In a recent decision by Free Glasgow Pride, an "anti-commercialist" alternative to Glasgow's official Pride, drag queens have been banned from performing at any of its events. The decision wasn't made due to the content of any of the performers' acts, but instead based upon that idea that some members of the Trans* Community might find the concept of drag itself offensive. In a statement from the organisation, they said “It was felt by the group within the Trans/Non Binary Caucus that some drag performance, particularly cis drag, hinges on the social view of gender and making it into a joke, however transgender individuals do not feel as though their gender identity is a joke." But is that reason enough to ban a whole segment of the LQBT Community from performing at its events? Is this actually discrimination masquerading as political correctness?
Of course any Pride event has a responsibility to be all-inclusive to all segments of its community, but in an attempt to appease one faction, this decision is unintentionally alienating another. Drag is a massive part of the LGBT Community. The fact that it doesn't have representation in the LGBTQI+ acronym doesn't make it any less important. Nor does the fact that some people may find it challenging make it acceptable to banish it from everyone's view. I get thoroughly upset by the presence of cake in supermarkets when I'm trying to diet, but at least I know I can walk elsewhere in the shop when I need to. The nanny state that has developed in the last two decades, mollycoddling us from any kind of offence, is not representative of the world it tries to limit. Some people will eat cake all the time. Other people hate cake. And people like me know the impact it will have on my waistline, so it's a rare but guilty pleasure. But no one is demanding it gets removed from the shelves.
The main Glasgow Pride itself, and all its official affiliated events, will be welcoming drag, in all its guises, with open arms. The last few years have been wholly progressive in terms of the visibility and presence of drag in the LGBT Community, but this decision can only be seen as regressive. This sounds like someone on a committee with a bee in their bonnet, where everyone else is too polite to stand up to them. This decision is definitely not indicative of the community it represents and therefore undermines the standing of the organisation itself. Well done Free Glasgow Pride. Well done.