Lexington, Ky. (FOX 56) — Drag shows could have a tougher job finding a place to perform under a new bill filed in Frankfort.

If Senate bill 115 is passed, new regulations would come for adult-oriented businesses, and according to the bill — that includes drag shows. Performances would have to be at least 1,000 feet away from locations that cater to minors, meaning schools, churches, parks, homes, and walking trails. These shows take several forms including drag brunches.

FOX 56 reporter Colleen Finney visited a show Sunday morning in Lexington, and members of the drag community told me they were shocked when they heard the news.

“I thought the person that told me was joking. I had no idea that this was for real. A drag show is not hurting anyone, we’re not trying to change anyone. What we are doing is trying to be who we are,” said Helena Handbasket, drag queen and host several drag brunches at popular venues in Lexington. “I have sat in libraries and read to children and I’m not gonna read playgirl magazine to a room full of kids,” she added.

The bill states that an “adult cabaret” meaning nightclubs, bars, and restaurants cannot have a person who appears nude or semi-nude because it is harmful to minors.

“They are professionals, and they know their crowd. If there are going to be minors in a restaurant or something, we modify the music and our show and what we wear to fit that crowd. We are professionals, just as you would expect any actor on a stage to wear the right costume, you’re not going to dress like a girl and play Tony in Westside Story…we do the same thing,” said Handbasket.

The event planner of Sunday’s drag brunch, Adam Rodriguez-Routt said the bill would make the job harder and add stress when finding places to hold shows, but it would also hinder how drag queens give back to the community.

“This drag show this morning, it’s for charity so, we’re doing good in the community. We need to think about that and not worry about the nonsense that comes along with it,” said Rodriguez-Routt.


By restricting adult-oriented businesses to staying one thousand feet away from places that cater to minors, lawmakers said they are promoting the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Handbasket’s response to that was, “this is not anything that should be on your radar. Let’s figure out how to feed hungry people and house the homeless. I think we have a whole lot bigger things on our plate than worrying about a drag queen doing a show too close to a school.”

FOX 56 News reached out to the Republican Senators sponsoring the bill and has not yet received a comment. Should the bill pass, the establishments that would be affected could continue to have drag shows until the summer of 2025.