Newswise — Tennessee last week passed a bill restricting drag performances in public spaces, and at least a dozen state legislatures are proposing similar bills. Johns Hopkins University historian Jules Gill-Peterson, who studies transgender history and the history of sexuality, is available for context and historical perspective on the new legislation.

LGBT and trans people have had to fight laws restricting drag and crossdressing for nearly 160 years, said Gill-Peterson, an associate professor in the Department of History

“There have been laws police have used to single out and harass gay, lesbian, and trans people dating back to a municipal ordinance passed in San Francisco in 1863,” said Gill-Peterson, adding that organized resistance and protest led to the repeal of most anti-crossdressing laws during the 1970s.