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Drag performers and venues alike fear for safety after an increase of threats, bullying

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The Starlighter.jpeg
Dallas Williams/ TPR News
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The Starlighter venue is located off of Fredicksburg Road.

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.

Texas Freedom Force, a group labeled as an extremist militia by the FBI, has planned a protest at the Aztec theater on Tuesday night.

Communities across the country are worried about deadly repercussions. Less than a month ago, a gunman killed five people and injured several others at LGBTQ establishment Club Q in Colorado Springs.

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?

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, December 13.

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