BenDeLaCreme makes a crucial point about anti-trans and anti-drag bills

RuPaul’s Drag Race Legend BenDeLaCreme has spoken out against legislation banning gender-affirming health care and denigrating LGBTQ+ Americans — like drag queens — while appearing on news channel MSNBC.

appearance of BenDeLaCreme The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell followed bills signed into law by right-wing Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on March 3.

Tennessee Senate Bill 1 (SB1) “prohibits a health care provider from performing or administering a medical procedure to a minor if the purpose of performing or administering the procedure is to enable a minor to verify an alleged identity that is incompatible with the gender of the minor”. These procedures include prescribing puberty blockers and hormone treatments.

“Let’s talk about this ban in Tennessee, the ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender children and adolescents,” prompted news anchor Jonathan Capeheart.

“It’s a truly awful time for the queer community for so many reasons,” BenDaLaCreme replied.

“My personal connection to the attacks on trans health care is not only that I have a huge group of friends in the drag community with whom I have a personal relationship who are trans, I also have a trans partner .

“There is so much fear about how people will continue to live their full, authentic lives. I know people are starting to figure out how to hoard hormones [in case they are banned in their state].”

BenDeLaCreme went on to say that the legislation “stokes this fire of violence” and “the perception that trans people are ‘less than'”.

Governor Lee also signed Senate Bill 3 (SB3) into law on the same day. It prevents public drag and “adult cabaret” performances in places that “could be viewed by a person who is not an adult”. It defines “adult cabaret performances” as productions featuring “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appears to arouse lustful interest.”

Because of this vague definition, state LGBTQ+ activists have expressed fears that the law will be used to silence not only drag but also transgender performers – and even Pride.

Drag has recently found itself at the center of a political maelstrom, with right-wing groups arguing that it is inappropriate for children and equating drag queens with dog groomers.

“You don’t have to take your kids to every aspect of drag, you don’t have to take your kids anywhere, but there are places you can hug them and give them the exposure they need,” said BenDeLaCreme.

“There is a feeling and rhetoric that this is somehow harmful to children. I would argue that it’s imperative for kids to see drag queens, to see queer people, to see people from different walks of life.”

The laws were condemned as “unnecessary” and “dangerous” by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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Adam Bradshaw

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