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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Drag in the heart of America? It’s been going on for decades. But this year, some Kansas state legislators have introduced bills to criminalize the performances if they are held in front of minors. Many drag performers and members of the LGBTQ+ community in Wichita are worried about what these bills mean for an outlet that’s allowed them to celebrate their gender, performance skills and identities. KMUW’s Celia Hack speaks with local performers about the history of drag and what the art form means to them.

Plus, more on these stories:

  • Kansas Senate lawmakers approved a bill yesterday barring transgender women from women’s bathrooms, shelters and other spaces designated for women. It is now on the way to Democratic Governor Laura Kelly, who will likely veto it.
  • The Wichita City Council voted down a media buying contract for the city’s airport due to perceived conflicts and ethics issues.
  • A new nursing school is coming to Wichita this summer. The Galen College of Nursing campus is a partnership with Wesley Healthcare.
  • A Wichita attorney has been named a judge for Sedgwick County District Court.
  • Kansas lawmakers are trying to reduce catalytic converter thefts by adding criminal penalties for purchasing parts that may be stolen.
  • A bill in Kansas creating state-run primary elections for the 2024 presidential nomination process is NOT dead, and is heading to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers used a procedural move Tuesday to reverse their previous vote and approve the plan.
  • The Barton School of Business at Wichita State University is creating a Hall of Fame.

Wichita's Early Edition is produced by KMUW News and is part of the NPR Podcast Network.

Producer: Lu Anne Stephens and Beth Golay
Editors: Tom Shine and Beth Golay
Contributors: Kylie Cameron, Rose Conlon, Dylan Lysen, Blaise Mesa, and Tom Shine
Theme Music: Torin Andersen
Digital Editors: Hugo Phan and Karlee Cooper

Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.