The Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center (GGF) of Greensboro announced in a press release dated April 20 their opposition to the recent onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced during the 2023 NC General Assembly legislative session, including HB 673, which would make drag performances illegal on public property or in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.

The proposed ban on drag performances is a clear attack on the LGBTQ community, and it sends a message that queer identities and expressions are not valued or respected. This legislation will create a more hostile and unwelcoming environment for LGBTQ individuals and will have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and well-being. Drag performances are a form of self-expression and have been an integral part of our culture for decades. These shows provide a safe space for performers and audience members to explore their identities and celebrate diversity in all its forms.

“When a young queer person sees a drag queen, they might think, if that towering person in a mermaid-cut sequin gown can do that, then maybe I can make it one more day at school in the face of those bullies, as opposed to ending my life,” explained a performer known as Brenda the Drag Queen, who hosts the area’s popular Green Queen Bingo. 

Green Queen Bingo is one of the longest running drag events of its kind in North Carolina. Since 2004 Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center has produced Green Queen Bingo and reportedly raised over $700,000 to support the LGBTQ community. Tens of thousands of people have attended Green Queen Bingo, making it a staple of the Greensboro community

For now, Green Queen Bingo will continue as planned. Event organizers and performers encourage the community to attend Green Queen Bingo and other drag events in the community to show your support for drag performers and the art of drag performance.

“We demand that our lawmakers protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The LGBTQ community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and we will not rest until we achieve full equality and inclusion in all aspects of society,” said Jennifer Ruppe, executive director of Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center. 

Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center is a member of the NC is Ready coalition led by EqualityNC and Campaign for Southern Equality. Please follow NC is Ready for up-to-date information about anti-LGBTQ bills and action alerts. To date, bills restricting access to gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth SB 639, SB 560 SB641, bills excluding transgender students from school sports SB 631/HB 574, SB 636, bills censoring discussion of LGBTQ+ Identity and racial justice from school curriculum SB 49, HB 187, and a bill to ban drag performances, HB 673, have been introduced.

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