Some drag performers feel unsafe amidst Senate Bill 115

Some drag performers feel unsafe amidst Senate Bill 115
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 10:52 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Senate Bill 115, the bill that would ban drag shows on publicly owned property and on private property anywhere minors are present, passed the Senate on Friday. Many people in the LGBTQ+ and drag communities say that the bill is targeting their community.

However, it’s also causing some performers to feel unsafe; even though drag performances are currently legal. Some drag performers going as far as pulling out of scheduled performances, or seeking further security at their shows.

“I think it’s really unfortunate because these bills are being introduced at a time where we are seeing a rise in hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community,” says Drag Performer Poly Tics. “So, to constantly live with that fear in general of having safety concerns as being visibly queer, it’s really disheartening to couple all of that with these new bills that are coming out.”

Poly Tics says that this fear is nothing new to their community.

“LGBTQ+ people and queer people are no stranger to having to choose being visibly queer over their own safety,” says Tics.

The fear of public performances because of possible hate crimes is something that affects each performer differently.

“You may have performers who chose different professions or steer towards venues that are safer,” says Tics. “But I think there are also going to be queens and kings and other performers, we face this on a daily basis. It’s not going to scare us, it’s not going to run us out of our own business. Even though we are going to have to fight really hard for it, we are not going down without a fight.”

The bill has passed the Senate and now makes its way to the House. Meanwhile 17 other states are also weighing measures against drag performances in the presence of children. Some drag advocates say the bills are discriminatory against the LGBTQ+ community and could even affect their livelihoods and businesses.