State Senator Doug Mastriano, who lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro in the 2022 Pennsylvania Governor race, has sparked controversy with his proposal to ban drag shows in public places. Citing examples such as a Bucks County resource center and its Queer Prom, Mastriano claims that drag performances aimed at children are on the rise and must be considered as adult-oriented businesses.
However, this proposal has faced opposition from the LGBTQ+ community, who see drag shows as an essential part of their identity. The Queer Prom, hosted by Planned Parenthood and open to all LGBTQ+ youth and allies, has been the target of far-right media campaigns that have sparked harassment against the community.
State Senator Steve Santarsiero and a Central Bucks School District board member were the targets of a recent social media campaign, with users referring to Santarsiero as a “groomer,” “deviant,” and “pedophile.” Despite facing such hate, Santarsiero remains firm that events like the Queer Prom are necessary in providing a safe and accepting environment for LGBTQ+ students.