Florida’s SB 1438 Poses Threat to Drag Community

Welcome to the first issue of The Rainbow Report, your weekly update on Florida’s LGBTQ+ community and the innovative ways teachers and students are creating safe, inclusive learning environments. Our mission is to provide information on how everyone can learn and grow without prejudice while accessing a comprehensive educational experience.

This week, we highlight Florida’s concerning legislation, SB 1438, which threatens the diverse and vibrant drag community. While claiming to “protect children,” this bill prevents governmental entities from issuing permits or authorizing performances that violate specific provisions. It also imposes criminal penalties for noncompliance, targeting establishments such as public lodging and licensed venues that allow children to attend adult live performances.

SB 1438 broadly defines an “adult live performance” as any show or presentation that portrays or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts. To qualify, the performance must predominantly appeal to prurient, shameful, or morbid interests, be patently offensive to the adult community standards in Florida, and lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as a whole.

The bill’s steep fines, starting at $5,000 for a first violation and increasing to $10,000 for subsequent violations, could significantly impact the community and restrict the creative expression of drag performances. It is vital that we stand united against this legislation to protect our right to perform, create, and celebrate drag culture.

We encourage you to share this information with friends, fellow performers, and allies and join us in bringing awareness to this bill before it becomes law. Your support is essential for our ongoing efforts to create safe spaces for all students, irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or expression. Please consider donating to Safe Schools so that we can continue advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the education system.