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A Texas state legislator announced his intention Monday to introduce a bill that would ban minors from attending drag shows in the state.
State Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Republican who represents a House district just east of Dallas, said in a press release that his proposed legislation comes after footage went viral over the weekend showing children attending a drag show at Mister Misster, a gay bar in North Dallas.
Protesters showed up at the “Drag the kids to pride” event Saturday afternoon, which was billed as “a family friendly drag show.” The organizers called it a spin-off of their Champagne Drag Brunch that would allow kids to dance with performers on stage, according to local WFAA.
Videos later emerged on social media of drag performers at the event taking dollar bills from children, dancing with them and walking down the aisle in the center of the room, which was emblazoned with a neon sign that read: “It’s not gonna lick itself!”
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“The events of this past weekend were horrifying and show a disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children,” Slaton said. “As a father of two young children, I would never take my children to a drag show and I know [Texas House Speaker] Dade Phelan and the rest of my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either.”
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“Protecting our own children isn’t enough and our responsibility as lawmakers extends to the sexualization that is happening across Texas. I promised my voters that I would stand up for their values and fight to protect Texas kids,” Slaton continued.
“I promised my voters that I would stand up for their values and fight to protect Texas kids. I was re-elected on that promise and I intend to keep it by authoring legislation to defend kids from being subjected to drag shows and other inappropriate events. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this important legislation,” Slaton added.
Slaton has also come out against gender transition for minors, writing a letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in August 2021 urging the agency to classify mastectomies, chemical procedures and psychological counseling that affirms non-biological sex as child abuse.
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Neither Slaton nor Phelan’s offices responded to a request for comment in time for publication.