After a Texas gay bar held an event called “Drag the kids to Pride: A Family Friendly Drag Show,” Republican Lawmaker Bryan Slaton filed a bill to ban drag shows in front of children.
Slaton called the events, hosted by the nightclub Mr. Misster in North Dallas, “inappropriate” and “horrifying.”
“The events of this past weekend were hogging and show a disturbing need in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children,” he said in a statement. “As a father of 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.”
“Protecting our own children isn’t enough, and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualization that is happening across Texas,” Slaton added.
Slaton said he would continue his fight to “make sex change therapies on minors ‘child abuse.’”
The event had controversy before it even took place due to the title, raising concerns about children’s safety and receiving massive backlash.
In some videos, protesters harassed performers. In a particular video reshared by Instagram account Impact, a man followed a performer in the parking lot and stated, “Do you like dancing for little children? You don’t think that’s disgusting? Dancing around for little children?”
The performer quickly asked the man to walk away and the video cut off.
Before this event, it had been only two weeks since the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, leaving 19 children and two teachers dead.
Many questioned why Texas lawmakers are focused on pushing laws against Pride Month instead of gun violence.
“If your mission to ‘protect children’ requires banning LGBTQ people — but not guns from schools — then we have very different definitions of what it means to protect children,” wrote Matt Bernstein in an Instagram thread.
Many agree with Bernstein’s thread, finding the bill unnecessary or wrong.
“People are so hateful they’d rather see children die of gun violence than have their children see a drag show,” commented Jasper Soloff, a director & photographer based in New York and Los Angeles, under the Instagram post about the bill.
Lawmakers can not consider the proposal until the next legislative session, which is scheduled for January 10, 2023.