FOF #2189 – Drag Queens Banned from Pride

Jul 21, 2015 · 1985 views

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Free Pride Glasgow, an alternative to the Scottish city’s main Pride celebration is raising over-plucked eyebrows across the world for banning drag queens from performing at their event because they make some trans people feel “uncomfortable.”

Listen as we take a look with Adam Guerino at why some trans folks are perfectly ok with drag queens and why some are offended.


  1. TheOneDoc says:

    So Clark Kent dresses up as Captain America in his free time. Interesting…

  2. Chickengirl says:

    Can’t remember the last time Adam was on the show, for some reason I thought he was another past regular FOF guest who moved outta Chicago. Nice to have him on the show again!

  3. Artemisia says:

    A ban on drag at Pride because it may offend transgender people. Ahhh What?

    I first heard this from someone on Facebook though I didn’t know it was Scotland… Ether way it sounds stupid.

    1. Drag has been around since the beginning of gay history. Many trans found their identities in the drag scene.

    2. Drag has been around before transgender was defined and dressing in drag is something just about all trans people have had to do before transitioning.

    3. Pride is for everyone in the LGBTQAI alphabet. If you are taking drag out to make some trans feel who don’t like drag feel better you are also making people who love drag offended, which is segregating that group of people.

    4. The people who like drag will probably blame trans people for it being taken out which is making us more enemies

    5. Not all trans people are offended at all by drag

    6. If you think you can tell drag queens they can’t show up in drag, you obviously don’t know the meaning of the word fierce!

    In the end there is alway one group that is offended by something. What I do when something offended me but really doesn’t affect me at all I suck it up.

    I know this is Scotland, however If I was speaking of the US I would probably say if you want to make trans people happy it would be nice if we could have some real legal protections at work, and insurance coverage. Give us that and I can take all the bad trans jokes and you can call me anything you want.

  4. Jonas says:

    What I don’t get about the controversy either is that … if drag queens are offensive to trans people, why allow them at the festival at all instead of only barring them from the stage? How is this a compromise that won’t offend trans people ‘as’ much?
    I bet they would have liked to ban drag alltogether, but the outcry would have been bigger than it is now and they would have had to police people’s gender expression like “Are you trans, Sir?” which they say they didn’t want to do.
    The worst of the worst of the situation imo however is the crazy transphobic comments people are making because of this decision. Like, one little controversy and out comes the “they’re not women anyways” and the “maybe I’m offended by trans people because they’re shit” and worse. That pisses me off worse than some non-commercial alternative to the actual pride event saying “we don’t want drag queens on our stage”.
    Activist by day, trans-hater by night or something? Would have loved to hear Parker’s opinion on this.



    Free Pride to Welcome Drag Performers

    There was never a ban on drag queens and kings attending Free Pride.

    There was a decision to not book any drag acts, which has been overturned. Free Pride now welcomes drag performers of all genders and gender identities.

    Free Pride is inherently challenging; we have known that from the start. As a small organisation, we disagree with the highly commercialised and depoliticised nature of mainstream Pride. Our aim continues to be to create a safe, accessible space for the most marginalised LGBTQIA people.

    This issue was picked up by many famous LGBTQIA bloggers, spreading this local issue internationally. Sadly, this attracted not just fair criticism, but also an immense amount of harassing, abusive behavior. This harassment took the form of rather nasty insults and threats which were aimed at free pride organisers. This kind of abusive behavior is unacceptable.

    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. The most useful comments and advice that we have been sent from around the world have been from trans people of colour 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.

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