As a state law barring “sexually oriented performances” from being held in the presence of children remains tied up in the courts, businesses in Dallas-Fort Worth are continuing to host drag shows.
A drag show was hosted by local restaurant Tacos Kchetes Sports Bar in northern Dallas on Saturday. The “Shady Ladies Drag Brunch” began at 1:30 p.m. and lasted until about 4:30 p.m. The show was billed for people 18 and older.
The show featured at least three drag queens who gyrated to pop songs while wearing prosthetic breasts. An employee of the restaurant told The Dallas Express that he did not know who the owner of the business was. A review of City of Dallas, Dallas County, and Texas web portals pertaining to business registration and food inspections did not yield. An inquiry as to who owns the business was submitted to the venue through its website but no response was received prior to publication.
At one point during the show, a performer asked attendees who their favorite Disney princess was and proceeded to make sexually explicit jokes pertaining to the answers given. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, another local drag show recently put on a whole performance featuring sexualized versions of popular Disney characters, including Elsa from Frozen and Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
“We’re just trying to give a safe haven for kids [who] feel that they’re gonna grow up gay, or feel like they are gay, or feel like they’re trans,” said Emeka Bless. “It’s not all about what you see in the media. We’re not after your kids or anything like that. … We’re just here to support everybody.”
Meanwhile, SB 12 remains in limbo. The measure was passed by the Texas Legislature this year and would make it illegal for “sexually oriented performances” to take place in the presence of children.
“It’s literally … preventing children from attending sexually oriented performances,” local activist Kelly Neidert previously told The Dallas Express. “So I really don’t understand how any sane person can disagree with that.”
However, Texas cannot currently enforce the law because a federal judge issued an injunction, determining the law to be unconstitutional. Proponents of the legislation maintain they will fight to enact the law.
“Federal judge in Texas blocks a law I signed that bans sexually explicit drag shows in front of children,” said Governor Greg Abbott, who signed SB 12 into law in June. “This is absurd. We will fight to have this overturned & to protect our children from this indoctrination.”
Drag shows have spurred discussion beyond whether underage individuals should be in attendance. One drag show was scheduled to be held at West Texas A&M University earlier this year before it was canceled by the institution’s president, who claimed drag shows are degrading to women, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
“Drag shows stereotype women in cartoon-like extremes for the amusement of others and discriminate against womanhood,” said Walter Wendler in an email to teachers, students, and staff, as reported by NBC News. “Drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent.”
Bless previously told The Dallas Express that drag is little more than cosplaying and provides an avenue for people to express themselves in unconventional ways.
“It’s liberating. It’s freedom of expression,” Bless at The View Dallas. “We like to put on makeup, wigs, and we just like to entertain a crowd.”