Misconceptions of drag queens incite unnecessary fear

The main goal of a drag queen is to express themselves, while also being an entertainer. However, they are being used as a scapegoat to distract the public from the serious and important socio-political problems we face everyday. If people make drag queens the enemy, they focus their attention on them, as opposed to news coverage that should be devoted to actual problems that threaten children. This includes; school shootings, rampant sexual abuse in church and the restrictions on access to education.

Recently, many Republican lawmakers have been targeting drag queens, proving that as much as our country progresses, we still have people holding society back. Drag Queens are being painted as sexually deviant and corrupt, which could not be farther from the truth. Drag queens are entertainers, not predators. Despite acts consisting of comedy, singing, lip-syncing, dancing and fashion, they are being repeatedly targeted and harassed, threatening their livelihoods, careers, safety and lives.

The American Civil Liberties Union, an American nonprofit human rights organization, is fighting the influx of anti-LGBTQ+ bills. “The ACLU is tracking 501 anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S.” Many of which are specifically targeting drag queens. These bills are being presented with the justification of ‘protecting’ minors from being in the presence of LGBTQ+ individuals and namely drag queens.

Rupaul, famous American Drag Queen and activist, in a tweet published stated; “…everytime I bat my false eyelashes, I’m making a political statement,” Rupaul said. After all, drag queens only recently gained the ability to publicly put on drag in the last few decades. Everytime a person participates in drag, they are putting themselves at risk of discrimination and violence. Even in a world that is more ‘accepting’ of drag queens and LGBTQ+ members of society, these groups are still marginalized for being themselves. By merely pursuing these bills, it makes it more dangerous for drag queens to exist, harming the freedoms of expression that our country was supposedly built upon.

The thought that drag queens are out to “make children gay”, or “expose children to ‘risque’ concepts,” is a clear attempt at scare tactics and objectively wrong. Wrong in that, it is a person’s opinion being spread as a fact in order to scare people. It completely distorts the very foundations of what drag stands upon. Drag is the purest form of self-expression, and it is meant to explore various aspects of one’s identity while also being an entertainment platform. Drag is in no way a threat to others, but rather a complicated and painstaking talent.

As previously noted, drag queens’ number one intention is to entertain, and will clarify whether or not their show is family friendly. To say that drag queens are targeting children is a massively wrong generalization. There are drag queens who do readings for children but they are family friendly. But some do try to educate youth about the existence of LGBTQ+ people, if that is the case, it will be made clear.

Educating the population on the existence of people from the LGBTQ+ community results in a general awareness of people who are different, making them more tolerant. When there is a small understanding of a certain minority group in society it eliminates the fear of the unknown. However, the understanding and corresponding respect that comes from education is what the fight is really about. Understanding the differences amongst people in society negates the most powerful tool of those who oppose and feel threatened by drag.

Drag queens are the least of our problems. There are much more dire problems in our world, while this is being targeted with no factual information to back it up. Anti-drag bills are a direct attack upon freedom of expression. Drag queens are a nonviolent group of people who spread positivity and self-acceptance, yet are being singled out and hated upon.