In recent years, there has been a lot of political debate about drag shows. Well, not so much a debate. The side against drag shows is clearly in the wrong since they have been taught to believe that drag shows are fundamentally dangerous to society. Although, we all know that this isn’t the case. It was just something for certain politicians to cling onto in a bid to rile up their potential voters. Of course, even if their fear is unfounded, it hasn’t stopped drag shows being protested up and down the country. In fact, we’ve heard of several drag shows that have had to cancel events due to these protests. Amongst other dangers related to drag, this does beg the question ‘are drag shows safe?’
Yes. Drag shows are, for the most part, safe to attend. Drag shows have had a lot of protests over the last few years, but they rarely turn violent. In fact, it is nothing more than a few people shouting. Nothing too scary. However do bear in mind that drag communities are often the target of violence due to their association with LGBTQ, so you should always keep your wits about you when you attend a drag show.
Let’s explain in a bit more depth. We’ll also share a few tips that, hopefully, should help you feel safer at a drag show.
Are Drag Shows Safe?
Yes. Drag shows are safe to attend. Yes. There has been a rise in the number of protests and violence toward the drag community, but if you are planning on attending a drag show, then you should be fine.
Now, this is not to say that something couldn’t happen to you while attending a drag show. Let’s be honest, if you are in the US then people have done some terrible things to others in pursuit of their political aims. However, this isn’t something that should really stand in your way of going out and enjoying yourself. The chances of something happening to you while at a drag show are so ridiculously low that it isn’t worth thinking about.
There are a couple of things that we do want to point out here, though.
Alcohol at Drag Shows: Risks and Precautions
Firstly – most drag shows are going to be in bars and clubs. Most drag shows are going to late in the evening (although, you have some drag brunches too). Unless the show is specifically labeled as family-friendly, you can guarantee that a lot of alcohol is going to be consumed at these drag shows. This is especially true for drag brunches, or drag dinners, because a lot of time the alcohol is unlimited.
As you probably know, when alcohol is free-flowing like that, it could lead to a whole host of problems. It isn’t uncommon for fights to break out at drag shows due to all this alcohol. However, this isn’t exactly a problem with the drag show. The same would happen at any place where a lot of alcohol is being consumed. It is also something that could easily be avoided when you attend a drag show. Keep to yourself and you should be fine. You’re only going to be the victim of violence in a bar if you are going out and looking for a bit of a fight and, since you are reading this page, we doubt that you are. Or at least we hope you aren’t.
You should also remember that people may slip something into your drink if you leave it unattended. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you think at bars and clubs, and it happens a ton at drag shows (we’ve heard some serious horror stories about it).
Heading Home from a Drag Show
We have heard some stories of people heading home from drag shows being the victim of violence. Although, this isn’t as common as you may think.
There are some awful people out there, and, sometimes, these people will hang around the gay districts (where most drag shows are) and keep an eye on the people leaving. In extremely rare cases, there is a risk that people will end up as a victim of assault because of this. However, we cannot stress enough just how rare it is that you will be the victim of an assault.
So overall, yes, drag shows are safe to attend. They are no more unsafe than attending any other bar or club in the United States. Sure, there may be a protest or two outside of one of the major drag shows but, generally speaking, it isn’t something that you will need to worry about too much. The protestors may be loud, but they are harmless.
The only time that you should really be worried at a drag show is when it comes to alcohol-fueled violence but, as we said, this should be incredibly easy to avoid. Just keep yourself to yourself and you can enjoy the fun atmosphere of a drag show in comfort.
Are Drag Shows Safe For Drag Performers?
Drag performers will often have a tougher time at a drag show than the audience. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly – drag queens are always going to be the target of any protestor’s vitriol. While most protestors are going to do nothing but hurl a few insults in the direction of the drag queen (which is awful enough), all it takes is one person to cross the line and violence could occur. Although, thankfully, we haven’t heard too many stories of this happening.
Unfortunately, there is one incredibly common occurrence around drag performances and one that many drag performers are trying to stamp out, and that is harassment. You would be surprised at the number of people who seem to think that it is OK to start touching up a drag queen when they are at a drag show. People get very hands-on and, honestly, it is disgusting. Many drag queens don’t really know how to deal with it, and while some of the more prominent drag queens are able to speak out if somebody is harassing them, some of the newer drag queens just stop dead in their tracks and let it happen. Rarely a show will go by for a drag queen where they are not being touched by somebody in the audience, which is a massive shame. You don’t really get this with any other type of performance.
Unfortunately, there have been some stories of drag queens being the victim of assaults when they are traveling to and from the performance venue. This is because many drag queens need to do their hair, makeup, and clothing at home. It is something that takes a huge amount of time, and they can’t really do it at the venue. This means that they are hopping on public transport, and many of them have been assaulted because of this. It happens a lot more often after drag shows when performers are making their way home, often in the early hours of the morning, when there are a ton of drunk people around. Unfortunately, due to the political climate now, it is likely that the number of assaults on drag queens could potentially rise.
Are Drag Shows Safe for Children?
A lot of the political unrest about drag shows seems to be the impact that they have on children. Not that too many children seem to be attending drag shows. A lot of people seem to believe that a child attending a drag show will turn them gay. Trust us – it won’t. But, does this mean drag shows are safe for children? Well, no. Not exactly.
Now, a child isn’t going to get turned by gay by drag, nor are they going to be the victim of violence at a drag show (we hope). However, most drag shows are not going to be a place for a child. You have to remember that a lot of the jokes about drag are incredibly crude and highly sexual. Late-evening drag often involves a lot of drunken revelry, and we have even seen a few drag shows that have some implied nudity. You do not want a child attending one of these shows. In fact, most bars and clubs will have a minimum age to attend drag shows to keep children out.
However, there are some drag shows that are labeled as family-friendly. This means that you should have absolutely no issues bringing your child along to them. These shows will have family-friendly jokes, and they won’t allow alcohol. Oh, and they happen at reasonable hours of the day. Unless a drag show is labeled as family-friendly, you can assume that it probably isn’t.
Staying Safe at Drag Shows
As we said – drag shows are safe to attend. Attend a drag show, and it is highly unlikely that anything will happen to you. However, as with most public events, you’ll still need to keep your wits about you. This is why we want to wrap up with a few tips on staying safe at drag shows.
- If protestors are outside, try not to rile them up too much. While the protesting can be annoying, the bulk of the protestors are harmless. While it can be tempting to shout back and them and say how wrong they are (and they are wrong), we don’t really see any sense in it. You are never going to change their minds, and they are just going to get much angrier.
- Whenever you are at a drag show, always keep an eye on your drink. Never leave it unattended. When you are not drinking from it, you may want to cover it up. This will ensure that somebody doesn’t slip something into your drink.
- Know your limits when you are drinking. Do not drink to the point where you have no idea what you are doing. Not only do you risk putting yourself in harm’s way when you do this, but you won’t be able to properly enjoy the drag show as you’ll be too drunk.
- When you leave, don’t leave alone. Always walk with a group of people (preferably people that you know), and don’t take the back alleys. Stick to the main roads. This will cut down the risk of you being the victim of an assault.
- Always know where the exits are at the drag show. Chances are that you won’t need to use them in a hurry, but it is better to be safe than sorry, right?
Drag shows are safe to attend. You will need to keep your wits about you due to the growing disdain from more violent people toward drag acts. However, you should be fine. However, they may be unsafe for children. Not due to the risk of violence, but mostly because most drag shows have a lot of alcohol being consumed and a ton of sexual jokes. If you want a family-friendly vibe (and thus a safer drag show) always look for one marketed as being family-friendly.