Happy Pride Month! In installment #587 of my latest column “I Hate it Here,” Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R) announced Monday that he plans to introduce legislation to ban minors from attending drag shows in order to protect kids from “perverted adults [who] are obsessed with sexualizing young children.” This announcement comes just two weeks after Texas legislators and police failed to protect the lives of 19 children in a mass shooting in the town of Uvalde. Gun violence is getting really out of hand, sure, but the drag queens? Now there’s a legislative priority that will win over hysterical voters.
In a statement, Slaton wrote, “As a father of two young 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.”
He added: “Protecting our own children isn’t enough and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualization that is happening across Texas.”
Slaton’s statement follows a largely conservative uproar about a drag show in Dallas called the “Drag the Kids to Pride Drag Show,” thrown in honor of Pride Month. The show took place at the Mr. Misster bar, according to NBC News, and the event was marketed as a “family friendly spin off” of the bar’s popular drag brunch show for adults. Videos of the event showed children safely interacting with the queens and enjoying themselves, though pearl-clutchers like QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene sunk their teeth into the fact that the children were tipping the queens with cash.
Meanwhile, anti-LGBTQ+ protesters crashed the event, making it arguably more dangerous than it ever was in the first place (to be clear, kids learning about culture and identity in a controlled environment with professional performers and escorted by chaperones is not dangerous).
Atop a piling heap of anti-trans laws that have been introduced in 2022 alone, sexuality and identity politics have long been weaponized against the LGBTQ+ community, with conservative and Republican politicians regularly painting queer and trans people as “perverts,” “pedophiles,” or “these sickos,” as Slaton addresses the drag queens. This tactic, as seen within the mass hysteria around bathroom bills and attempts to ban trans kids from participating in sports, aims to strip queer people of their humanity, vilifying them instead as predators who will exploit their access within protected spaces of society to physically and sexually harm kids or attempt to “groom” them.
Slaton is currently running for reelection on all the regular conservative talking points, but his stance on “Family Values” is particularly interesting:
“The Family unit is essential to a healthy culture and society. Parents must be able to raise their children as they see fit. The job of parenting is entrusted to the parents, not the government. Texans should have the religious freedom and economic opportunity to shape their children into productive citizens.”
This sounds…exactly like what parents of trans kids are asking for?? And if kids want to go to drag shows while supervised by their parents we should, maybe, let them?? Meanwhile, here’s Slaton on gun laws:
“We have seen more restrictions and regulations on our Gun Rights. This trend must stop. The anti-gun groups will not be satisfied until they disarm us and our law enforcement. I will fight to keep what we have and push to advance our gun rights where they need to be. COME AND TAKE IT”
Here’s some things that are actually bad for kids: content on YouTube, poor mental health caused entirely by early access to social media, chemicals in baby powder, chemicals in food, a total lack of gun safety laws, and this motherfucking Slaton guy. But absolutely, please keep pushing the moral panic around the rightful existence of human beings who just want to be themselves in peace. “Please pray for us as we fight to protect kids and join us if you can,” Slaton tweeted.
I sure am praying, sir, for homophobes like you to never again be elected to power. Happy campaigning, tho!