A video surfaced on Twitter and TikTok showing Texas state Rep. Nate Schatzline, a Republican who authored a bill that would restrict drag performances, appearing to dress in drag himself while a student. Schatzline can be seen dancing in a park while wearing a black sequined dress and a red eye mask. The Twitter user who shared the video criticized Schatzline for attacking the LGBTQ community, particularly trans children, and vowed to ban drag shows in Texas.
Schatzline, a first-term state representative and former pastor, appeared to confirm his participation in the video in a tweet, but dismissed it as a joke for a theatre project. The video, however, raises questions about the proposed legislation Schatzline introduced in January, which seeks to amend Texas’ Business and Commerce Code to define a venue that hosts a “drag performance” as a “sexually oriented business.”
Critics of the bill argue that it unfairly targets an art form with deep ties to the LGBTQ community and wrongly paints all drag performances as obscene. Supporters of the bill argue that it is needed to protect children from exposure to inappropriate entertainment. Lawmakers in at least a dozen other states have proposed similar laws to restrict drag performances.
The proposed legislation has sparked a debate over the inclusion of the LGBTQ community in Texas politics and the impact of such legislation on the community. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether Schatzline’s participation in the video will have an impact on the bill and its chances of being passed into law.