Some believe Tennessee’s “drag bill” is dangerous to LGBTQ citizens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WDEF) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a bill banning public performances of drag shows.

Senate Bill Three was signed into law yesterday, effectively banning drag performances in public spaces.

Phil Cobucci, Founder of Inclusion Tennessee believes this bill may set a dangerous tone for LGBTQ and transgender citizens of Tennessee.

“This could apply to transgender performers to the extent that they are deemed male or female impersonators. Just because of how they live or how they are dressing consistent with their gender expression or gender identity,” Cobucci said. “We could have trans members of our communities who are just using a bathroom and could be misinterpreted as someone who is an entertainer. This creates more division than bringing people together”

A major reason behind the bill is the censoring of sexual imagery so that minors will not be exposed. But for Cobucci and many others, drag is a harmless performance.

“Most of those drag artists are wearing more clothes than any performance I’ve been to in my life. You compare this to Beyoncé, you compare this to a Cowboys cheerleader, you compare this to a WWE wrestler. They are all wearing significantly less clothing than a drag entertainer,” Cobucci continued. “There are folks that are dancing, they are carrying on with music, they are lip-syncing, they are having a good time. It is nothing sexualized, it is not offensive to children, it is not problematic.”

Cobucci says Tennessee has passed more anti-LGBTQ legislation than any other state. He says people simply seeking the right to be are having their existence challenged on a daily basis.

“We have had two bills that have passed thus far, and there are 24 more coming. All of which are trying to diminish, delete and erase our existence,” said Cobucci. “The only thing we can continue to do as a community is fight back and fight back together. And we need the support of people who believe that equality and equity are foundational parts of the existence of the American experience.”

To learn more about Inclusion Tennessee, you can visit

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