Drag queen group Diff Drag face off against rugby team in epic charity match

A team of drag queens, Diff Drag, traded in heels for cleats in an epic rugby match against Cardiff Lions RFC to raise funds for mental health charity.

Men running during a rugby match. One of them is wearing a Snowhite outfit. An image of the match between Driff Drag and Cardiff Lions RFC

Diff Drag, a team of Cardiff drag queens, competed against Wale’s first gay and inclusive rugby club Cardiff Lions RFC in a friendly match to raise funds for mental health charity Mind. On Twitter, the rugby club described the event as, “Better than #rugbyworldcup2019 #Cardiff at its best.”

This is the second year the match has taken place, becoming a steadfast annual occurrence to raise awareness about drag culture and support a great cause. Speaking to Wales Online, Mary Golds said, “No matter who you are, how you live your life, everyone faces some sort of discrimination. It’s not often drag queens come together and play rugby, in fact never, so why not come together and have a laugh?”

Gareth Thompson, a gay rugby player, was praised by Golds for giving people the courage to come out as LGBT+. She said, “The importance of today is throwing down those barriers. You look at Gareth Thomas and what he’s done for these communities, it inspires us and this event and other gay people.”

It was estimated that around 100 people attended the match to cheer on Diff Drag and the Cardiff Lions RFC. In comparison to last year, where the match took place on half a pitch, this year the two teams had the entire pitch to play on. 

Amber Dextrous said, “We are very segregated and we don’t tend to cross over, but when there’s events like this or Pride, it brings us together. Most of us didn’t finish work till about 3 am last night so we’re all knackered but it’s important to show support.”

The team of drag queens got ready in Mary’s Bar on St Mary’s Street before heading to the stadium in their glorious outfits. They walked onto the field while the song Eye of the Tiger played. 

Dextrous said, “The event is open to everyone, we don’t want anyone to feel segregated. It has interested people because they don’t expect us to play rugby – that’s what makes it fun. No one is going on the pitch to kill the other player. We’re drag queens – we don’t take anything seriously.”

The world of sports can still feel at times exclusionary to LGBT+ people, what with many spectators shouting homophobic slurs during matches and the subsequent toxic masculinity. However, with events such as this, where Diff Drag can be themselves on the pitch, and a rise in LGBT+ sports players speaking openly about their experiences, the sporting world is rapidly becoming a more open and inclusive place for the community.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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