College Students Hold Drag Show To Protest New Tennessee Laws

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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East Tennessee State University (ETSU) students will host a drag show and story hour on Friday to protest two new Tennessee laws directed at sex change surgery and public drag performances, according to the event description.

“Can’t Drag Us Down Drag Show & Story Hour” will be held from 6-8 p.m. EST, featuring performances from several drag queens and speeches from local officials and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, according to its Facebook page. The event is being put on in opposition to a law that bans “adult cabaret entertainment” in public areas where children could be present and another law that bars minors from receiving sex change surgeries. (RELATED: ‘Orwellian Conformity’: Texas University Sued For Canceling A Charity Drag Show)

Senate Bill 0003, which restricts drag performances, takes effect April 1 and Senate Bill 0001, which restricts sex change surgeries, takes effect on July 1, according to the Tennessee General Assembly website.

“They want us to sit by quietly as our rights are taken away, but ETSU students are standing up and fighting back!” the Facebook description reads. “Join us on March 31 for our drag show and story hour in protest of these new laws. Proceeds will go toward paying performers and building queer and trans political power in Tennessee.”

The event is hosted by the Young Democratic Socialist of America chapter at ETSU, who clarify that the event is for attendees 18 years or older, according to its Instagram.


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The university made the decision on Wednesday to move the event from an auditorium in the student center to a larger venue across the street to account for a large crowd, enforce the age restriction and increase safety measures, WHJL reported.

“Student event organizers are expecting a large crowd and will be required to verify that all participants are at least 18 years of age,”Jess Sodden, ETSU spokesperson, said, according to WHJL. “The event is being relocated to the Millennium Centre in order to accommodate the crowd and possible protests, to better manage the age verification requirement, and to implement increased safety precautions for those participating.”

ETSU, the YDSA chapter and Williamson did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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