From: Captain Tim Potter, Knoxville Police Department
Re: Enforcement of new drag show law
Date: April 21, 2023
We’ve had a lot of questions lately about enforcement of the new law the legislature passed that prohibits minors from attending or participating in drag shows. I hope this memo will clarify some issues. Keep in mind that we are still under that consent decree from the feds regarding African Americans so you can’t just approach a Black subject to ascertain what kind of undergarments they have on, even if you see what you think is a man who has a little bit of a teddy sticking up out of their pants. I don’t want to have to repeat that again.
There is a drag show/protest scheduled at the university on Sunday, 1400 hours. I’d like three officers there checking IDs. Sgt. Torres, I’d like you to take the lead. I figure since you’re a woman who likes to lift weights, you’d have some insight into these things. You can pick who you work with. We may have to pull someone off our human trafficking unit, or Officer Taylor who’s working through our backlog of rape kits. Chief has approved the overtime.
There’s also a production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” next Tuesday at the community playhouse and a source there told me they are using something called “gender-blind casting”. Better check it out. The wife dragged me to one of those plays once and, even then, there were women pretending to be men. It was a whole thing of mistaken identity but I could tell who was who. I guess I’m just good at spotting a perp. Anyway, better have at least one officer in uniform and I wouldn’t mind a second in plain clothes in the audience.
It is acceptable to ask a subject for their birth certificate; if they don’t have it on them, tell them it’d be a good idea to start carrying it. However, the city attorney said we cannot conduct a search, even if you’re pretty sure that bulge is just wadded socks. To help, I’ve added a sticker to your locker doors with this easy-to-remember slogan: When in doubt, no cupping.
Some other frequently asked questions:
1. Remember, adults can drag. Or be a dragger. Or is it “do dragging”? Regardless, they can do that thing.
2. If a subject is spotted drag racing while in drag, the penalty is doubled.
3. Male judges are not considered to be in drag for these purposes. It is a robe and not a dress. There’s a big difference, and, no, you cannot ask what they have on underneath.
4. What if you spot someone watching a drag show on their phone while minors are present? This is a gray area. We’re running it by the DA’s office.
5. Men wearing kilts are not subject to this law. If a subject claims they are wearing a kilt but you suspect it is a they are lying ask them to sing “O Danny Boy”. If they can’t, arrest them.
6. If, say, you spot a man wearing a pair of shorts that his wife originally bought for her but she didn’t like the way they fit so she gave them to her husband and he wore them and liked them and since they were black he thought they were OK but then he noticed the tag inside reading “Sassy Sis” in pink and then the other guys at the racquetball club saw the shorts hanging in his locker and noticed the tag and the other guys started shouting “S-S-SASSY!” which made it really hard for the guy to concentrate on his backhand causing him to lose to this jackass who wasn’t very good and then the guy threw the shorts away in a dumpster next to the club and drove home, fuming, in his underwear. In this entirely hypothetical example, do nothing.
I know some of you disagree with this law and think it is a waste of time and resources but remember you all took an oath to uphold the law and our elected leaders are just trying to make sure that if a kid sees a man in heels it won’t send down a spiral of drug use, lawlessness, or worse yet, intolerance of others.