messy queens

UPDATE: A running list of every anti-drag lawmaker who has ever been caught dabbling in drag

A trio of female performers on stage about to begin their act

Is it just us, or does it seem like a lot of anti-drag lawmakers are getting caught, you know, dressing in drag or–gasp!–attending drag shows? It seems like every other week, a new photo or video is leaked of some queerphobic legislator dabbling in the art of drag.

At this point, they could make up an entire season of Drag Race. Not that we would ever in a million years watch, but you get the idea. To help you keep track of whos who, we’ve put together a list of the anti-drag lawmakers and political figures who’ve either dressed up in drag or have been spotted at a local drag show. It’s hypocrisy at its finest, kids!

And don’t worry, this is a living document. We’ll keep this post regularly updated with any new bigots who come out of the woodwork.

Now, without any further ado, click through…

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Our friends at Queer Daily News recently alerted us to the fact that South Dakota’s transphobic governor Kristi Noem, who just signed a bill into law allowing businesses to deny goods or services to LGBTQ+ people and others based on the owners’ “purported religious beliefs”, regularly dabbles in drag for her family’s annual Halloween parties.

Per Queer Daily News:

In a 2021 photo that began circulating on social media this week, Noem posed as Elvis while her husband, out of frame, dressed as Johnny Cash. In another from 2020, the couple dressed as Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The photos are accessible on her public Facebook page.

Republicans in South Dakota have been working on legislation to ban drag performances statewide after a student organization held a drag show at South Dakota State University in November 2022. If that happens, it’s gonna put a serious damper on Noem’s Halloween fun.

Missouri State Senator, Nick Schroer

Photo via Nick Schroer Facebook

In mid-March 2023, fellow Missouri politician Justice Horn tweeted an old photo of outspoken anti-drag Missouri State Senator, Nick Schroer, in a blonde pigtail wig, with fake breasts and wearing a t-shirt that read, “Super sexy girl.”

Of course, Schroer was a total sore loser about it – saying it was for theater, which somehow makes it not drag (?!) Uh, okay, Mr. Schroer… 

Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee

Photo via Bill Lee Facebook

You know how some people say they peaked in high school? Well maybe that’s what happened with the anti-Christ himself Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee. You may recall Lee is responsible for signing a bill into law that criminalizes drag performances.

In February, a 1977 black and white high school yearbook photo leaked, depicting Lee wearing a dress, wig, and pearls – with the caption, “Hard Luck Woman.” Sounds like a great drag name to us!

Apparently when later asked if he remembered dressing in drag, Lee snapped, saying, “What a ridiculous, ridiculous question that is, conflating something like (that photo) to sexualized entertainment in front of children, which is a very serious subject.”

Not as serious as the harm his anti-drag bill is causing, but what do we know!?

Texas State Representative, Nate Schatzline

Photo via Nate Schatzline Facebook

Rep. Nate Schatzline, who is responsible for his own anti-drag bill in Texas, proves that things really are bigger in Texas–including bigotry! But that didn’t stop him from serving lewks in his younger years. 

In a viral Twitter and TikTok video from late February 2023, Schatzline is seen going full-on booger, skipping through a park in a black sequined dress while donning a red masquerade mask in a character called “The Virgin”.

After going viral, the lawmaker responded blaming the “left wing media” for “distract(ing) us from adults who act in sexually suggestive ways in front of kids” and lamenting that it was just a “class project where my buddies dared him to wear a dress.” Uh okay, sure Jan. Whatever lets you sleep at night.

Kari Lake

During her failed bid for Arizona governor, the MAGA queen railed non-stop against drag queens.

When a picture of her partying with Richard Stevens, who performs as Barbra Seville–who happens to be one of the Phoenix area’s best-known drag queens–surfaced online in July 2022, she sent a cease and desist letter demanding Stevens stop sharing the photo.

Moral of the story? Also keep those reciepts!

Rep. George Santos/Kitara Ravache

Rep. George Santos
Rep. George Santos (Photo: US Gov.)

You didn’t think we’d have a list like this without notorious disgraced liar, George Santos, right?

In January 2023, photos and video emerged of Santos dressed in drag in 2005 and 2008. One of the pics (below) showed Santos at the first Pride parade in Niteroi, while a video allegedly showed him three years later at a drag pageant at Brazil’s Icaraí Beach.

A Brazilian drag queen called Eula Rochard said she remembered Santos from time the future lawmaker spent in Brazil. Rochard said Santos, who used the drag name ‘Kitara Ravache’ expressed a desire to become the number one drag queen in Rio. Spicy!

