Glasgow gay pride march’s U-turn on drag queen ban

Drag acts will now be permitted to take part in a gay pride march despite previously being banned by organisers. Picture: Robert Perry
Drag acts will now be permitted to take part in a gay pride march despite previously being banned by organisers. Picture: Robert Perry
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DRAG queens banned from a gay pride march because they might offend the transgender community will now be able to take part.

Free Pride Glasgow, a rival to the main Pride Glasgow event, said drag acts could make transgender invidivuals uncomfortable.

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

Free Pride spokesperson

But the move was condemned by performers, including Nathan Sparling, a former SNP parliamentary assistant who works as a drag queen under the name Nancy Clench.

Free Pride, which advertises itself as an anti-commercial alternative to Pride Glasgow, will hold a march in the city next month.

Drag queens have long been a part of Gay Pride celebrations across the world.

The organisation has now overturned the ban and said it will allow drag acts of all genders to take part.

In a statement, Free Pride said: “Free Pride now welcomes drag performers. There was a decision to not book any drag acts which has been overturned.

“Free Pride now welcomes drag performers of all genders and identities.

“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.

“We made a mistake, and we apologise.

“Drag is an art form, a form of expression and performance, a community with a rich history. We hope to learn from this in order to foster the kind of community we want to see.”

International acts, including US-based drag queen Lady Bunny, had also condemned the plans.

She wrote on Facebook: “Suddenly drag might be too offensive for a gay pride event.

“I’m a drag queen for 30 years [sic] and don’t even know what non-binary is supposed to mean.

“Drag queens are the first ones they call when performers are needed at an Aids benefit or fundraiser for gay marriage.”

Both Pride Glasgow and Free Pride Glasgow will take place on 22 August.