September 15, 2017 | Sex & Society

Tennessee town wants to ban drag shows

RuPaul: What the fuck!
 
It doesn't look like RuPaul will be getting the key to the city in Portland, Tennessee anytime soon.
 
The local council is trying to ban drag shows in the town by deeming them "adult" entertainment. A possible bylaw would force drag shows into industrial areas along with "exotic dancers, table dancers, private dancers [and] strippers."
 
Portland's mayor, Kenneth Wilber, said he was forced to act after hearing from “concerned citizens” who were upset about a recent drag show at the local Envy Bar & Grill.
 
“I didn’t think just wanting to put on a drag show would cause such a big deal out in a small town,” drag performer Raymond Guillermo said. “The reason why we went to Portland is because we had people from the city saying, ’Hey, you guys are from Portland, when are you guys going to bring the show to us?'”
 
Of course, the town is claiming it still supports the idea of free speech. 
 
Angry drag queen
 
“[We] support that right to free speech and freedom of expression, it just has to [be regulated] to the proper zoning district,” argued City Planner Andrew Pieri. That means easily accessible commercial districts are out of the question.
 
Guillermo said it's a load of crap.
 
“According to the ordinance that I looked at, there would be no possible way to perform in Portland,” Guillermo said. “There are churches, schools, residential areas everywhere. This is just their way of getting us out of Portland.”
 
Next Monday's meeting on the issue should prove a spirited one as local LGBT groups plan on showing up.
 
 
“Tennessee Equality Project joins local citizens in opposing the ordinance because of likely First Amendment violations and because government has no business passing measures that are gender restrictive,” said Chris Sanders, the executive director of the organization. “The ordinance sends a chilling message to Middle Tennessee’s LGBTQ community.”
 
The only drag-specific law we'd ever support is one banning queens who refuse to learn the words to the songs they perform. That is a jailable offense!

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