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LGBTQ advocates fear negative impacts on drag shows as Texas lawmakers pass sexual conduct bill

Lawmakers originally drafted SB 12 to include direct references to drag performers in relation to minors.

SAN ANTONIO — Advocates of the LGBTQ community fear what the future holds after Texas state lawmakers passed a bill they believe will lead to making it more difficult to host drag shows. 

The original language of Senate Bill aimed to protect children from attending drag shows filled with sexual content. 

On Sunday, the Texas House approved a version of the legislation that omits directs references to drag performances.

Ruben Hernandez-Valdez, a San Antonio realtor and LGBTQ ally, expressed frustration with the bill’s passage. Despite the bill’s absence of mentioning drag shows, Hernandez-Valdez worries how the law could impact performers and businesses that host such events. 

“If you search SB 12, the first thing you’re going to see are drags, the verbiage you’re going to see are banning drag shows and it’s unfortunate but I get there was backpedaling there. It’s terrifying what will come after this,” Hernandez-Valdez said.

He noted not every drag performance hosted is family friendly. That’s why he makes it known when promoting the shows. 

“It’s no different than going to a rated R movie and having that warning or label prior to ensure that parents don’t take their children when there are sex scenes or violence or whatever the case may be,” Hernandez-Valdez said.

On June 10, Hernandez-Valdez will serve as the main sponsor of San Antonio’s second-annual Pride River Parade.  

“There are drags that perform on the main stage at the Arneson Theatre. There is no cussing, there is no sexual language,” Hernandez-Valdez said. 

Pride Center San Antonio’s executive director Robert Salcido believes SB 12 only fuels the fire for those who continue to spread misinformation about drag performers. While the Texas Legislature breaks until 2025, Salcido and other LGBTQ advocates will continue educating the public.  

“We will continue to educate the community on who our community is and who we’re not. The Pride Center does not plan to make any changes to the way that we do our programming, again because all our programming is age appropriate,” Salcido said.

Violators of SB 12 face $10,000 fines and a year in jail.


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