Houston lesbian bar denied insurance for hosting drag shows, owner says

Houston’s only lesbian bar may be in jeopardy, according to owner Julie Mabry, who says she was denied insurance coverage due to hosting drag performances.

Mabry, who founded Pearl Bar in 2013, says the current political climate in her state, including an anti-drag bill moving through the Texas legislature, is partially to blame. ”They outright denied us, the underwriters, because we host drag shows,” Mabry said in an interview with Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC-TV.

Mabry still has insurance through December, but was working on switching agents a few months ago and finding a new policy, reports NBC News. While moving through the process, her agent reportedly received the denial email, which they forwarded to her.

“This is the first time I’ve ever gotten an email like that. I cried about this for about a week,” Mabry continued.

She added that the drag show issue was the first item mentioned in the email, which outlined the reasons why the underwriter did not feel comfortable insuring the bar.

No additional details were given about the underwriter or the email.

Mabry posted on the Pearl Bar Instagram page, urging her followers to contact state legislators regarding anti-LGBTQ bills, including one that aims to restrict drag shows.

The bill would make it illegal to hold drag performances on public property, on the grounds of a commercial enterprise or in the presence of children.

Senate Bill 12, as it’s known, was passed in the Texas Senate last month and will now be considered in the Texas House.

“Pearl needs everyone to speak up for us so that we can stay open and HOST DRAG SHOWS! It’s THAT serious,” Mabry wrote in her post. “We are in the final stretch of session and every voice counts in pushing back on this and the other anti-LGBTQ legislation.”