The Vandoliers, a punk rock country music band from Dallas Texas.
The Vandoliers, a punk rock country music band from Dallas Texas performed in dresses while on tour in Tennessee. They did this in protest of Tennesse's drag ban just a few hours after the state's top drag queen, now a republican shill, Gov. Bill Lee signed it into law.
The law prohibits adult cabaret performances from taking place on public property or in any place where minors might be present, and it threatens performers with misdemeanor charges for breaking the rules — or even felony charges for repeat offenses.
Their propensity for social activism earned them a feature in the Rolling Stones posting on Instagram "Fuck a drag bill. 🖕🏽 Gonna auction off the dresses we wore on stage in Tennessee tonight and donate the money to a couple of LGBTQ charities in this state. Details soon. 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️".
Vandoliers multi-instrumentalist Cory Graves said that it was originally his idea to wear a dress during the show as his own act of solidarity. But once the rest of the band caught wind of Graves' planned personal protest, they quickly decided to join in on the effort with him.
"Whenever I told our bass player, 'I'm gonna do this,' he was like, 'That's a good idea,'" Graves told WFAA. "And then I told our guitar player, and he was like, 'I'm doing it too.' And then our fiddle player's like, 'I'm doing it too!'"
It wasn't long before all six Vandoliers were on board.
The Vandoliers are currently on tour in Europe and the USA with appearances in Denton, and Fort Worth Texas. The very affordable tickets can be purchased thru their website.
Anti LGBT Tn Gov Bill Lee who did drag in 1977, will appear on billboards similar to this mockup on electronic billboards
TN Governor Bill Lee signed into law a bill that would criminalize drag shows and transgender people who attend them.
And unbelievably Tuesday a state lawmaker requested an amendment to add "hanging by a tree" to a bill authorizing firing squads for state executions.
A Gofundme is raising money to put Bill Lee's drag performance on electronic billboards across the state. According to organizer Zachary Heath Stampera on Friday it raised $65,196 with a billboard scheduled for a performance on the following weekend.
If Bill Lee had performed in drag as he did in 1977 to audiences he knew minors were attending, he would have been guilty of violating the law he just signed and sentenced to years in prison. Lee became upset when questioned about his drag performances and tried to excuse it as 'light-hearted fun'.
The problem is a picture has emerged of Lee performing in drag publicly as a high school student during his senior year at Franklin High, Tenn. This image can be found in his yearbook 1977, on page 165.
👀 WATCH: “Do you remember dressing in drag in 1977? Is it only illegal when gay people do it?” @GovBillLee didn’t appreciate that we printed out the FRANKLIN HIGH YEARBOOK PHOTO — but did not deny it’s him. Meanwhile he’s about to make drag a felony by signing an absurd law.🤔 pic.twitter.com/C7YQcQyis3
I graduated about that time and I recall those events. They were held yearly at my high school. I found them disgusting as the spectacle denigrated femininity, and explicitly portrayed women as defenseless sexual toys while legitimizing white supremacy and toxic masculinity. (Lee appeared in a Confederate Uniform but has since called that a mistake)
Would Lee's drag performance appeal to prurient interests of his fellow minor high school students? I wasn't there, but really, that was what it was all about.
The New Republic reports that House Bill 9 is headed to Governor Bill Lee, who has said he will decide whether to sign the bill once it reaches his desk. If he does, the measure will go into effect on April 1, two months ahead of Pride Month.
The bill bans “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to prurient interest,” meaning of a sexual nature, either in public or if there is a minor present. The language is vague and makes no distinction between drag performers and transgender people.
When H.B. 9 was first introduced in November 2022, the ACLU of Tennessee noted that “dance, fashion, and music—essential components of a drag performance—are all protected by the First Amendment. Yet, these laws are written so broadly and vaguely that they would allow government officials to censor performers based on their own subjective viewpoints of what they deem appropriate on any given day.”
“So, let’s call this what it is—a malicious attempt to remove LGBTQ people from public life,” the group said in a statement.
The bill’s vagueness could also affect Pride celebrations, which last for the month of June. Drag performers or trans people appearing in public could be charged with felonies simply for existing.
