At least 124 drag events targeted this year: report
Drag performers and events were directly threatened on at least 124 occasions this year, according to new research from the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD.
The majority of the events occurred during Pride celebrations in June and into September, October and November, according to the report.
Attacks on drag events occurred in all but two states, with the largest number of anti-drag attacks occurring in the state of Texas (10 attacks), followed by North Carolina (9 attacks) and Illinois (8 attacks).
A number of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys were also involved in the incidents, according to GLAAD.
The report also found that a number of the drag events that were attacked were first “targeted by right-wing media outlets like Fox News and the Daily Wire,” or targeted online.
“There is a direct line between the coordinated, dangerous anti-LGBTQ campaign driven by lies and fearmongering rhetoric to the real-world violence we’ve seen increase this year,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and chief executive, said Tuesday in a statement.
The report comes on the heels of a deadly shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., that claimed the lives of five people and injured over a dozen more.
The research also follows a marked increase in anti-LGBTQ hate speech online in 2022.
In August, a report by the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that inflammatory language and misinformation about LGBTQ people spread like wildfire on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook during the first six months of the year.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok all scored below 50 out of a possible 100 on GLAAD’s 2022 Social Media Safety Index, which rates platforms based on a set of criteria related to LGBTQ safety, privacy and expression.
The report also follows efforts by lawmakers across the U.S. to restrict drag activities.
State legislators in Texas and Tennessee have pre-filed legislation cracking down on drag performances.
Federal legislation introduced last month by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) would prevent federal funds from being used to support programs for children involving “any topic” related to gender identity or sexual orientation. It has the support of more than 30 House Republicans.
“Drag performers aren’t a threat —the real threat is violent men with guns who show up to public libraries, schools, and LGBTQ venues believing the lies Fox News, LibsOfTikTok, and extremist right-wing politicians are feeding them,” Ellis said Tuesday.
“This has reached a boiling point, and it needs to be stopped now. Not tomorrow, not after the next attack, but now.”