Drag isn’t dangerous. In fact, chest binder company For Them, thinks that drag is divine in their new campaign.
On Monday, trans-owned company For Them unveiled their new Drag is Divine campaign in response to recent anti-drag legislation popping up around the United States. The campaign will feature different subway ads scattered across New York, Los Angeles, and London with different slogans affirming that “drag is divine: it needs no intervention”. Along with subway ads, the campaign will be paired with wheat pastings and fundraising events all through June a.k.a. Pride Month. Funds raised from For Them’s sales and events will go directly to the nonprofit Drag Story Hour and the ACLU’s Drag Defense Fund.
“The campaign is us at For Them putting a middle finger up to the anti-LGBTQ+ law-makers that are attempting to legislate gender non-conformity out of existence, to legally enforce binaries and criminalize queer freedom of expression,” said Kylo Freeman, CEO and Founder of For Them. “We hope this campaign will mobilize civic action, raise funds to support legal defense of LGBTQ+ rights and stoke the fire of queer revolution that’s already taking place around the world. This is an image of proud defiance and solidarity for our drag family and queer siblings who are feeling the shockwaves of this kind of political attack.”
For Them’s Drag is Divine campaign exhibits the company’s solidarity with drag artists, while raising awareness on the anti-drag legislation spreading across the nation. Tennessee’s governor Bill Lee passed the first anti-drag law labeling drag performances as “adult cabaret performances” and prohibiting drag artists from performing in public venues or in front of minors. While this law has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, other states, including Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, South Carolina, and more have introduced anti-drag legislation.
“To legislate drag away from public spaces and children implies some kind of perceived threat which we wanted to clap back at. There is nothing more divine and beautiful than human expression in its most authentic, full and expansive form,” said Freeman. “In this political climate there are far more pressing threats than a sensationalized attack on an ancient art form and identities that have always existed.”
In addition to anti-drag legislation, the ACLU has tracked 490 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country. With the introduction of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, more states followed suit with legislation of their own. Florida’s law bans discussion on gender and sexuality in grades K-12. However, the law is written vaguely, which seemingly allows it to ban age-appropriate material that discusses LGBTQ+ people.
Most recently, public school teacher Jenna Barbee came under fire for screening the Disney film Strange World in her 5th grade classroom. The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, and Jaboukie Young-White, features queer teens and a love story between them. Barbee is currently under investigation for “inappropriate conduct” by Florida’s Department of Education.