Free Pride Glasgow makes a bold yet contentious trans inclusive statement by banning drag performances from stages then unbelievably flip-flops! Panti Bliss the UK’s gay media go-to person responds. A truly momentous day for the inclusion of cis gay men at Pride.
In a very confusing statement yesterday Free Pride said trans drag performers will be invited. A following sentence which states that the pride event main purpose is to lift up the most marginalized of the community seems totally disassociated.
Any cisgender man who does drag can rightfully claim a place under the trans umbrellas. It’s a real mess.
Pride Glasgow responded on Facebook proclaiming themselves the city’s largest pride festival, as if that is relevant to the issue at hand, and go on after a bit to admit they fail the trans community, only not in so many words. They then defended their monetization saying if anyone doesn’t have money they could well become an indentured servant any time in the previous year to gain free admittance.
How very cis gay nice of them. Not a word about transphobic drag performances though.
Free Pride an anti commercialization organization seeking full inclusion of LGBTQIA community issued this response which started this all which reads in part: “At Free Pride we hope to create a safe space for all people within the LGBTQIA+ community. We understand that sometimes this will disappoint some people within the community, however our priority is always to put the needs of the most marginalised groups within our community first.
“This is why, 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 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.”
Not being a Scottish citizen I don’t know what the current state of drag is in the UK. In the US, we have fought and won a long battle against RuPaul for his unrepentant commercialization of trans defamation.
The Austraila trans has just begun to take on gay transphobia.
RePaul, like Panti Bliss, had become the go-to source not just for the cisgender press but all of gay media.
When Cis-Gay transphobes from the Dallas Voice needed a spokesman early in the fight for respect in 2009 they quoted Rupaul time and again trying to force ‘tranny’ on the transgender community.
RuPaul’s usage of ‘he-she’ and ‘tranny’ wasn’t him expressing a wish for acceptance of all trans people. RePaul was expressing lateral hostility and getting paid to do it.
If the recent happenings at James College is any indication, the drag community UK has a ways to go before they respect trans people as a whole.
The Telegraph’s Martin Daubney wrote“Yet dig a little deeper and you will see this is actually the latest example of a right-on, deeply censorious student politic that is increasingly aimed squarely at hammering straight blokes for simply attempting to have fun.”
Read the Free Pride Facebook post welcoming drag performers here
There are many drag performers both cis and trans who do amazing performances without purposely offending anyone.
But is transface a la drag offensive to me? Yes, it is and being as prevalent as it is it tends to make me avoid all drag.
Drag is why I don’t belong to the greater Gay community, or even attend pride celebrations here. I feel a deep sense of embarrassment and resentment when at Pride people look at them, then me, and think, just another guy in woman’s clothing.
Yes, they do think that and yes I have been told as much. And I think Free Pride Glasgow dropped the ball and missed an excellent opportunity be inclusive of the most marginalized portion of the LGB(t) community.
Drag performers who use their art to offend need to understand this. The trans community worldwide will not tolerate or condone this behavior. We have evolved, and if you also choose to do so, then you will be welcomed everywhere.