The Look in Brief

Ads to target Gov. Bill Lee’s anti-LGBTQ legislation at SEC tournament

By: - March 7, 2023 10:55 am
Gov. Bill Lee, Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gov. Bill Lee, Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A full page ad in The Tennessean on March 2, 2023

A full page ad in Tuesday’s Tennessean newspaper features a high school yearbook photo of Gov. Bill Lee dressed in drag with a call to action by the Human Rights Campaign against Lee’s anti-LGBTQ legislation.

The ad appears a week after Tennessee became the first state to enact a measure that could criminalize public drag shows and ahead of a planned rally against discriminatory legislation on Thursday.

The organization — the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization — plans more, a spokesperson said.

Between Thursday and Saturday, the ads will appear on bus shelters and other urban panels.

A mobile LED billboard will be roaming the streets, the area around the Tennessee Capitol, the SEC tournament, the Thursday rally and at an HRC dinner on Saturday night in Nashville.

The organization will also have an “on-the-ground” presence collecting signatures at the SEC tournament on Thursday.

“Hypocrisy and discrimination run rich in the Tennessee of Gov. Lee — who himself formerly enjoyed dressing in drag but who is now working feverishly to prove otherwise,” said Kelley Robinson, the organization’s president.

“But what’s truly unforgivable is that Gov. Lee’s agitated focus on the LGBTQ+ community is shamelessly targeting transgender and non-binary youth, denying them access to age-appropriate, life-saving gender affirming care.”

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Anita Wadhwani
Anita Wadhwani

Anita Wadhwani is a senior reporter for the Tennessee Lookout. The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media (TAPME) named her Journalist of the Year in 2019 as well as giving her the Malcolm Law Award for Investigative Journalism. Wadhwani is formerly an investigative reporter with The Tennessean who focused on the impact of public policies on the people and places across Tennessee.