Watch: Gay footballer Zander Murray challenges prejudice with dazzling drag makeover

As Murray is transformed into his alter ego Miss De Ball, he discusses coming out, drag, and football with rising Scottish queen Cherry West.

Image of gay footballer Zander Murray posing in full drag next to rising drag star Cherry West.

In an effort to challenge stereotypes, Scotland’s first out gay male professional footballer Zander Murray was transformed into a dazzling drag star on rising Scottish queen Cherry West’s YouTube channel. During the makeover, Murray and West discussed coming out, drag and football.

Throughout the video, Murray is flawlessly transformed into his alter ego Miss De Ball by Cherry, who is just 17 years old. Although just a teenager, she is a talented artist who has been doing drag for three years. She says make-up isn’t what attracted her to drag, rather, it was the performance aspect of it.

In 2022, Murray became the first senior Scottish male football player to come out as gay. He says he wishes he had more gay role models growing up, especially those who don’t fit the traditional stereotypes. In the video, the pair talk about what it feels like to come out as a public figure, and what kind of challenges and rewards Murray has experienced.

They also chat about Murray’s BBC documentary, Out on the Pitch, which aims to tackle homophobia in men’s football and make sports more inclusive. Murray shared that after the documentary release, he received letters from kids who were struggling in school.

He shared that he’s received close to 100 messages from queer people thanking him for coming out and saying that his visibility as a gay footballer has helped them feel more comfortable in their own sexualities.


During the makeover, they also talk about the importance of family, confronting stereotypes, and how rarely football and drag communities intersect.

Cherry says, “When I realised I was gay, I felt like I couldn’t exist within the world of sport, and even less so when I became a drag queen.”

After Zander Murray talks about the lack of inclusivity he experienced while growing up playing football, they imagine an LGBTQ+-inclusive football team with a drag mascot.

In 2023, Zander announced that he is retiring from football after this season. Now, he collaborates with Time For Inclusive Education, a charity tackling LGBTQ+ bullying in Scottish schools, and leads secondary school workshops that challenge homophobia.

Looking ahead to the future, he wants to do more educational work and media talks to improve visibility for young queer people.

Check out the full discussion and makeover below or on Cherry West’s YouTube channel.


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