Drag performers and venues alike fear for safety after an increase of threats, bullying
San Antonio is among one of the latest cities to experience an uptick in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and threats of violence.
Earlier this month, local venue The Starlighter canceled all remaining scheduled drag show performances through the end of the year. The Starlighter cited safety concerns after an increase of threats to the performers and the nightclub as the reason for the cancellations.
This new wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment stems from far-right campaigns of harmful disinformation about drag artists, performers and transgender individuals. Protesters against all-age drag shows cite worries that children would be indoctrinated or abused by performers.
Where does this anti-LGBTQ rhetoric stem from? Why are drag artists and performers under attack? How are venues responding to hosting drag shows? As we head into Texas’ legislative year, what anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed?
- Robert Salcido, executive director of the Pride Center San Antonio
- Nino Testa, Ph.D., associate professor of professional practice in the department of Women & Gender Studies at Texas Christian University
- Brad Pritchett, field director for Equality Texas
- Michael Karlis, staff writer at The San Antonio Current
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, December 13.