JIM SHARPE

Arizona is being dragged down with anti-drag threats and laws

Feb 21, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2023, 12:25 pm

(Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

The FBI and Tempe Police are investigating an alleged bomb threat that forced a shop in Tempe called Brick Road Coffee to cancel a “Story Hour” Sunday with a group called “Drag Story Hour Arizona.” 

Yup, it was reading time with a “him” dressed as a “her.” (That is, if I’m allowed to describe anybody, anymore, as anything other than “them” or “they”…?)

I may be a little confused about which pronouns to use, but somebody was not confused about how to protect children from the abomination of a dude in a dress reading books about Black History Month (the planned reading material) — and they’re so convinced they need to “protect” kids, that bombing them is a viable option.

Most people know that keeping kids away from drag performers by threatening violence is wrong.

But there’s also a problem with keeping kids away from drag queens — by force of law — like some Arizona legislators hope to accomplish. The problem with their proposed laws revolves around determining what is — and what isn’t — “drag.”

It’s easy to craft laws that keep kids out of strip clubs: You ban them from places where performers remove clothing that exposes their (*ahem*) naughty bits. But maintaining the illusion of a man being a woman (the essence of “drag”) requires that those naughty bits remain covered.

I appreciate state lawmakers trying to protect my children, but that’s my job and enforcing these proposed laws would be more than a tiny bit problematic. 

One proposed bill from this legislative session would prevent drag shows from happening in public where children might see; another limits the days and hours when drag shows can be performed; and a third bill doesn’t ban drag shows — nor forbids parents from taking their kids to drag shows, it just bans taxpayer money from being used to fund drag shows that target children. (Maybe we can ban taxpayer money from going to fund any drag shows?)

The problem with all of these bills is: How do we determine who is in drag — and who isn’t? How do we check if somebody gallivanting in a dress and makeup is a man: the definition of drag? Will these bills fund the new Arizona Department of Drag Determination?!

And, what constitutes a drag show? Many classic comedians have put on a dress for laughs. 

In fact, one local guy dressed in drag specifically for a kid’s TV show!

So … how many people do you think Pat McMahon screwed up through the years by playing Aunt Maude on the old Wallace and Ladmo show? His job, while in that character, was to read stories to kids — in drag

Next time I see him, I’ll have to ask Pat how many bomb threats they got.

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Jim Sharpe

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Arizona is being dragged down with anti-drag threats and laws