Drag performers head to Tallahassee to protest bill aimed to keep kids from attending drag shows

'They need to understand that we’re not a threat, we’re just trying to be entertainers,' Velvet LeNore says
Bus loads of people drove to Tallahassee on April 25, 2023.png
Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 14:53:15-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Bus loads of people from all over the state drove to Tallahassee Tuesday to protest legislation they believe attacks the LGBTQ+ community.

One bus departed Palm Beach County in the early morning hours to the state capitol.

Velvet LeNore, a drag queen coined as “The Queen of the Palm Beaches,” was part of the local group.

“They keep saying that it’s about the kids, but sometimes we’re the best therapy for kids when they come to our shows, because it’s the only time they can see something like us," she said. "Or some of our gay kids even get the chance to be around other role models to embrace themselves and learn from us and learn how to live life the way that they should.”

One of the concerns is over a bill that aims to keep children from attending drag performances.

“This is my life. This is how I’ve made a living for 31 years, and unfortunately a lot of businesses are stopping shows," LeNore said,"not because they want to, but because they’re terrified.”

Organizers said hundreds of drag queens and supporters came from every part of the state of Florida to Tallahassee. Speeches and a march were planned at the capitol steps. The group wanted to inform the public about the history of drag and what they believe is its rich cultural expression.

“So, we can march and protest for our rights in a peaceful way. Because what they’re trying to do to us is not right, this has been my life for 31 years," Lenore said. "I don’t think it’s right that they should try to tell me how to live my life. My life is drag, that’s who I am and that’s who I want to be. And I should have a right to do that."

The protestors believe recent legislation is a direct attack on the LGBTQ+ community.

“I think numbers speak power and I think they will understand that we’re not just going to let them push us away or push us out," LeNore said. "They need to understand that we’re not a threat, we’re just here trying to be entertainers and make people smile at the end of the day, and show the passion that we have for drag, the entertainment.”