Erika Rose just might be the first member of the Florida Legislature that performs in drag.
Michael Elgin Travis, who performs as “Erika Rose” in Key West, has filed to challenge GOP incumbent, Rep. Jim Mooney in Monroe County’s House District 120.
Travis said the inspiration to run for state office hit while he went to Tallahassee with friends to testify against the bill that later became law (SB 1438) — “Protection of Children” which criminalizes allowing children into live shows with “lewd” content.
The Democrat says,
Either way, I win.
I’ll either win the election or inspire others and let them know they are valued.”
Travis works as a bartender on Duval Street two nights each week, performs as Erika Rose for another two nights, and serves as a ghost tour guide on other nights.
Travis said his mission is clear, especially given that the Legislature is trying to erase the LGBTQ community through policies like the Parental Rights in Education Law that was expanded (HB 1069) in the last Session. It regulates teacher discussions of gender identity or sexual orientation through the eighth grade.
The state Board of Education passed rules that keep it from being discussed anytime, through senior year in high school. Travis said,
That one drives me nuts.”
The anti-drag legislation has been blocked in federal court. Even though it doesn’t specifically mention drag performers, it’s primarily seen as targeting that community. It prohibits letting anyone under 18 into a
show, exhibition, or other presentation in front of a live audience which, in whole or in part, depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or specific sexual activities.”
Even if that law is on hold, last year’s Session saw the approval of legislation that bans gender-affirming care, specifically prohibits trans people from using anything but the bathroom corresponding to the gender they were assigned at birth, and more closely regulates the assignment of pronouns at schools.
I’m running for those who feel they are not represented, pushed aside.”
Vote, kids! It’s how we fight back!
(via Florida Politics)