Free Pride Glasgow, which bills itself as being a “non-commercial” and more open-minded alternative to the traditional Glasgow LGBT pride events, is taking drastic steps to prevent the oppression of marginalized peoples, banning drag queens from its annual parade.
After extensive consideration, the Free Pride Glasgow committee members decided that having men dressed as women giving stellar performances during the event would be offensive to transgender individuals, and that non-binary people within their ranks would be “uncomfortable with having drag performances.”
They’ll miss the feather boas and the glittery footwear, but “the needs of the most marginalised groups within our community come first,” the group told the Independent.
“It was felt that it [drag performance] 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,” Free Pride Glasgow said in a released statement.
The decision was, notably, unpopular with famous drag queens, many of whom took to social media to suggest Free Pride Glasgow was drawing unnecessary and offensive distinctions of its own.
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
Several pride organizations chimed in to say that they, too, had considered banning drag queens over concerns that they make a mockery of the notion of gender fluidity, but ultimately decided to keep the “offensive” and “marginalizing” performers out of a sense of inclusion.