Many people say that protests don’t work or even draw attention to that which offends. Such attempts to discourage reactions can best be answered by showing the leftists’ reactions and concrete results.
A case in point is the horrific Drag Queen Story Hours that invaded American libraries over the last few years. Concerned parents and activists reacted with hundreds of protests nationwide. This massive groundswell of protest is now prompting state legislators to take action against these prurient shows.
As a result, leftists are howling about “discrimination” and denouncing “Anti-Drag Legislation,” which People Magazine says “is sweeping the nation.” In almost apocalyptic tones, activists complained about how “groups continue to disrupt family-friendly drag events.”
Politics Masquerading as Emergency
The discrimination is illusory. The reality is that parents and patrons are upset about what is happening to their public libraries. Their activism is having results everywhere.
The article states, “Across the nation, conservative state lawmakers are advancing—and passing—bills that take direct aim at drag performers, placing restrictions on LGBTQ+ expression that critics of the legislation call discriminatory and unconstitutional.”
Indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims that it is closely following the progress of “nearly 500” pieces of legislation through the fifty state governments dealing with these issues.
A Wave of Sanity
Indeed, eleven states—Alabama, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and West Virginia—have passed or are seriously considering legislation prohibiting minors from attending drag shows. The legislature is considering a similar bill in Nebraska, but the prohibition would only affect such performances where the event’s organizers serve alcohol. Other states may soon be following.
In Oklahoma, the law bans drag story hour performances outright. The Oklahoma bill—HB 2186—“makes it unlawful for a person to engage in an adult cabaret performance which is harmful to minors or to organize or authorize the viewing of an adult cabaret performance which is harmful to minors on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a minor…. Violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or both fine and imprisonment.”
According to Time Magazine, “adult cabaret performances” include “Go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, drag performers or similar entertainers.” The Time article typically quotes from five opponents of the bill while including only one in support—a short quotation from the Oklahoma legislator—Kevin West—who proposed the bill.
Other States in the Fray
Tennessee passed such legislation in March 2023 by banning “adult cabaret performance [that ]could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.” This includes “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers….”
To Tennessee’s credit, the legislature also intends to prohibit the mutilation of minors. This attitude terrifies the ACLU types. National Public Radio (NPR) pointed out that the Tennessee law “was passed alongside separate legislation that bans transgender minors in Tennessee from receiving gender-affirming care like puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery.”
Florida also passed laws that challenge transsexual tyranny nationwide. On May 17, 2023, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) News Hour reported that “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills Wednesday that ban gender-affirming care for minors, target drag shows, restrict discussion of ‘preferred pronouns’ in schools and force people to use certain bathrooms.”
Even more horrifying for the PBS crowd was that “He signed the bills in front of a cheering crowd at the evangelical Cambridge Christian School in Tampa.” The Governor’s statement could not have been more clear. “Florida is proud to lead the way in standing up for our children. As the world goes mad, Florida represents a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy.”
On May 19, 2023, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a law in a similar vein that “narrowly defines sex as strictly male and female, and codifies that an individual’s sex is determined based strictly on their reproductive organs and genetics.” Montana has also become the first state to ban “drag story hour” for children at public schools and libraries.
One might ask why the left is creating such an uproar since it benefits conservatives by showing how effective their action is.
First, and most obviously, lefts fear more states could follow. Once these bills pass with large margins, they serve as templates for other states to follow suit. The uproar warns activists that the attack is serious and must be opposed.
Second, following the Marxist dialectic, the left needs to create an underclass to defend against the “oppressors.” In the Culture War, the left uses the LGBTQ movement as an underclass and raises an uproar to highlight this class struggle, which it hopes to mobilize.
However, the mobilization backfired. Conservatives are acting on the issue. If there had been no protest against Drag Queen Story Hours, none of these bllls and laws would have been introduced. Although far from ideal, the reaction is sufficient to cause major problems for the LGBTQ movement. People are rejecting Drag Queen Story Hours because they see others protest.
The wave of legislation sweeping the nation all began with a few concerned parents and patrons demonstrating outside local libraries. Protests work.