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New Documentary on ‘Child-Friendly’ Drag Shows

Lifestyle

Image from video documentary It's Not Gonna Lick Itself | Image by It's Not Gonna Lick Itself/Youtube

A new documentary on the increase of so-called “child-friendly” drag shows, created by activist group Texas Scorecard, premiered Thursday. The trailer may be viewed here.

“Our readers will be the first to have the opportunity [to] watch the documentary,” the group announced in an email received by The Dallas Express.

“It features an undercover reporter, who went inside to see what really goes on at these shows,” Texas Scorecard explained. “The documentary also includes insight from experts who describe how the hyper-sexualization affects those children forced to attend such events.”

The title, It’s Not Gonna Lick Itself, refers to a neon sign inside a Dallas bar that hosted a drag show called “Drag the Kids to Pride,” leading to an investigation by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Ultimately, Hegar declined to fine the bar for hosting the event but called upon the Texas legislature to change the laws to prevent such performances from being open to children.

“It runs counter to the values that Texans cherish regardless of political affiliation. I share that frustration as it is clear that children should not participate in nor attend these events,” he explained. “We absolutely need additional provisions in Texas law to protect children.”

The documentary features Chris Hopper, founder of the Texas Family Project, and Jaco Booyens, an anti-human trafficking activist. Additionally, independent reporter Tyler Hansen participated in the documentary by recording many of the events where children were present.

Hopper, in promoting the film, argues that these events are more than just about entertainment.

“This is being used as a recruiting tool,” added Hopper. “‘Groomer’ has become cliche, but I think most definitely, they’re trying to recruit this younger generation, which is why the percent is obscene — through the roof — with the number of kids who ‘come out’ to their psychologist and identify as non-binary or questioning their gender.”

Family medicine expert Dr. Danielle Gamboa from Hunt Regional Medical Center also appears in the film, which can be viewed here.

The apparent increase and national publicity of the ‘child-friendly’ shows have generated political movement on the issue, with the Texas Republican Party making one of its legislative priorities to “stop sexualizing Texas kids.”

Representative Matt Shaheen (HD66), who represents parts of Plano and far North Dallas, has filed a bill stipulating that “a nightclub, bar, restaurant, or other commercial enterprise that provides for an audience of two or more individuals a drag performance” is to be considered a “sexually oriented business.”

If this bill passes, it would effectively make it illegal for drag shows to allow people under the age of 18 per preexisting Texas law.

Supporters of all-ages drag shows have denounced the bill, with Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic attorney Alejandra Caraballo claiming, “This is one of the most radical bills I have ever seen that seeks to completely eliminate trans people out of public life by defining drag to encompass trans people and then criminalizing it.”

Austin-based drag performer Brigitte Bandit has defended shows being open to minors, suggesting that “Like any form of art, drag can be modified to be appropriate for children … We are smart enough to know what that is.”

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