After accepting an award on behalf of CMAT at last week’s RTÉ Music Choice Awards, Irish drag queen Lavender revealed that they were met with horrifying online abuse in response. Since then, activist and multitalented performer Veda spoke with Newstalk FM’s Sean Moncrieff about how the city is no longer as safe as it used to be for drag artists.
“I’ve heard about more attacks and they’re getting closer to home and I’m just witnessing a different vibe on the streets compared to a few years ago when I might have felt more comfortable traipsing through the city in drag to get from gig to gig.”
They explained that they are fortunate to have a dressing room in The George: “I can walk in there, do my thing, leave all my drag there, and walk home again but I’ve always walked because I don’t live very far from The George but these days, I just don’t feel as safe as I used to.”
Veda also revealed that “On Thursday of last week, a friend of mine was homophobically attacked on Grafton Street and ended up in hospital with a broken cheekbone and dislocated jaw…Things like that just seem to be happening more and more at the moment.”.
She later explained to Moncrieff that she believes that “there’s a lot of controversy being created around drag and trans issues, I think in many ways just as a smokescreen to distract people from other issues that they might be more concerned about if they weren’t busy arguing about bathrooms for drag queens or children at drag shows.”
Veda spoke about the joy that people experience discovering their identity through performing drag, saying, “There are a lot of trans people who find their identity through drag. And then there are a lot of people like myself who embrace a nonbinary gender… It’s a grey area.”
Moncrieff reflected on Veda’s statements, explaining, “We went through a period in this country where we had the referendum and things seemed to be moving in one direction and suddenly the brake has been put on it”.
Despite there being truth to what he said, Veda poignantly responded, highlighting the power and popularity of drag.
“I think there’s a certain amount of disillusionment with young people in the country and I think that these kinds of agendas exploit that. I think also that drag has really flourished. If you look at drag online, it really flourished during the pandemic.
If you look at how drag performs on social media, it really is flashy and fabulous and really works on social media. Drag on TV has been rolled out across the world by RuPaul and people are loving it.”
On the show today: @LadyVeda on abuse for drag artists; How To: grow your own food; @GuinnessGuru on good/bad pints; @lameira_adriano on spinning apes; @EdConwaySky on the worth of arts degrees; @ImJoannaFortune with parenting; @seanfromcavan on shamrock in the white house…
— SeanMoncrieff (@SeanMoncrieff) March 15, 2023
Veda powerfully concluded the interview by saying “I think that destigmatising drag and destigmatising queerness for children is such a beautiful opportunity, why waste it?”
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