Alternative pride does U-turn on drag act ban


​Social media storm forces organisers into reversing its ban on drag acts at this year's event 

21st July 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Organisers of an alternative gay pride event in Glasgow have made a u-turn after initially banning drag performers.

The group, Free Pride, said drag acts wouldn’t be allowed because they may cause ofence.

However after being roundly condemned on social media, the group has relented saying it will permit performances by transgender drag acts only.

"We would like to confirm that after a further consultation trans drag performers will be invited to perform at Free Pride on the 22nd August,” the group posted on social media.

"If you are a trans drag performer and would like to perform on the day, please get in touch by sending a message to the Free Pride page.

"We would like to explicitly state that while we attempt to include everyone, we have always, and will always aim to put the needs and voices of the most marginalised first."

Claiming you are creating an inclusive ridiculous - Stephen Shaw

Campaigners controversially created Free Pride to run simultaneously with the long-standing Pride Glasgow on 22 August because organisers said the original event had become too commercialised and wasn’t inclusive enough.

On Facebook Stephen Shaw wrote: "This is an incredibly badly thought out attempt at trans activism and stands as an example to those who wish to stay on the fringe of the LGBTQ community - know your history.

"It's marvellous that you wanted to create an alternative to Pride and bloody rightly so, however claiming you are creating an inclusive event whilst not including one of the most important parts of the community is ridiculous, backwards and shameful."

A spokesperson for Pride Glasgow said they had a similar discussion back in 2010 over how drag could cause discomfort to people, however took the decision that Drag Queens and Kings played an important part in the history of the Pride movement and should be included within the event.

The spokesperson added: "Pride Glasgow believes that any community group should be given their place to flourish but that success should not be built on the negativity and ignorance towards other events, groups and like minded people and we are saddened to see that this is the direction that Free Pride has chosen to take."

The National Union of Students this year voted on a motion at its annual conference to enforce a “zero tolerance” approach to drag and cross-dressing at all student union events.

It claimed in part: “Transphobic fancy dress should be met with the same disdain with which we meet other prejudiced or appropriative costumes.”