Out, out, d___ Shakespeare Skip to content

Out, out, d___ Shakespeare

Too bad, Will – it was a good run.

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Imogen Stubbs as Viola/Cesario in Trevor Nunn’s film of Twelfth Night, 1996.

So now William Shakespeare and his plays will not be “deemed to have educational value.” Or so sayeth the Kentucky legislature.

Drag shows in schools would be banned by a bill being considered at our General Assembly.

What’s a drag show? When a performer exhibits “a gender expression that is inconsistent with the biological sex formally recognized on the performer’s original birth certificate,” reads House Bill 173.

Sorry, Viola in Twelfth Night — and good grief, it seems like every other character in that play. And forget liking As You Like It; gee whiz, by the end who knows who is marrying who? And sorry, Innogen in Cymbeline – your death-prevention disguise will not be allowed. Too bad about your hopes for reuniting with your lover.

Or Merry Wives of Windsor. Or Merchant of Venice. And let’s not even get started on A Midsummer Night’s Dream with men playing women, donkeys, and, oh I can’t even go on.

The drag show ban is just one part of a long, long proposal telling teachers what to teach, what not to teach, and how they can and can’t refer to students. And of course, let’s not confuse students with lines like, “I am not who I am.” Yikes.

Sorry, Will, you had a good run. But you’re just too woke for our Kentucky lawmakers.

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Paul Wesslund

Paul Wesslund writes on energy issues and is an organizer of the REAL Good News environmental forums. He blogs on how decency succeeds in business and in life at paulwesslund.com.

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