Pride organizers keep eye on drag laws ahead of festivals

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04/06/2023

Tennessee organizers booked more than 50 drag entertainers for next month’s Mid-South Pride festival in Memphis now that the state’s new law placing strict limits on cabaret shows is temporarily on hold. But they are being cautious, making adjustments to performances should the limits of the first-in-the-nation law essentially banning drag from public property or in the presence of minors kick in before June celebrations. “As soon as this stuff started making its way, I immediately started coming out with plans to be able to counteract that,” said longtime festival organizer Vanessa Rodley. “Because, at the end of the day, we can’t put on an event that then segregates a huge portion of our community, right? We just can’t do that. So you have to find ways around it.”

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