Trying to outlaw drag shows is turning out to be a real drag for yet another Republican politician.
Nate Schatzline, a pastor and Texas state representative, has authored legislation that would restrict drag performances, according to NBC News.
However, a video surfaced this week apparently showing Schatzline as a teenager wearing a mini-dress for a school project.
The 90-second video shows Schatzline in a black sequined dress and red mask skipping, running and dancing in a park with three other young men also dressed in drag to the tune of “Sexy Lady” by Javi Mula.
All four characters have nicknames, and Schatzline’s is “The Virgin.”
Some people checked in with Schatzline to see if it really was him in the video, and his initial response, though negative, suggested it was him.
Other people claimed Schatzline was just joking...
But the person who posted the video pointed out the words in Schatzline’s own bill could be interpreted to suggest that his behavior in the video could be criminal if his bill were to pass.
NBC News noted that although Schatzline’s performance in the video “would meet most dictionary definitions of ‘drag,’ it is unclear whether it would be prohibited under the legislation Schatzline introduced in January.”
Schatzline’s bill, HB 1266, seeks to redefine a venue that hosts a “drag performance” and “authorizes on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages” as a “sexually oriented business.”
It also defines a drag performance as “a performance in which a performer exhibits a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment.”
Schatzline eventually commented on the video, claiming that “wearing a dress as a joke back in school for a theatre project” is not “a sexually explicit drag show.”
He also posted this video response.
The resurfaced video comes just days after a 1977 photo of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee in drag resurfaced just as the Republican planned to sign legislation to make it illegal for “male or female impersonators” to perform in public.
In addition, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) admitted last month that he dressed in drag in Brazil but claimed he was not a “drag queen.”