What’s Wrong With Drag Shows?

And why are politicians trying to outlaw and ban them?

William Anderson, LMHC
3 min readMar 21, 2023
Photo by Dave Soto on Unsplash

I am not a fan of drag shows.

As a mental health counselor, I see this behavior as a hybrid of several conditions identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — The Paraphilia Transvestitism (cross-dressing), an almost-Paraphilia Exhibitionism (showing off in an erotic or sexually provocative way), and personality traits known as narcissism and histrionics (also pleasure from showing off in a theatrical manner). It doesn’t qualify as a mental illness, but it is strange in our culture, and it would not raise attention if not for the cross-dressing. After all, many of our most popular entertainers and heroes engage in all of those things except for the cross- dressing. I just find the cross-dressing weird, though I’m not sure that it’s any weirder than the showing-off, narcissism or histrionics.

However, I am disturbed by the fixation some of our politicians and other “conservatives” have, so obsessed with sex and gender issues that they make such a big deal about it, even trying to pass laws against it and punish people for it. They imagine it is a threat. What’s wrong with these people? Why is it such a big deal to them? Why do they imagine it is threatening? In my opinion, they have more of a problem with their mental health than drag queens, and they pose a much greater threat to us.

In Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is establishing a dystopian fascist police state (his dream for the country), he is sending undercover police out to find law-breaking at drag shows to justify his punishing of venues that host these shows. Even though his police have found no evidence of wrong-doing, he is plunging ahead with a revocation of Orlando’s Plaza Live Theater liquor license which will probably put them out of business. In Florida, if you dare defy DeSantis, whether you are a teacher, school board member, College or hospital trying to protect the public, you’ll be in a world of pain. If you get on DeSantis’ sh-t list, you’ll get fired or put out of business. He delights in ruining careers, lives and communities. He is one dangerous man.

All over the country, a slew of states, fourteen so far, are set to pass anti-drag laws, from bans to tight regulations that target events where men wear women’s clothes.

“Conservatives” have gone crazy. In Florida, they are on the warpath, banning books and passing laws that punish being “woke”, which includes discussions in schools that touch on gender, race and history that don’t agree with the way DeSantis wants the world to be. And that includes shows where men wear dresses. Sounds like Germany in the 1930’s doesn’t it?

Of course, at the same time, DeSantis wants to pass a law where everyone everywhere can carry a permitless gun around and another law where abortions are illegal after 6 weeks of pregnancy. That means women will be forced to give birth even when they could terminate the pregnancy before the fetus has developed to anything that resembles a person.

So, walking around ready to draw on the next guy that threatens you, even shooting him if you were frightened, is OK, but putting on a show where men dress as women is not.

God help us if this madness continues.

William Anderson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, the author of “The Anderson Method of Permanent Weight Loss” (paperback and Kindle at Amazon, audiobook at Audible). He was obese until his early thirties when he found the solution. He lost 140 pounds, has kept it off for over 35 years. and has taught thousands to successfully manage their weight as one of his specialties in his psychotherapy practice. Now semi-retired, he has turned his attention to social activism as well as mental health activism, promoting the health and well-being of the community as well as the individual, body, mind and spirit.



William Anderson, LMHC

Psychotherapist teaching the psychology and science of weight control. Author of "The Anderson Method — The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss".