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Texas Republican Who Wrote Anti-Drag Bill Has Dressed in Drag

Texas Republican Who Wrote Anti-Drag Bill Has Dressed in Drag

Nate Schatzline dressed in a dress.

It's not the first time in recent days that an anti-drag Republican was revealed to have done drag before.

In Texas, a Republican legislator who has objected to the popularity of drag has dressed in women’s clothing himself, and a newly unearthed video confirms it. So now the lawmaker is trying to explain away the blatant hypocrisy of why it's okay for him to dress in drag for fun, but others cannot enjoy the same harmless entertainment.

State Rep. Nate Schatzline, a freshman Republican from central-north Fort Worth, acknowledged being in the video on TikTok and Twitter. However, he described it as a “joke” from his high school days.

Schatzline appears in a video shared on social media platforms skipping and dancing through a park in a dress alongside other costumed individuals.

In the video, Schatzline is described as “the virgin,” wearing a black dress and shiny red mask. At one point, he becomes pursued by “the Englishman” — a woman in men’s clothing with a mustache carrying a large mallet.

Schatzline went online to defend himself Tuesday morning after midnight.

“Y’all really going crazy over me wearing a dress as a joke back in school for a theatre project? Yah, that’s not a sexually explicit drag show… lol y’all will twist ANYTHING,” Schatzline objected vociferously on Twitter.

In January, Schatzline introduced House Bill 1266, which defines venues that serve alcohol and host drag shows as “sexually oriented business[es]," the Dallas Morning News reports.

Schatzline’s bill defines drag performance as any “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.”

Critics argue that language as broad as that in Schatzline’s bill opens the door to erasing the existence of transgender people, which Democrats and LGBTQ+ activists warn is the goal of Republican-led measures nationwide that attack drag or gender-affirming care for young people.

In a video he posted Wednesday that must be seen to be fully appreciated for its irony, Schatzline attempted to defend himself while casting the controversy as unserious. All the while, his video begs more questions than it provides answers.

He claims that, on the one hand, his stint as a wearer of women’s wear was part of a school theater project, but also that his friends dared him to wear the dress for fun, but also that it’s the media’s fault for making an issue out of something benign.

“It has been an interesting week, a very interesting day, as left-wing news media has done exactly what they do, and that is twist stories to be something that they’re not,” Schatzline said.

“The left wing is attacking me because of some class project I did as a teenager where my buddies dared me to wear a dress, but we’re not going to let that distract us from the real message of what we’re trying to get done right here in the Texas legislature,” he deflected. “And that is ban sexually explicit drag shows and preserve the innocence of the next generation in Texas.”

He ended the video seeking sympathy and positioning himself as a victim of the press.

“Look, this is exactly what they do. They intimidate. They come at us, but we’re not given one inch when it comes to protecting the next generation,” he said.

Schatzline ended his video with a bizarre challenge to his followers. Regarding what Republicans have made their primary issue in GOP-controlled states nationwide — banning drag queens and erasing trans — the Texas lawmaker had a bizarre challenge.

“Let’s have fun with it,” he challenged his followers.

Texas Republicans have also introduced bills banning gender-affirming care for minors, prohibiting discussions of sexuality and gender identity in schools, and restricting transgender people from accessing housing in prison in accordance with their gender identity.

LGBTQ+ supporters note that Republicans have targeted the community through legislation seeking to eliminate transgender people’s existence.

Schatzline isn't the only anti-drag Republican who has been caught doing some kind of drag. Last weekend, photos were shared online of Tenn. Gov. Bill Lee dressed in drag when he was in high school. Lee has drawn criticism after he said he'll sign a bill restricting drag shows in the state.

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