A Glasgow pride parade committee decided to ban drag queens from participating in their event and the reason why will leave many scratching their heads. Free Pride Glasgow offers a number of alternatives to the Glasgow LGBT pride events, including a pride parade, which organizers made the decision to ban drag queens in an attempt “to prevent the oppression of marginalized peoples,” DailyWire.com reports.
Committee members made the decision to ban drag queens (men dressed as women) because they found it would potentially offend transgender people and many non-binary people would be “uncomfortable with having drag performances.”
The Free Pride Glasgow group explained their reasoning in a statement, the Independent reports, noting that “the needs of the most marginalized groups within our community come first,” adding, “The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it [drag performances] would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.”
Additionally, the Free Pride Glasgow organization said in the statement: “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 statement further clarified: “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. It was therefore decided that having no drag acts perform would be the best option as it would mean no-one would feel pressured to out themselves.”
It’s interesting to note that while other pride organizations also considered banning drag queens, they did not follow trough, saying that they would keep these performers in the spirit of inclusion. Pride Glasgow’s response to the decision to ban drag queens was explained in a statement that read, in part: “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 and we are saddened to see that this is the direction that Free Pride has chosen to take.”
There was, unsurprisingly, an uproar over Free Pride Glasgow’s decision, with Michelle Visage of RuPaul’s Drag Race pointing out in a tweet: “THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY AND LOVE AMONGST THE COMMUNITY NEVER KNEW ANY RACE/COLOR/GENDER. WHY NOW, SCOTLAND? this picking and choosing? NO!”
Michelle continued: “WHO. THE HELL. BANS DRAG QUEENS FROM GAY PRIDE? THE VERY BACKBONE OF THE PRIDE CELEBRATION? hello, ever hear of THE STONEWALL RIOTS?!!!” and urged people to attend Pride Glasgow and Pride Edinburgh instead of this event.
Independent further reports that a spokesperson for the LGBT charity Stonewall responded, saying: “We must always ensure that all parts of our diverse LGBT community are catered for. Pride events are about celebrating how far we’ve come, and focusing on the work we have left to do. Individuals and groups who support this, and who support equality for all, should be welcomed to be a part of these events.”