After a kerfuffle earlier this month in which Free Pride Glasgow attempted to issue a ban on drag performers, it was revealed this week that organisers have had a change of heart.
With the ban on drag artists now overturned, Free Pride Glasgow has now revealed that drag will be warmly welcomed at the weekender.
The decision comes weeks after the event’s head honchos made the initial decision to ban drag performances, claiming that the performers were ‘offensive’ to trans guests.
After a backlash from several drag queens the world over – including, most notably, our very own Panti Bliss and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage – organisers decided on their U-turn.
A statement issued this week read: “There was never a ban on drag queens and kings attending Free Pride.
“There was a decision to not book any drag acts, which has been overturned. Free Pride now welcomes drag performers of all genders and gender identities.
“Free Pride is inherently challenging; we have known that from the start. As a small organisation, we disagree with the highly commercialised and depoliticised nature of mainstream Pride. Our aim continues to be to create a safe, accessible space for the most marginalised LGBTQIA people.
It continues: “The original decision was made because many trans members of Free Pride have had negative experiences with drag acts veering towards racism, misogyny and transphobia; the lack of contact with the drag community contributed.
“We made a mistake, and we apologise.
“Drag is an art form, a form of expression and performance, a community with a rich history.
“The most useful comments and advice that we have been sent from around the world have been from trans people of colour and working class trans people who support drag and have let us know that, without it, they might not have had access to trans/queer culture at all. We are extremely grateful to those individuals who have contacted us to explain this.
“Drag, like all forms of art and performance, can entertain us and challenge us. But it also has the capacity to perpetuate oppression such as misogyny, transphobia and racism. Free Pride is a safe and accessible space for all of us to join and celebrate.”
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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