Irish drag artist calls out wave of online abuse following RTÉ Choice Music Prize awards

"Representation matters and Ciara allowing me to be on that stage was important in the face of drag bans and trans hate. But they won’t dull my community’s shine!"

Irish Drag Queen Lavender with red hair and bold make up stands in front of a green background
Image: Twitter @lavenderduh

Irish drag artist Lavender is speaking up and calling for action in response to the online abuse she received after appearing at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize award show on Sunday, March 9.

At the ceremony, CMAT (Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson) won Album of the Year, but since she was away on tour, she asked her friend, Lavender, to attend on her behalf.

The queen joyfully collected the award in CMAT’s absence and delivered an excellent and memorable speech at the event in Vicar Street. In a fabulous outfit, including a gorgeous gown and jewellery, she won the hearts of the audience, and afterwards said: “I feel it all went really well – I threw in a few of my own one-liners and delivered an expertly prepared and hilarious speech from Ciara herself.”

While she received thoughtful and loving feedback from her friends, family, and LGBTQ+ community, unfortunately, since her appearance on the award show, the Irish drag performer also received online abuse.

Lavender responded to the hate she received in the wake of her RTÉ Choice Music Prize appearance with an Instagram post, saying, “…The articles showing me with Ciara’s award were filled with comments from the alt-right pushing their ‘trans is bad’ and ‘drag queens are grooming kids’ agendas.

‘The comments I’ve shared in this post are only a small example of the abuse LGBTQI people are facing living here in Ireland. I am very worried for my trans family and other gender non-conforming minorities. Point being representation matters and Ciara allowing me to be on that stage was important in the face of drag bans and trans hate. But they won’t dull my community’s shine!”


The rise in hate toward drag performers and trans and gender non-conforming people is increasingly concerning, and Lavender isn’t the first to speak up about her experiences.

Aida H Dee, also known as Sab Samuel, hosts Drag Queen Story Hours for children in UK libraries, and she’s been honoured for her role in promoting a love of books to children. During her recent UK tour, she was repeatedly subjected to harassment from protestors who tried to disrupt the events.

The Welsh queen described the current situation: “As an LGBT children’s entertainer, I constantly feel I’m on an annual review. I constantly feel like everything that I do is being snickered at, where I have to ensure that everything I do is constantly and always perfect and that any type of single slip-up would somehow ruin everything that I’ve ever achieved or worked for.”

In relation to the anti-drag rhetoric circulating in the US and Tennessee becoming the first state to pass a law restricting “male or female impersonators,” Aida H Dee additionally expressed her concern for a similar movement coming to Europe.


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