On Feb. 2, Salt Lake Community College student Braden Timmerman hosted the second Voices Amplified takeover of RadioACTive, a show done collaboration between SLCC, Amplify Utah and KRCL 90.9 FM.
In the first segment, Timmerman sat down with two local drag performers, Hysteria (Trey McEuen) and Notta Genda (Zee Kilpack), as well as fellow student journalist Jude Macher, to talk about state legislation surrounding drag.
In October 2022, Macher wrote a story featuring McEuen about Salt Lake City’s drag scene, focusing on the issue of children attending all-age drag events and the backlash that came with it.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a total of 14 bills have been introduced across the country this year with the aim to restrict drag performances.
Six of those bills, according to nonprofit PEN America, ban minors from viewing or participating in drag performances. Kilpack said they believe these state legislators are seeking to repress queer and trans communities.
“A lot of [legislation targeting drag] is just there to antagonize,” Kilpack said, “it’s there to demean the queer and trans community and any gender expression that doesn’t follow within their beliefs.”
McEuen expressed worry over Utah following other states, such as Arizona and Idaho, that have moved forward with such legislation.
“It’s scary to see that around, and to feel like I’m in danger because … does that make me a criminal suddenly?” McEuen asked. “Will I have misdemeanors, felonies and offenses for putting on a wig and glitter?”
Kilpack said if Utah were to pass any bills restricting drag, they believe performances will begin to disappear from public spaces like restaurants and cafes.
“I think if we have legislation we’ll see less of that, and I think we’ll see an increase in underground performance, of people doing local private shows,” Kilpack said.
Listen to the full conversation here:
Catch new episodes of Voice Amplified every Thursday night at 6 p.m. through the spring semester at SLCC.