In Minneapolis, drag is now an honored form of free speech

The resolution, supported by every member of the City Council, praises the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a prominent anti-Catholic hate group.

The Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution Wednesday honoring drag as a “form of free speech.” (City of Minneapolis)

The Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution Wednesday honoring drag as a “form of free speech.”

“Drag performance is an art form built on self-expression and artistic performance,” Minneapolis City Council Member Andrea Jenkins said while reading the resolution. “It can be a profession, an entertainment offering, a beacon of creativity, a symbol of community pride and queer excellence.”

Jenkins went on to say that in recent days drag has been used as a form of “political protest.” Jenkins also linked drag to the 1880s and vaudeville shows, claiming that drag was “considered family friendly in the early part of the 20th century and in most cases, it is still considered family-friendly entertainment.”

“Drag as an art form has been impacted by laws restricting cross-dressing and gender expression that didn’t match the gender shown on a person’s identification card and dates back nearly 150 years,” the resolution says.

The resolution celebrates the “drag laureate program” of West Hollywood and the repeal of New York’s “loitering for the purpose of prostitution” law while criticizing states that have placed restrictions on drag performances, such as Tennessee, which prohibits drag shows from being performed on public property or anywhere children might be present.

The resolution also expresses support for local establishments that “curate, showcase and promote drag culture” in Minneapolis. It names Twin Cities Pride, which recently had a man in underwear twerk in front of children, and Ladies of the Lakes–Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group that mocks Christians and Jesus, as some of the local organizations they support.

“Minneapolis will continue to take actions to remain a safe and welcoming city in steadfast support of drag artists and performance, drag history, culture, and complete freedom of gender expression, and we recognize, honor, and celebrate the contributions of our renowned drag community,” the resolution says.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the City Council.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.