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Drag performers upset with Kentucky Senate after SB 115 passes

Benita Bloom.jpg
Ron Comstock
Benita Bloom is a drag performer who, along with many other drag performers and their supporters, are upset about a bill passed by the state Senate Friday.

The day after dozens of drag performers and supporters petitioned the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council for support, the state Senate passed a bill they were protesting.

Senate Bill 115 would outlaw “sexually explicit” drag shows on public properties or in front of children. Benita Bloom, a drag performer who was in council chambers Thursday night, said she was angry.

“Just because of the wording in the bill. It kind of also just it label, it puts all drag into that sexually explicit situation. Not all drag is sexually explicit. I literally have on Twitter a pair of tights, a couch cushions strapped to my backside. And I'm usually completely clothed from the knees all the way up to my neck.”

Senator Gary Boswell voted for the bill and called it a historic measure to protect children. Bloom says the only sexually explicit drag shows she’s seen are in bars, where you have to be 21 to get in. He also said she and her fellow drag performers and supporters will fight SB 115 and other bills.

“Drag has given us our lives so much meaning it's also let so many younger queer kids know that it's safe to be okay. And it's safe to be who you are. We're going to continue to fight this to our very last breath.”

The bill's sponsor, Senator Lindsey Tichenor of Smithfield said drag shows are being introduced to the general public as appropriate for all ages under the guise of inclusivity.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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