The Free Pride event in Glasgow that banned drag queens for being ‘offensive’ has now admitted their mistake and will now welcome any performers of any gender.
When it was revealed the ‘anti-commercialist’ alternative to the city’s main Pride event would be refusing to book any drag acts as it could be offensive to trans people, it received a huge response on social media.
Irish drag queen Panti Bliss called it ‘gob-smacking’ and ‘regressive’, while RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Michelle Visage called the decision ‘insane’.
But now they have backed down, and said they will be welcoming any drag act to perform at the event.
‘The original decision was made because many trans members of Free Pride have had negative experiences with drag acts veering towards racism, misogyny and transphobia; the lack of contact with the drag community contributed,’ they said.
‘We made a mistake, and we apologize.
‘Drag is an art form, a form of expression and performance, a community with a rich history. The most useful comments and advice that we have been sent from around the world have been from trans people of color and working class trans people who support drag and have let us know that, without it, they might not have had access to trans/queer culture at all. We are extremely grateful to those individuals who have contacted us to explain this.
‘Drag, like all forms of art and performance, can entertain us and challenge us. But it also has the capacity to perpetuate oppression such as misogyny, transphobia and racism. Free Pride is a safe and accessible space for all of us to join and celebrate.
‘We hope to learn from this in order to foster the kind of community we want to see. We believe there is a greater need for dialogue within, and indeed between the trans and drag communities. We look forward to creating spaces where these dialogues take place with mutual compassion and respect.’