A Pride event has banned drag queens from performing to ensure no offence is caused to transgender people.
The Free Pride Glasgow event, set to take place next month, said that while the ban would not affect what people could wear, it would mean that no self-described drag acts would be performing, according to Pink News.
A statement from the group, which organised the event as an “anti-commercialist” alternative to the city’s traditional Pride event, said: “After much discussion, the trans and non binary caucus decided not to have drag acts perform at the event.
“This does not mean that people of any gender can’t wear what they want to the event, we simply won’t be having any self-described drag acts perform at our Free Pride Event on the 22nd August. We hope people can understand and support our decision. However we feel it important to fully explain why we came this decision.
“The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable.
It continued: “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.
“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.”
Pride Glasgow said that although they understood the decision, they believed it was “wrong and going against what an inclusive event should be about”.
It told Pink News: “As an organisation 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 within the event, so we used our Pride Guide to address these concerns by having a statement from Crosslynx (a Trans support organisation at the time) explaining that not everyone people would see in Drag at Pride would be Trans or represent the trans community.
“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.”
Transgender activist and Trans Pride UK founder Fox Fisher told HuffPost UK: "Gender identity and gender expression is a spectrum. We embrace all."
Some people on Twitter reacted angrily at Free Pride Glasgow’s decision…
WHO. THE HELL. BANS DRAG QUEENS FROM GAY PRIDE? THE VERY BACKBONE OF THE PRIDE CELEBRATION? hello, ever hear of THE STONEWALL RIOTS?!!!— michelle visage (@michellevisage) July 20, 2015
@standardnews oh FFS! nothing like a bit of solidarity eh...— Neil L P Edwards (@nlpedwards) July 21, 2015
I must say I disagree with this decision. 😏 Don't get it.
Pride event BANS drag queens in case they are offensive http://t.co/svxrQ6FHxs— Pros (@Pkakooza) July 20, 2015
drag queens being banned from pride is so ridiculous— lily (@adoredeIanos) July 20, 2015
Hearing that @freepridegla has banned drag queens? Love it or loathe it drag is a huge part of our cultural identity. Deeply disappointed.— Tom [PositiveLad] (@PositiveLad) July 20, 2015
Drag queens banned in case it offends transexuals?! You're having a laugh!! I'm offended by your lack of inclusion! http://t.co/TESNlIzO3v— Alan Bishop (@swingyerkilt) July 20, 2015
While others supported the move…
@standardnews It's very offensive. Good move.— MelvinVines (@melvinvines) July 20, 2015