Texas Lawmaker Behind Anti-Drag Show Law Spotted Dressed in Drag

A Texas congressman who proposed a bill to outlaw drag show appears to have worn drag as a college student. Republican Texas state representative Nate Schatzline can be seen skipping, sprinting, and dancing at a park while wearing a black sequined dress and a red eye mask in a video that appeared on Twitter and TikTok this week.

At the conclusion of the about 90-second clip, which is set to Javi Mula’s song ‘Sexy Lady,’ the four players are identified, including Schatzline, whose persona is dubbed ‘The Virgin.’

When reached for comment, former pastor and newly elected state politician Schatzline took some time to respond. Yet, he appears to corroborate his participation in the video in a tweet that was published on Tuesday.

In spite of the fact that Schatzline’s performance in the video satisfies most dictionary definitions of drag, it is not clear whether it would be against the law under the proposal Schatzline made in January. The bill, HB 1266, aims to change Texas’ Business and Commerce Code such that a location that organizes a drag show and permits alcohol consumption on-site qualifies as a sexually oriented company. 

According to state law, these businesses cannot permit anyone under the age of 18 to enter their premises. The measure defines a drag performance as a performance in which a performer, for the purpose of amusement, sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise entertains an audience while displaying a gender identity that is different from the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers.

A nightclub, bar, restaurant, or other business that hosts a drag show for an audience of two or more people falls under the category of sexually oriented companies, according to the law.

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Critics Slam Anti-Drag Show Law

According to an investigation, legislators in at least a dozen other states have considered bills that would similarly limit drag performances.  These bills’ proponents argue that in order to shield kids from improper entertainment, they are necessary. Critics contend that they inaccurately portray all drag performances as obscene and unfairly target an art form with strong ties to the LGBTQ community.

A drag performance is one in which a performer presents a gender identity other than the one assigned to them at birth utilizing dress, makeup, or other physical cues while singing, lip-syncing, dancing, or otherwise entertaining an audience.

A nightclub, bar, restaurant, or other commercial establishment that hosts a drag show for an audience of two or more is considered a sexually oriented business.

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