A Pride event in Glasgow has banned drag queens from performing in case they are ‘offensive’ to the trans community.
Free Pride Glasgow, a separate ‘anti-commercialist’ alternative to the city’s main Pride event, would not welcome drag queens at their event next month.
‘It was felt by the group within the Trans/Non Binary Caucus that some drag performance, particularly cis drag, hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke, however transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke,’ the group said in a statement.
‘This can particularly difficult for those who are not out and still present as the gender they were assigned at birth. While it was discussed whether we could have trans drag acts perform, it was agreed that as it would not be appropriate to ask any prospective drag acts whether or not they identified as trans.’
Drag has played a part in Pride for decades. It was a drag queen, Marsha P Johnson, who was one of the first to fight back against police oppression at the Stonewall riots and kicked off the modern LGBTI rights movement.
Pride Glasgow has said they have, themselves, considered whether or not to ban drag queens from their own event.
‘We can understand the actions behind Free Pride over the banning of drag performers but believe this is the wrong action to take and is going against what an inclusive event should be about,’ they said in a statement.
‘As an organization Pride Glasgow had a similar discussion back in 2010 over how drag could cause discomfort to people. However, we took the decision that drag queens and kings play an important part in the history of the Pride movement and should be included in the event.
They added: ‘Pride Glasgow believes that any community group should be given their place to flourish but that success should not be built on the negativity and ignorance towards other events, groups and like-minded people.
‘We are saddened to see that this is the direction that Free Pride has chosen to take.’