Texas lead the nation in anti-LGBTQ+ protests staged at drag performances this year

'The analysis shows increasingly violent rhetoric and incidents as the year progressed, including armed white supremacists demonstrating in Texas,' the report states.

click to enlarge Pro-LGBTQ+ demonstrators assemble outside San Antonio's Aztec Theatre to counter a protest by an armed militia group. - Michael Karlis
Michael Karlis
Pro-LGBTQ+ demonstrators assemble outside San Antonio's Aztec Theatre to counter a protest by an armed militia group.
Members of far-right groups descended upon a theater in suburban Dallas Saturday, protesting the same touring Christmas-themed drag show that an armed militia demonstrated against last Tuesday in San Antonio.

Those were just two of the 141 protests and significant threats targeting specific drag events in 2022, according to a report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Texas experienced the highest number of these types of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations, recording 20 against drag shows this year, the report notes.

GLAAD's analysis was first reported on by locally by the Express-News.

While right-wing protests against drag performances are on the rise, Texas had the highest number by far, according to the report. In contrast, No. 2 North Carolina had just 10 such actions, while Illinois, which had eight, landed third on the list.

“The analysis shows increasingly violent rhetoric and incidents as the year progressed, including armed white supremacists demonstrating in Texas and the firebombing of a Tulsa donut shop that hosted a drag event in October,” the report said.

To create its study, GLAAD reviewed news reports in all 50 states, along with U.S. territories and military bases, for protests that “explicitly targeted” drag events. The group also looked for drag shows canceled or rescheduled due to threats of violence.

San Antonio had two such instances, including the cancellation of all drag shows for the remainder of the year at The Starlighter music venue after so-called “journalist” Tayler Hansen took video of a child at one of the performances. The Starlighter later said in a statement that the minor was the daughter of a food vendor there.
GLAAD attributed the increased threats against drag shows to right-wing media, including Fox News and Daily Wire, as well as individuals such as Hansen, whom it accused misrepresenting what actually happens at the performances.

Over the past year, Fox News devoted more time to drag shows and transgender people than coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection hearings, the report states.

Coming soon: SA Current Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting San Antonio stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

KEEP SA CURRENT!

Since 1986, the SA Current has served as the free, independent voice of San Antonio, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an SA Current Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today to keep San Antonio Current.

Scroll to read more Texas News articles

Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.