NEW ROADS – The Signature Southern Bistro is a restaurant on Main Street in New Roads. The business has been very successful, but that all changed when a flier came out roughly a month ago promoting an upcoming drag brunch at the restaurant.
Susan Smith Early says she thought the drag brunch would be a good idea, but she’s received tons of backlash.
“I’ve gotten phone calls from people, blocked calls threatening me,” Smith Early said.
She says her and her husband invested their life savings into the restaurant, and now, business has not been as good as it used to be because of the negative reactions.
Drag performances have become the center of controversy recently. Many Republican legislators in various states are trying to restrict them. In Texas, State Senator Bryan Hughes filed SB 12. The proposed law would declare drag shows as sexually oriented performances and would ban anyone under 18 from attending.
Smith Early says that for her event, you have to be 21 to attend. She also says she’s planning to cover the glass windows on her restaurant so that no one outside can see in.
She believes a lot of the threats she has received are because of discrimination towards the LGBTQ community as a whole.
“They are totally against me bringing the LGBT community here. They don’t like them, they don’t support them and they don’t want them here,” Smith Early said.
Despite the pushback, Smith Early says she will still hold her brunch event with the drag performers present.
“This is our restaurant. We are clearly in support of the LGBT community. They have our full support,” Smith Early said.
As of now, it doesn’t appear that there are any prefilled bills in Louisiana aiming to regulate drag performances.