Wednesday, March 22, 2023

It Is Working!

The intimidation is working in Florida, venues are afraid to host drag events.

By Lloyd Lee and Chris Panella
  • Florida has recently proposed a spate of bills concerning the LGBTQ community.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida leaders have often framed the move as an effort to protect children.
  •  A drag queen who survived the 2016 Pulse club shooting said it only further demonizes LGBTQ people. 

Florida's push to axe gender-affirming care for minors, restrict discussions of gender identity in schools, and, more recently, revoke a hotel's liquor license after hosting a drag show have repeatedly been painted by GOP state leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis as an urgent crusade to protect children. 

But LGBTQ rights groups and communities are skeptical and maintain that the latest actions in Florida further marginalize a minority community that makes up less than 5% of the state's population.

"On the surface level, these pieces of legislation limit job opportunities for drag entertainers, reduce resources for transgender individuals, and prevent students (both children and adults) from being educated about LGBTQ+ topics," a drag performer who goes by the name of Venus Envy told Insider in an email. "All of these outcomes are harmful in their own right, but the greater impact of these bills is already being seen in the increase of hatred toward the LGBTQ+ community and the harmful rhetoric that drag queens are predatory."


In response to the Tuesday complaint, Equality Florida, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group, accused DeSantis of "selectively weaponizing" state agencies against businesses to target drag performances.

But you have to realize… that is their goal. To shut anything down anything that has anything to do with us. To force us back in the closet!


It is having a chilling effect on our community, more businesses are shutting their doors to us.

Florida drag queens say venues have started shutting them down after DeSantis pushed to revoke a Hyatt hotel's liquor license
By Chris Panella
March 21, 2023

  • Florida drag queens say the GOP's push to restrict performances is hitting them in their wallets.
  • Venues are canceling performances as Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration has tried to punish venues.
  • Recently, the state moved to pull the liquor license of a hotel that hosted a drag event.

Florida drag queens say recent pushes by Republicans to restrict and limit performances across the state are already forcing them out of work.

"I can't tell you the amount of friends of mine who have lost their jobs because the venue just said, 'Hey, we don't want to risk it,'" Orlando-based drag performer Mr Ms Adrien — who asked to go by their stage name — told Insider. 

Adrien said the businesses have real fears that lead to these cancellations, such as protests from anti-LGBTQ+ groups, staff safety, and even death threats to performers themselves.

There are also concerns about upcoming legislation that could have impacts on drag, including 10 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that the ACLU of Florida is tracking.

Marginalized. Isolated. Forced back in the closet. That is the Republican goals! That want everything back to the way it was before the Stonewall Uprising.

"They're just trying to paint a picture that isn't real," they said. "And they're hitting us in our wallets, where it counts. They want us to be broke and they want everybody to be afraid of us." 

DeSantis & Company want to paint us as evil and corrupting “the children” it is always about “the children”

Read what Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation found when they sent undercover agents at a drag event. According to the Tampa Bay Times,

When the historic Plaza Live theater in Orlando hosted an event last December called “A Drag Queen Christmas,” the show drew a full house, noisy street demonstrators — and a small squad of undercover state agents there to document whether children were being exposed to sights that ran afoul of Florida’s decency law.

What lewd behavior did they find?

But while agents took photos of three minors — who appeared to be accompanied by adults — at the Orlando drag show, they acknowledged that nothing indecent had happened on stage, according to an incident report obtained exclusively by the Miami Herald.

“Besides some of the outfits being provocative (bikinis and short shorts), agents did not witness any lewd acts such as exposure of genital organs,” the brief report stated. “The performers did not have any physical contact while performing to the rhythm of the music with any patrons.”

The truth doesn’t matter to these Republicans whose mission in life is to rid the world of us.

Still, the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation proceeded to file a complaint against the nonprofit that runs Plaza Live, claiming the venue had illegally exposed children to sexual content. The complaint, issued Feb. 3, seeks to strip the small, nonprofit theater of its liquor license — a serious blow that would likely put it out of business.

Update 3/22/23: The filibuster continues in Nebraska! 

AP News
By Margery A. Beck

Sen. John Lowe, of Kearney, cited an activist group’s claim that gender dysphoria in youth “is just temporary,” while Sen. Brad von Gillern, of Omaha, compared gender-affirming treatment to shock treatments, lobotomies and forced sterilizations of years’ past. Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood countered that if lawmakers really cared about medical procedures affecting children, “how come we’re not talking about circumcision?”

And that was only the first three hours of an eight-hour Senate debate expected to stretch into Thursday.

Just more lies from the Republicans to create animosity against us.

Lawmakers convened Tuesday to begin that debate with the understanding that the bill didn’t have enough votes to break a filibuster. But Kauth introduced an amendment to drop the restriction on hormone treatments, instead banning only gender reassignment surgery for minors. That amendment, she said, does have enough votes to advance.

Cavanaugh has said if the bill advances on a vote expected Thursday, she will resume filibustering every bill through the end of the 90-day session in early June.

And so our struggle for our human rights continues...

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