Transgender people and drag artists dancing in a pride parade could be considered criminal.
Cops could begin arresting people at pride events in Tennessee for being "male or female impersonators" dancing down the street as so many of us have seen and partaken in.
AND YOU CAN SIT BY AND WATCH OR YOU CAN REALIZE THAT YOUR FREEDOM IS TIED UP WITH OURS.
Trans activist Mara Glubka transcribed these important and brilliant words that were posted on Twitter 2 days ago by ACLU attorney Chase Strangio:
"In 2016 I began lobbying against anti-trans bills in state legislatures. At the time we were fighting back against the proliferation of the anti-trans bathroom bill and the false and weaponized narrative that trans people posed a threat to women and children in bathrooms.
In the years that followed, those pushing these bills (and ballot initiatives) admitted that the "safety" narrative fueling the bills in public discourse was entirely fabricated (which... of course it was). They shifted to focusing on privacy.
By shifting from "safety" to "privacy" the rhetoric fueling anti-trans bills placed the "problem" squarely on the body and existence of trans people. It was not something we *did* but just who we are and how we look that was the problem.
After Bostock and Biden's election, the escalation of attacks was swift. It began with the discourse around sports and quickly moved to healthcare. Fueled by global movements combating "gender ideology" (read: marshaling in fascism), this rhetoric took hold even more.
What started as "we just have concerns about competitive advantages in sports" quickly morphed into "aren't there really too many trans people and shouldn't we cut off the pathway from trans adolescence to trans adulthood".
From the pages of the New York Times to the legislative hearings across the country to kitchen table conversations - trans people became the endless fixation of those looking for a place for their fear about a changing world of increasing possibility.
Since at least 2016, I and many others have been raising the alarms about where this was all heading. It was never about bathrooms or sports or even healthcare. It is about what we represent - possibility outside of binaries, outside of notions of fixedness and essentialism.
If structures of power are dependent on us believing in the limits of what is possible - trans people represent an inherent threat to power.
We represent a freedom and possibility that is always a threat to the status quo.
I have been deep in this work for a long time but I will confess that I am surprised and horrified at where we find ourselves now in 2023. The sheer volume of bills and the prioritization of them. The coverage fixation at the Times and elsewhere.
Our society has accepted as legitimate our loss of healthcare, our frequent victimization, our death. As many as 14 States could ban healthcare for trans adolescents by mid-year. Almost half the country bands trans girls from sports.
If there is a "debate" about us among those in power - we are not a part of it. We are a spectacle for your consumption.
That said we cannot be made on trans. There is no policy imperative that can change the fact of our existence. We are here as we always have been.
Governors Noem, Abbott, DeSantis, Cox, Hutchinson, Ivey. You may think you can sign off on our demise but we will rise stronger. To everyone who thinks we are worthy of concern but not agency, of your skepticism but not your respect, you write us off at your own peril.
None of this starts or ends with us.
Two governors have signed off on taking away our healthcare this session and it is not yet mid-February.
More of this is coming.
And you can sit by and watch or you can realize your freedom is tied up with ours."
Newly elected right Wing extremist George Santos is a Drag artist who performed as Kitara Ravache in Rio de Janeiro according to MSNBC columnist Marisa Kabas
Eula Rochard (L) Kitara Ravache (R)
Kabas said that she spoke to Brazilian Drag Queen Eula Rochard who said through a translator that Republican George Santos alias Anthony Devolder alias Anthony Zabrovsky has another nom de guerre, that of Kitara Ravache.
To be clear this article isn't a hit job. Drag artists have my highest regard. Many artists perform for charity causes undeterred by the proud boys and their ilk armed with M-15s who try to shut down these events. George Santos ran on a far-right platform paling up with the likes of Margaret Green and the GOP platform that vehemently opposes LGBTQI rights.
NEW: I just spoke by phone with Eula Rochard, a Brazilian drag queen who was friends with George Santos when he lived near Rio. She said everyone knew him as Anthony (*never* George), or by his drag name, Kitara, and confirms this photo is from a 2008 drag show at Icaraí Beach. pic.twitter.com/1MeeDR1O2O