Republican Texas Representative Nate Schatzline, who authored the state's anti-drag bill, was called out for his hypocrisy after a video of him resurfaced that allegedly featured him as a teenager in drag.
Schatzline, a first-term State Representative and former pastor, spoke out in response to the resurfaced video circulating on social media and urged constituents to help "preserve the innocence of the next generation."
The vintage clip showed Schatzline wearing a black sequined dress and red mask and prancing around a public park with three other male friends who were also in drag to the song “Sexy Lady” by Javi Mula.
He later claimed his friends dared him to wear a dress as part of a "class project."
Twitter user Michelle–a.k.a. @LivingBlueTX–posted the clip of the anti-drag advocate as a teenager frolicking in a dress, which you can see here.
Schatzline introduced his partisan House Bill 1266 in January, which sought to amend Texas’ Business and Commerce Code and redefine "drag performance" and “authorizes on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages” as a "sexually oriented business."
“A performer exhibits a gender identity that is different than the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other physical markers and sings, lip syncs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience for entertainment.”
“A nightclub, bar, restaurant, or other commercial enterprise that provides for an audience of two or more individuals a drag performance.”
Critics of the bill also argue such measures with broad language are discriminatory and could possibly violate First Amendment laws.
Actions spoke louder than words when Twitter users reached out to Schatzline and asked if the person in the video was him.
They were subsequently blocked.
"Y’all really going crazy over me wearing a dress as a joke back in school for a theatre project?" he tweeted.
"Yah, that’s not a sexually explicit drag show… lol y’all will twist ANYTHING. "
"Michelle, please find something better to do than look up old videos from when people were in school."
Schatzline also posted a video calling out the left-wing media for twisting information and urged Texas to focus on the task at hand in the state legislature, which is to "ban sexually explicit drag shows."
People had some thoughts.
When a Twitter user chalked up his stunt to merely being a joke, Michelle pointed out that according to his bill, Schatzline could be legally in violation.
Critics noted that for someone so vehemently opposed to drag, his attempt at demonstrating self-expression by comfortably skipping around in a dress came naturally to him.
Others weighed in with their thoughts on the conservative Congressman's anti-drag mission and moral character.
Footage of Schatzline's early drag performance came to light after a different video allegedly featuring drag-banning Tennessee Governor Bill Lee dressed in drag surfaced on Reddit.
The photo posted by an anonymous user on the platform was from a 1977 yearbook, and it purportedly featured the future Tennessee Governor dressed in a short-skirted cheerleader's uniform, a pearl necklace, and a wig.
Its authenticity remains unverified, but when presented with the photo, he skirted around the question of whether or not the high schooler dressed as a woman was him.
Instead, the Republican Governor criticized comparisons between the photo in question and the performances targeted in his anti-drag measure as being "ridiculous," adding:
“Conflating something like that to sexualized entertainment in front of children, which is a very serious subject.”
Tennessee became the first state to enact legislation criminalizing “adult cabaret performances” in public spaces, and it specified such acts to include “male or female impersonators" as being “harmful to minors."
Tennessee Republican State Senator Jack Johnson–who sponsored the bill–maintained it was not anti-drag but "pro-child."
Introduced by Lee, the bill was passed by the state senate along party lines. Lee reaffirmed that he plans to sign it.
Schatzline's video also comes a month after another photo surfaced online alleged to be of beleaguered Republican New York Representative George Santos in drag.
In response to the headline, the known serial liar told reporters at the time:
“No, I was not a drag queen in Brazil, guys."
"I was young and I had fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life.”