What the history of drag performance teaches us about today’s controversies

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, February 20, 2023 - 11:12am
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2023 - 12:43pm

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In what seems to be the newest front of the right-wing culture wars, the Arizona Legislature, along with many others around the country, is taking direct aim this session at drag shows.

Earlier this month, a bill from Republican Sen. Anthony Kern passed out of committee that would make drag shows fall under the definition of "adult cabaret performances," which is usually reserved for strip shows.

And that’s just one of many similar bills being introduced nationwide. 

Dr. Lady J says while it may seem trivial to go after drag queens, people who know the history behind it are scared. 

Dr. Lady J is a drag historian, public speaker and trans activist. She wrote her dissertation at Case Western Reserve University on the mainstreaming of drag in the 1990s and teaches about drag history today. The Show spoke to her more about that history and the current climate today.

Dr. Lady J
Ian Argo
Dr. Lady J

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