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Leadership Spotlight : Daddy Satan is leading the way with love, empathy, and strength

“We’re not trying to push who we are on them, we’re just trying to live our lives.”

- Daddy Satan, on how to speak across the aisle



Daddy Satan (AKA Noelle Cañez, Arizona native and activist) has been a mainstay of the LGBTQ community in organizing and demonstrating in Arizona. With three new bills targeting the trans and drag community, there’s plenty of work to do in 2023.

 

At a demonstration for transgender rights in July of 2022, an older transgender woman approached Daddy Satan and thanked her for organizing the march.


“I want to say thank you for having this. I came out [transgender] during the pandemic and I’ve never been out in public since quarantine began. This is the first time I ever get to be me.”


Over 200 people gathered to march around the Arizona capitol building, all there to espouse their support for the same idea: Trans rights are human rights.


Arizona politicians Kern and Kavanagh disagree.


Three new bills have been introduced regarding drag shows and performers. Arizona Senator Kern proposed two of the bills – one to title drag shows as “adult cabaret shows”, lumping drag shows in with adult entertainment containing nudity, and another limiting the rights of consenting adults to wear clothes during certain times of day. The last threatens any institution that receives state or federal tax money from receiving or spending it for 36 months after a violation.


SB1026 restricts drag performers from “entertaining a target audience under the age of eighteen”– no doubt in reference to Drag Story Hour, where performers simply read books to children in public for free (previously in libraries, until armed and belligerent opposition made that unsafe). SB1028 classifies drag performances as “adult cabaret” and awards a misdemeanor for a first offense, with felonies thereafter. SB1030 stipulates that from 1:00 AM to 8:00 AM, Monday-Saturday, no drag show is permitted, with longer hours on Sundays from 1:00 AM to 12:00 PM, another targeted attack on the drag community.


Daddy Satan Quote

With vague and ominous wording, these bills are dangerous for multiple reasons. Daddy Satan said the two most important messages regarding these bills are as follows:


“Firstly, the language in these bills is dangerous because it bans performers that dress in clothing opposite from their gender assigned at birth, restricts them from certain times and locations, and also requires permits for drag performers. We’re all struggling enough, but marginalized communities being targeted like this is blatant oppression.


Secondly, the language is dangerous in all of these bills whether passed or not, because it’s saying drag is dangerous. It’s saying politicians disapprove, and people are persuaded by their authorities. For someone who has never seen or met a drag artist, they might start to think drag is dangerous and even think it’s dangerous for their kids to be around.”


 

Daddy Satan is no stranger to the dangers of being behind the coordination of LGBTQ demonstrations. On attending an abortion rights march in Phoenix:


“There were men with their faces covered by balaclavas, carrying rifles. One guy came up threatening us and people screamed he had a gun; the police did nothing. It was overall a sad, defeated feeling. They were standing with the priests and cops.”


With the only money coming from her own pocket, Daddy Satan has had to find other ways to make sure rallygoers are secure. A stream of support has come in from the community, and she couldn’t be more grateful for the help.


“With my permit, costs for security come out of my own pocket. This time we’ll have volunteers. We’ll have our backs covered this time. But if I wanted police protection, I’d have to pay for it myself.”

Despite only advertising for a few days, hundreds of dollars poured in from the community and supporters. People are paying forward with their dollars, their voices and, most importantly, their presence.


The march proves to be an affair, with time allotted for the voice of the people to be heard. Scheduled speakers will join with the crowd to espouse the same idea: Our fight is for human rights.


Whether these bills pass or not, the fact that this language is being pushed is along the same lines as shipping containers on the border–a way to waste time and money away from the true problems afflicting us. Creating a problem when so many remain unsolved is vile; stand with your fellow Arizonans, Americans, Humans for our rights.


Happening Sunday, at 1:00 PM MST on 01/22/2023 outside the Arizona State Capitol, the demonstration will culminate in a march around the capitol.


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