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This is just to note that a Federal judge has permanently enjoined the Tennessee “Adult Entertainment Act.” The AEA criminalized any male impersonator or female impersonator’s “performance” if it could be deemed harmful to minors. “Harmful to minors” is defined in the AEA to include any appeal to “shameful” interests. The Court found that theAEA is an unconstitutional restriction on speech, because the “harmful to minors” standard is vague and does not provide notice of what is prohibited, and “encourages discriminatory enforcement,” among other reasons. For example, the Court noted that the law was apparently intended to apply to a “family-friendly” drag show, with no mention of any sexual content.
As a lawyer, I think it’s a fair inference from the opinion, and from the text and history of the law itself, that anyone crossdressing in Tennessee would be at risk, if the law still stood. Crossdressing itself, apart from any prurient expression, would be considered “harmful to minors,” so crossdressing in public would apparently be a violation. Even crossdressing in private, if a minor were present, would be a violation. A second offense would be a felony, which means a year or more in prison. These are the kind of things that the Court found intolerable in its analysis.
To sum up: the anti-drag law in Tennessee has been struck down. It is no longer the law. For the time being, at least, it is legal to crossdress in Tennessee.