Walking into a local Lubbock club, the music is blaring and techno lights are shining like gems along the dance floor. A booming voice comes on, a beautifully dressed woman announcing the upcoming show. Multiple women, dressed to the nines in glitz and glamour, put on a show filled with fun and talent. These are drag queens, a typically male performer, dressed in feminine attire for a show.
Despite the conservative surface, Lubbock is a huge spot for the drag community. Many clubs put on drag shows to entertain and expose the art to the public.
The latest attempts to ban drag shows, according to the introduction of House Bill 1266, are a violation of our human rights, more specifically the freedom of expression.
In a report by Equality and Human Rights Commission, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act protects the right to hold your opinions and express them freely without government interference. Despite this, the aforementioned House Bill 1266 works to ban drag shows in businesses due to their “inherent sexual nature”.
Claiming drag is inherently sexual is a disrespect to the artists that put their blood, sweat and tears into their craft.
In an article for The Daily Toreador, I interviewed local drag queens about the meaning of drag to their queer identity. One of the queens, known as Maggot, was actually an art graduate student at Tech. Brady Collings, a native of Tyler, talked about how he used his art education and personal creativity to express his unique identity in Maggot.
Collings experience only further displays the importance of drag for performers and localizes the craft to Lubbock and beyond. Among many more Tech drag performers, the art is vital to the identity of a Tech student.
While many students can join a fraternity or organization to find their community and express themselves, students who do drag should be able to do the same, without opposition.
Knowing this, the assault on drag shows threatens society’s ability to freely express themselves.
Drag queens are not just caricatures, they are human beings with talent and charisma. Drag queens are performers, they are legends in their work and deserve to continue to express themselves.
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