After a man dressed in lingerie performed at a drag show for children in Fort Worth with his crotch completely exposed, Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare says Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar needs to hold businesses accountable for these sexually charged events.
O’Hare says there is no group as “impressionable and vulnerable” as children, and he seeks to defend them while pursuing justice against those who harm them.
O’Hare explained that, while the Legislature continues dragging their feet on legislation to ban children from attending such performances, it is the responsibility of all elected officials to continue to protect children in “every capacity we legally can.”
In March 2023, a sexually charged drag show targeting children was hosted by a performance venue in Fort Worth called Tulips FTW.
During this event, children in the crowd were exposed to the crotch of a man, who performed in lingerie.
Children were also given cash by their parents to tip the male performers, similar to a strip club.
O’Hare referenced the definition of a “sexually oriented business” under Texas law: a nightclub, bar, or similar commercial enterprise that either provides for an audience of two or more individuals live nude entertainment or performances, or authorizes on-premises consumption of alcohol.
He then clarified the definition of “nude” under state law: either entirely unclothed or wearing opaque clothing that reveals any portion of the breasts below the top of the areola of the breasts, if the person is female, or any portion of the genitals or buttocks.
With both definitions in mind, O’Hare said Tulips FTW may have acted as a “sexually-oriented business” with potentially “nude” performers.
“Based on the available photographic and video evidence, eyewitness accounts, and media reports, investigating whether Tulips FTW operated as an unlicensed sexually-oriented business should commence under the powers granted to you by the Texas legislature,” wrote O’Hare.
After seeing the reports and videos of the event at Tulips FTW, the event center’s landowner announced the location will no longer host drag shows that are open to children.
“While I am heartened that the owner of the physical property in which Tulips FTW operated has reportedly banned the business from hosting any additional all-ages drag shows, this private action does not address what may have already transpired, nor hold accountable those responsible,” O’Hare wrote.
“While the outcome of pending legislation on this topic is still uncertain, I believe that we must continue to use all levers of power vested in our offices to protect children, especially when it comes to the scandalization and sexualization of their young minds,” he concluded.
“[Hegar’s] office is being responsive and helpful,” O’Hare posted on social media. “Elected officials must take action to protect our children from indecency and sexualization. Their innocence is being stolen.”
While Hegar has investigated similar venues previously to determine if they are required to pay the fee, none have yet resulted in fines.
As of publication, Hegar did not return Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.
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