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RECORDING: Drag Bans and the Rising Threat to the LGBTQIA+ Community


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RECORDING: Drag Bans and the Rising Threat to the LGBTQIA+ Community

PRIDE: Championing LGBTQIA+ Leaders & Allies

Since the beginning of this year, at least 32 bills have been filed targeting drag performers. Tennessee became the first state to restrict public drag show performances. At the same time, Texas introduced at least four different bills to put venues that host drag performances in the same category as adult movie theaters and strip clubs.

Marti Allen-Cummings

Sanmaya Mohanty

Marti Allen-Cummings (They/Them) is an activist, community board member, gig worker and drag artist running who ran for city council in uptown manhattan in 2021. Marti has been working in NYC for 13 years after moving to the city at age 17 to pursue a performing arts career. They know what it’s like to make it in new york living paycheck to paycheck and without insurance. For over a decade, Marti has been deeply involved in the community - advocating for LGBTQIA+ Young people through the Ali Forney Center and aiding new yorkers experiencing homelessness. Throughout the pandemic, Marti built upon that experience to plan PPE handouts, grocery deliveries, coat drives and mutual aid efforts. During the 2016 election Cycle, Marti started organizing and their political activism energized the community and has brought people together who are seeking progressive change in the nation’s politics. Marti currently sits on community board 9 serving the people of Upper Manhattan, and is an advisor on the NYC Nightlife Advisory Board.

In a world where RuPaul’s Drag Race has won twenty-four Emmy Awards and drag has become more mainstream than ever, what’s the push behind these blatantly anti-LGBTQIA+ bills? And what will their effect be on drag shows, theater, Pride parades, and beyond?

For this conversation as part of PowerToFly’s Pride All Year Long speaking series, we are joined by drag artist, political figure, and former NYC City Council candidate Marti G. Cummings (they/them) to discuss the state of drag bans, their negative effect on the LGBTQIA+ community — particularly trans and non-binary people — and what you can do to fight back, whether you are a member of the community or an ally.

In this chat, we’ll talk about:

What the drag bans imply
The impact drag bans can have on the LGBTQIA+ community
Practical ways to advocate against these anti-rights bills

Room B