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Democratic congressman Rep. Eric Sorensen from Illinois has faced backlash for hosting drag shows for children and promoting drag events on social media. Despite the criticism, Sorensen has stated that he has no regrets about his involvement with these shows. Photos of Sorensen dressed in drag and hosting a drag show for children in 2021 were recently circulated on social media, bringing attention to his past activities. Sorensen represents Illinois’ 17th congressional district and was elected in 2022, defeating his Republican opponent Esther King.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified Sorensen as one of the vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the 2024 election cycle, as they aim to retain their seats in a Republican-controlled House. Sorensen has consistently expressed his support for drag shows, including events for youths, through his social media posts. As the first openly gay congressman in Illinois, Sorensen has emphasized the importance of creating spaces where children can be their authentic selves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Critics, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, have labeled Sorensen as a “far-left radical” and accused him of promoting extreme views that do not align with the values of rural Illinois. Despite the criticism, Sorensen has continued to advocate for drag shows, condemning efforts in Kentucky to ban such events near schools. Sorensen’s opponent in the upcoming general election, Republican Joe McGraw, has also criticized Sorensen’s views and promised to prioritize job creation, community safety, and traditional values if elected to Congress.

McGraw, a retired judge and former prosecutor, is campaigning on platforms of law and order, border security, fiscal responsibility, and confronting China. In contrast, Sorensen is focusing on issues like climate change, abortion rights, affordable education, and consumer pricing. The upcoming election will be a battleground for these two candidates, with Sorensen’s support for drag shows and McGraw’s emphasis on traditional values likely to be central issues in the campaign.

The debate over drag shows for children has sparked controversy in Illinois and other parts of the country, with some arguing that these events are inappropriate for young audiences. Parents and lawmakers have raised concerns about exposing children to adult-oriented content and the impact it may have on their development. The outcome of the election between Sorensen and McGraw will likely reflect broader cultural and political divides within the state and could influence future decisions about the regulation of drag events targeting children.

As the election approaches, both candidates are likely to intensify their campaigns, highlighting their differences on key issues like drag shows, LGBTQ rights, family values, and economic priorities. Sorensen’s advocacy for inclusive spaces for children and LGBTQ individuals will appeal to progressive voters, while McGraw’s focus on traditional values and community safety may resonate with conservative constituents. The outcome of the election will ultimately determine the direction of policy decisions in Illinois and the representation of the state in Congress.

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