MOUNT VERNON — Transvestites and tomboys, you can soon relax.

If the Mount Vernon City Council approves, dressing like a woman if you’re a man or vice versa will no longer be considered an “adult” activity.

Adult businesses are restricted throughout the city from operating within 1,000 feet of parks, churches or schools. Back in 1978, such adult business activities included “adult cabarets,” which featured “male and female impersonators.”

The council will talk about the change in a proposed ordinance tonight.

Businessess such as the Lincoln Theatre have long featured films like Rocky Horror Picture Show along with people dressed as the main cast, including Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the vamp of the film who was dressed in leather, fishnet stockings and makeup.

Jana Hanson, the city’s director of community and economic development, said in a meeting last month that keeping the definition of adult cabaret the way it is could lead to discrimination.

The city’s code on adult cabarets has remained relatively dormant since 1978, until someone with the Riverbelle Dinner Theater mentioned the language.

Rebecca Lowell, city planner, said cross-dressing shouldn’t be considered adult content.

“It makes no sense to regulate a male or female impersonator as any type of adult entertainment,” Lowell said. “It’s not uncommon to have Shakespere plays and men playing the parts of women. It’s commonplace. That is a male or female impersonator. That’s certainly not adult entertainment. If you had sexually explicit matter, then yes.”

Lowell said so far nobody has commented about the proposal.

The council will discuss the ordinance at a public hearing tonight at 7 p.m., 1805 Continental Place.


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