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Drag queen with children

Drag queen Nina West speaks with young fans at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on May 25, 2019. (Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Two Weeks After Uvalde School Massacre, Texas GOP Vows Ban on... Taking Kids to Drag Shows

"Imagine a government that acted this fast to protect us from guns instead of drag queens."

Julia Conley

Two weeks after a gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition massacred 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a Republican state lawmaker announced that he is taking action—against drag shows.

State Rep. Bryan Slaton said Monday he intends to file legislation "protecting kids from drag shows and other inappropriate displays" when the next legislative session begins.

While Republicans in the state and in Washington, D.C. have not been driven to make AR-15s and other semiautomatic weapons inaccessible to Americans after any of the more than 300 school shootings that have taken place since the Columbine High School attack in 1999—or other high-profile mass shootings in other settings—Slaton claimed to be so disturbed by photos of a child at a drag show in Dallas over the weekend that he saw no choice but to act.

"This is disgusting and dangerous. It can't be allowed to continue," Slaton tweeted. "My Republican colleagues and I will protect kids from these sickos."

Slaton's statement and flurry of tweets regarding the issue of "the sexualization that is happening across Texas" matched the urgency Democratic lawmakers and gun control advocates have reserved for calls to reinstate an assault weapons ban and require universal background checks for firearms sales.

"Two weeks after 19 kids were slaughtered in a Texas elementary school, Texas lawmakers are finally banning—checks notes—drag queens," tweeted Matt Bernstein, a content creator and LGBTQ+ rights advocate.

In addition to addressing drag shows, Slaton pledged in his statement to "continue his fight" to make gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths classified as "child abuse."

Slaton's statement came as federal lawmakers are negotiating a gun control package which Democrats have said will likely not include an expansion of background checks, a proposal supported by 88% of Americans.

"Imagine a government that acted this fast to protect us from guns instead of drag queens," tweeted March for Our Lives, the gun control group formed by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018.

The group—which is planning a national mobilization for gun control on Saturday—added a message of support to drag queens, asking the community to "march with us on June 11th!"


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