Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Tennessee Bans Drag Shows

There are, we are sorry to say, no shortage of news items about people on the right rushing to capitalize on the bugaboo-du-jour, which is trans people. Obviously, trans hostility has been a significant element of Republican politics for a long time, but it's noticeably picked up momentum in the last week or so. Is that because of CPAC? Because Donald Trump has been carping about trans people? Because of those "here's our messaging this week" memos produced by the RNC? Could be any of these things.

In any event, just as there was a rush to see which red state could impose the harshest limits on abortion, there is now a rush to see which red state can impose the harshest limits on trans people. And the state of Tennessee has just taken the lead in this little race. Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed into law a bill that forbids gender-affirming care for minors. That is something that many states already have, of course. So, to give the Volunteer State a little extra edge, Lee then signed the United States' very first ban on public drag shows. Other red states are expected to follow suit.

The logic here, which comes straight out of the 1950s, goes like this:

  1. People who dress in drag are all trans
  2. Trans people are all sexual deviants
  3. Sexual deviants are all pedophiles

Ipso facto, by transitive property (and trans property), drag queens and trans people are pedophiles. Every bit of "logic" here is wildly incorrect, but people nonetheless buy it all, lock stock and barrel.

Having laid that out, we can now present you with a picture of one of the country's most visible pedophiles, namely Governor Bill Lee:

Bill Lee in drag in a black and white photo

This is from his high school yearbook, and was taken at a football game back in 1977.

Needless to say, you can't have a pervert serving as governor, so Lee will undoubtedly be resigning his office post haste and getting help for his disorder. Oops, wait, maybe not. In fact, the Governor has already explained that there is a huge difference between dressing in drag at a football game and dressing in drag on stage. Lee says it is clear that the former is just lighthearted, while the latter is sick and wrong.

Hm. Forgive us, but we are not grasping the distinction here. A distinction that, by the way, could now be the difference between going to prison and not in Tennessee. Maybe we are not clever enough to understand. Alternatively, and we are just spitballing here, maybe these politicians who are capitalizing on voters' very real anti-trans biases are just venal opportunists and demagogues who do not believe for one minute the anti-trans rhetoric they are verbalizing and enshrining into law. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates