A conservative nonprofit in Hamilton County has launched a petition to bar anyone under 18 years old from attending a drag show.
“We the people of Tennessee sign below petitioning the legislature of our state to pass a law that requires all drag performances be for persons who have reached the age of 18 and above only,” says a petition page on the group’s website. “Children under the age of 18 shall not be permitted to attend, even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.”
At press time, the petition had 613 signatures.
The group is separate from the Hamilton County GOP.
“The vision of the Hamilton County Conservatives is to bring people together to promote conservative ideas, policies, laws, and candidates for office,” according to the group’s website. “We will teach, train and advocate. We will be proactively engaged in the political process, making the case for traditional conservative ideas in the political marketplace.”
Hamilton County is home to Chattanooga, which was recently thrust into the national spotlight after a child touched the genitals of a performer at a drag show.
Though it was later clarified that the child had touched a biological female dressed as a mermaid, who was not part of the drag show itself, the incident still sparked outrage. Later in the event, an actual drag queen was videoed dancing provocatively in front of children.
The Tennessee Star spoke with the president of Chattanooga Pride after the debacle, and he says that he too is considering changes to drag show programming.
Noah Corbin told The Star that the Chattanooga Pride would consider adding more rules to their drag performances, intended to clarify for audiences how provocative shows might be. He said the group will consider banning some dance moves, as well as adding a movie-style rating system, like “PG-13” or “R” to performances.
He says the group already has dress codes for drag shows involving children.
However, Corbin did not specify whether the group would consider hosting drag shows for adults only.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Drag Queen Storytime” by Multnomah County Library.CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.