Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was taken aback while being confronted with a throwback photo of himself dressed in women's clothing after confirming he would soon sign an anti-drag show bill into law, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Lee looked shocked before defending himself as he was asked about the 1977 Franklin High yearbook portrait on page 165.
The Tennessee Holler took to Instagram with a video of the interaction on February 27, during which he was shown the old portrait that had been printed out.
"Do you remember dressing in drag in 1977?" Lee was asked. "What a ridiculous question that is! Conflating something like that to sexualized entertainment in front of children, which is a very serious subject," he fired back.
"Drag is not sexual," one person could be heard stating in response to Lee's remark as he doubled down on his stance.
"I think the concern is right there in that building," Lee said outside of Dr. William Burris Elementary School in Hendersonville. "Children that are potentially exposed to sexualized entertainment, to obscenity, and we need to make sure that they're not."
After answering the questions, he made a swift exit to the vehicle picking him up.
"Is it only illegal when gay people do it?" Lee was questioned, opting not to reply.
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The legislation that Lee supports specifically bans "adult-oriented entertainment" that is deemed "harmful to minors" from public property and places where they might be seen by children.
That includes go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, and "male or female impersonators," according to the amended definition, who provide "entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest, or similar entertainers, regardless of whether or not performed for consideration."
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On Monday, Lee spokesperson Jade Byers also spoke out about the yearbook confrontation in a statement.
"The bill specifically protects children from obscene, sexualized entertainment, and any attempt to conflate this serious issue with lighthearted school traditions is dishonest and disrespectful to Tennessee families," Byers said.