Upon the photos and story surfacing, Santos blasted the media, saying he’d never “performed” as a drag queen. He said such claims were “categorically false.”

But true to form, turns out Mr. Santos was lying!

After being confronted by reporters at New York’s LaGuardia Airport about the photos, Santos all but confirmed it was him, saying, “No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys. I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life.”

Wow, talk about a messy queen!

Former Texas GOP Staffer, Kevin Whitt

From RuPaul’s Drag Race hopeful to QAnon enthusiast. That’s the story behind Kevin Whitt, a former “ex-gay” Republican field organizer.

In February 2021, Witt was sacked from the GOP of Texas after it was revealed he’d taken part in the January 6 insurrection. Days later, his audition tape for RuPaul’s Drag Race surfaced online. Which, judging by his audition tape below, Mama Ru dodged a bullet. 

Since his drag days, Whitt, who has also described himself as “ex-transgender,” went on to become a QAnon enthusiast, pushing the so-called “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory. He’s also endorsed the white supremacist group The Proud Boys. 

In September 2022, the former drag queen went on to blast drag events, saying how they target children for grooming.

“The short version is, it’s indoctrination and grooming,” he said. “And it’s all an agenda and a plan. The plan is to tear down the nuclear family.”

Keep in mind Whitt performed as a drag queen for more than two decades, according to the Epoch Times. Make it make sense, you guys!

Dominique O’hara Skyy -RuPaul Drag Race Audition Season 3 from Kevin Whitt on Vimeo.

Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani

By now, everyone is familiar with the comedy skit that was recorded in 2000, back when Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City. In it, Giuliani calls Donald Trump (who was also in the video) a “dirty boy” after the then-businessman/future president sniffs his wig and motorboats him inside a department store. Very classy!

But few people may recall comments made by Republicans about Giuliani’s drag video – years later, when it was resurfaced during his presidential run in 2007. Said one NBC News article:

“Now that Giuliani is running for the Republican presidential nomination, experts and political observers are wondering whether those well-photographed and widely documented (drag) performances… could damage his campaign.”

The article goes on to state how, ultimately, “Republicans would be unfazed by the image of Giuliani in women’s clothing.” 

But wait, it gets better. After being asked about Rudy’s drag past, Heidi Smith, then-chairwoman of the Republican Party in Washoe County, declares, “If he wants to wear a dress, who cares?”

Funny how times change!

Ryan Woods (a.k.a. Lady MAGA)

In March 2023, Lady MAGA–a gay male who sometimes dresses up in women’s clothing, make-up, and padding–made the brave decision to come out of the closet as…. not a drag queen (?!).

“As I’ve stated, I now prefer to call myself a costume artist—not a drag queen,” Lady MAGA tweeted. “The drag world was a way I could use my talents, but they destroyed their credibility with predatory filth. I’m a performer. I can play any cosplay character. My artistry is about creativity & fun!”

Days before “coming out,” Lady MAGA’s er, artistry, was put on full display at CPAC – touted as the “the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world” – where the definitely-not-a-drag-queen was “a hit” with attendees.

Keep in mind, the list of attendees included the likes of Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Kari Lake – all of whom have rallied against drag queens (see here, here, and here) but somehow have absolutely no problem when a MAGA drag queen–sorry, “costume artist”–is involved.

Now please allow us to go plunge ourselves into the ocean and never return.

Like we said, this is a living document. We’ll keep this post regularly updated with any new not-so-dragolicious folks we discover. Now can we get an amen!?

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

3 Comments*

  • preppyesque

    In my opinion, Bill Lee is a complete embarrassment to Tennessee and decent people everywhere, but what else do you expect from Republicans? He is only concerned with his crazy religious beliefs and trying to insure that everyone in Tennessee can get a gun. His cowardice and near-silence regarding the school shooting today in Nashville is very telling. Politicians like him won’t stop until every citizen gets a gun, and many thousand more die from gun violence.

    • Openminded

      Lee is probably staying tight lipped as this happened literally right in his own neighborhood and where he grew up and he most likely is well acquainted with the culprit’s family.

  • olfwob

    If drag queens are such a danger to children, that they write new laws to prevent said danger, why is it, that the boyscouts of america still allowed? They molested thousends of kids and no one thought
    “Hey mabe it would be a good idea to shot this swamp of pedophiles – protecting each other – down.

Comments are closed.