UPDATE: Keenan has since stated that his drag outfit was not intended to protest Florida's law, as previously was widely reported.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist of the rock band Tool, performed in Daytona Beach on Sunday in drag to protest a new law targeting drag performances. The law is designed to prohibit drag performances at functions where minors are allowed to attend.
Tool was one of the final performers at Welcome to Rockville, a large music festival held for the last few years at Daytona International Speedway. His band played on Sunday in front of thousands of attendees, some under 18. Because the event was not exclusively 18+, Keenan may have possibly been in violation of the law.
SB 1438, titled 'Protection of Children', passed the state legislature in April and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis this month. The measure no doubt took aim at a slate of Pride events taking place statewide next month, many of which were set to incorporate drag.
The law doesn't name drag explicitly, but prohibits “adult live performances”, “any show, exhibition, or other presentation that is performed in front of a live audience and in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, specific sexual activities, […] lewd conduct, or the lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts.”
During Tool's Rockville performance, Keenan was dressed in a blonde wig, red lipstick, and fake breasts.SB 1438 is the latest in a run of bills signed by DeSantis which limit the expression of traditionally LGBTQ+ performers, drag artists among them. The legislation alleges that such performances place minors into sexual situations, and gives the state the power to sanction businesses which hold such events as well as deny permits to organizers hoping to host drag.
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