A lawmaker in Ohio introduce a bill banning children from performing in drag at bars after a 9-year-old boy performed a sexually explicit dance routine at a bar with the consent of his mother.
Republican state Sen. Tim Schaffer said the performance of the child, who was paid by patrons, amounted to sexual exploitation, the Toledo Blade reported, noted ToddStarnes.com.
The paper said the boy, identified only as Jake, performs in drag under the name “Miss Mae Hem.” He appeared in December at JD Hendersons bar in Lancaster, Ohio.
The Blade said the proposed legislation would expand the definition of child endangerment to include “a performance that suggests a minor is participating in, or simulating, sexual activity that ‘taken as a whole by the average person applying contemporary standards, appeals to the prurient interest.'”
But the child’s mother is furious, insisting there was nothing wrong with her son dressing in drag and nothing sexual about his performance.
She told the Blade her son “is just a guy who likes to dress up and dance and feel pretty.”
“It’s kind of like Halloween every time he has the opportunity to do it,” she said.
The mother said her son is surrounded by “supportive” people.
“Ninety-five percent of our friends are in the LGBTQ community and are drag queens, and are in some type of theater performance,” she said.
Commenting on the bill, a member of the LGBT community said it sounds good on its face, “but the intent and where the proposal came from was done in bad faith.”
“There is nothing wrong with what [he] is doing. Nothing sexual, nothing inappropriate,” said Harvey House board president Kristen Angelo.
Drag performances ‘art’
The Blade reported a Democratic state senator has changed her mind about supporting the bill.
Teresa Fedor of Toledo said Friday in a statement on Facebook that it is “clear to me now that the intent of this bill language is disingenuous.”
“I won’t stand for attacks on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer] children who are uniquely vulnerable to being preyed upon by human traffickers,” she said.
She called drag performances an art.
“We shouldn’t tell parents they are criminals for supporting a child interested in this art form,” she said. “It sends the wrong message. This is when a child, feeling alone and unwanted, will leave home and quickly be susceptible to human trafficking.”