events just three days after the Club Q shooting.
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