Tennessee Bill 3 Side-by-Side

The Banning of Drag In Public Spaces

   People’s Freedom Comes First 

Grace Russell

   Drag is a form of entertainment in which female impersonators dress in elaborate costumes and makeup and perform. Tennessee has become the first state to ban the public performance of drag. These laws have been passed by a Republican controlled legislature, and signed into law by a Republican government. 

   This law ultimately goes against the right of the first amendment, and the freedom of expression. Many people of the drag community have come out against this new law, such as drag performer Bella Duballe who states this law will hurt the LGBTQ+ community, especially the youth, and will cause them to see less representation of their community. 

   Live entertainment is protected under the first amendment, and putting laws against the public performance of drag is going against people’s freedom, and in the long run will do more harm than good. It is important for people to understand that the world is full of different, creative people, and banning the public performance of drag only hurts their community.



Harming or Protecting the Youth? 

MaryJo Dunham

   As news has spread about “Drag Queen Story Hour” (where Drag Queens are invited to read to children at public libraries and schools) as well as public performances in parks and other areas with lots of children, parents and legislators in Tennessee have decided to take action. 

   The passing of Tennessee Senate Bill 3 would not outright ban drag performances — people would still be able to perform in nightclubs and other adult-dominated venues as they have in the past. As the Bill defines it, drag performers would only be facing offense for an “adult cabaret performance (that) could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.” 

   Putting age limits on events and activities has been happening in our nation for decades; minors are not allowed to get piercings, sit at a bar, or see R-rated movies. 

   Tennessee legislators are not trying to attack the drag community, they are merely trying to shield youth from mature content. 

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