Drag performers speak out against ND bill

Published: Jan. 29, 2023 at 9:11 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill last week targeting drag shows. Some drag performers in the Fargo-area are speaking out against the bill.

The bill that would make it a crime to perform drag shows in public places or when kids are present.

“It makes no sense to me,” said Kyle Anderson, a drag queen who goes by ‘Tequila Mockingbird’. “There is so much more things to focus on in our state then drag queens or trans or pronouns, things like that. There’s so much more we can focus on. I don’t know why we’re being targeted.”

The House passed the bill at a 73-19 vote, with Republican Representative Lori VanWinkle calling cabaret performers who perform in front of children ‘perverts’. LGBTQ advocates said the bill discriminates drag performers and limits the freedom of expression for North Dakotans.

“It’s peoples’ identity, it’s peoples’ lives they shouldn’t be effected by the law,” said Kris Wilkins, a drag queen who goes by ‘Kristina’. “Not everything is sexual, not everything has to be sexual. We’re trying to put on shows and performances.”

The bill now heads to the senate in March, but some drag performers are concerned that the state won’t stop there.

“My concern is they’re going to come for us next, all the adult shows. I wouldn’t put it past them.” said Anderson.