TOLEDO (WTOL) - A local mother is furious after a Ohio Representative from Lancaster says he introduced a new piece of legislation because of her 9-year-old son’s drag performance.
The representative referring to his performance as a form of sex trafficking.
The mother came forward because she wants to set the record straight. We will not be naming the child and will only refer to the mother by her first name since the family has been receiving death threats.
"I'm not unwilling to do things. What I am unwilling to do is compromise and not support the things my son wants to do," Mom Jerri said.
Jerri's son loves art, gymnastics and dance, so when he told his Mom and Dad he wanted to do drag, they decided to support him. He was performing in drag shows around Toledo, but when he was invited to Lancaster anger erupted on social media. This led to House Bill 180 and this statement from Ohio House Member, Republican Tim Schaffer.
"According to reports, it was discovered that a young child was in a bar performing a provocative, sexually explicit dance routine while patrons watched and some even handed the child money," Schaffer's press release stated.
Schaffer calls the boy's performance sexual exploitation and with this legislation, he wants to make performances like the boy's illegal, but Jerri says her son's outfit was no different than what you would see at a dance recital.
"If I don't make the costume for him we buy hand-me-down leotards and dance costumes," Jerri said.
Harvey House, a LGBT Youth community center is standing with the boy.
Board President Kristen Angelo says “what (he) is doing is not inappropriate,” and both she and Jerri support most of the bill which is focused on child sexual exploitation, they just don’t believe her son should be used as an example.
After the performance in Lancaster, an investigation was launched into the incident. It was determined there was no wrongdoing. Jerri says the situation has made her even more cautious.
"I have altered everything so it is all past the knee," Jerri said. "As a point of fact, he's a nine-year-old and his body is not sexual at all."
WTOL has reached out to Representative Schaffer’s office for further comment, but has not heard back. This is a developing story since it was just introduced. We will keep you updated with the latest.