The B-52’s Denounce Anti-Drag Bills After Tennessee Enacts Law

New wave dance-rock icons The B-52’s have shared a new statement supporting drag performers and transgender people, citing the several proposed bills currently working their way through GOP-led state legislatures that ban drag show performances.

Last week, as The Hill reported, Tennessee became the first U.S. state to enact such a law explicitly targeting drag shows. Signed March 2, Senate Bill 3, also known as the Tennessee drag ban, prohibits public “adult cabaret performance” in the state.

READ MORE: Pop-Punk Band Called Out for Sexist, Transphobic Viral Video

It defines adult cabaret performance as any performance with “topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest,” according to CNN. At the same time, Tennessee’s Senate Bill 0001 bans gender-affirming care for trans-identifying individuals.

The B-52’s Denounce Anti-Drag Bills

“We, The B-52’s, are deeply concerned about the numerous new bills that promote transphobia and discrimination against transgender individuals and drag artists, which have been introduced in the United States,” the band writes.

We strongly denounce these bills and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community,” they continue. “It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, we are witnessing such blatant attempts to undermine the rights of individuals based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. These bills not only violate the fundamental human rights of the affected individuals but also perpetuate a toxic culture of hate and intolerance that has no place in our society.”

The B-52’s add, “Join us in denouncing these bills and standing in support of our LGBTQ+ community. Together, let us work towards building a society that reflects our shared being and is truly just, inclusive, and welcoming for all.”

Will There Be More Anti-Drag Bills in the U.S.?

Last month, at least nine state legislatures were pushing similar anti-drag bills, as NPR reported.

Republican state Sen. Jack Johnson said that the Tennessee bill “is not targeting any group of people. It does not ban drag shows in public. It simply puts age restrictions in place to ensure that children are not present at sexually explicit performances.”

RuPaul, perhaps America’s best-known drag artist, took to social media last week to comment on the news. “Hey, look over there — a classic distraction technique, distracting us away from the real issues that they were voted into office to focus on: jobs, healthcare, keeping our children safe from harm,” RuPaul said, per EW.

The B-52’s, who played a farewell tour last year, have long been supporters of the LGBTQ+ community.

The B-52’s’ Statement – March 8, 2023

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