Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is set to sign a bill that will make drag performances illegal in the state—a crime he may have committed in high school. A photo emerged on Reddit from the Franklin High Yearbook in 1977, where Lee attended, purportedly showing Lee in drag along the caption “Hard Luck Woman.” Lee’s office has not yet commented on the image.
The Tennessee bill follows a concerted anti-drag and anti-trans GOP movement in recent months, spurred by baseless accusations of drag performers grooming minors, leading to violent threats across the country. If Lee signs the bill, which he’s expected to, it will be illegal in Tennessee to stage drag performances of any nature in public or in places where it could potentially be seen by children. For example, dressing up in drag at a high school, where children are, would be criminalized.
Lee has routinely pushed anti-LGBTQ laws, passing a bill banning transgender girls from playing on school sports teams in 2021, as well as a law demanding teachers give parents a month’s notice before discussing any LGBTQ topics in the classroom.