If you pass by Hamburger Mary’s on Wilton Drive in the evening, you may catch a glimpse of their drag performers entertaining the crowd. That’s because the chain is standing up to Gov. Ron DeSantis and opening its doors for the world to see.
For some time this year, those doors were shut due to a law passed by the conservatives in Tallahassee, labeling drag as “adult entertainment.” The Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando challenged the law and a federal judge put it on hold while it wends its way through the courts.
“It’s been so refreshing to be able to open the doors,” Christina Donohue, general manager of the Wilton Manors location, told OutSFL. “We were keeping them open for a little bit but then had to close them for the drag shows.”
Being able to open the doors was once a perk of the location; now it’s a form of protest. DeSantis and his enablers want to put drag – and arguably the entire LGBTQ community, back in the closet, out of sight, and erased. Hamburger Mary’s challenging the law court is their way of standing up for the community and telling DeSantis the community will not be silenced any time or anywhere.
“When the law was overturned, we were like ‘this is amazing,’” Donohue said. “We have our adult shows, and we keep those 18+. We also have our kid-friendly shows which are for [people] under age 16. We have guidelines that we follow just in case.”
As anyone paying attention knows, laws like “Don’t Say Gay,” banning books, restricting trans health, and attacking drag are all solutions in search of a problem. Donohue says they were always aware of young people in the audience.
“Even before all of this happened, my queens catered to the audience. If they saw young children, they did the show the way they needed to because there were young kids in the audience. They always read the room very well.”
Hamburger Mary’s has multiple shows throughout the week, including a kid-friendly drag show every Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with doors opening at 1 p.m.