Officials in charge of an alternative Pride event in Glasgow, Scotland said they are banning all drag queens because the art form is "offensive" to the transgender community, Gay Star News reports.
Free Pride Glasgow, which is billed as an "anti-commercialist" alternative to Glasgow's main Pride, made the decision a month before the event takes place, saying drag queens would not be welcomed at this Pride.
"This does not mean that people of any gender can't wear what they want to the event, we simply won't be having any self-described drag acts perform at our Free Pride Event on the 22nd August. We hope people can understand and support our decision. However we feel it important to fully explain why we came this decision," the statement reads (via Pink News). "The decision was taken by transgender individuals who were uncomfortable with having drag performances at the event. It was felt that it would make some of those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable."
"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," the statement continues. "This can be particularly difficult for those who are not out and still present as the gender they were assigned at birth. While it was discussed whether we could have trans drag acts perform, it was agreed that as it would not be appropriate to ask any prospective drag acts whether or not they identified as trans.
"It was therefore decided that having no drag acts perform would be the best option as it would mean no-one would feel pressured to out themselves," the statement reads.
Pride Glasgow responded to Free Pride Glasgow's controversial move and said they "understand the actions" but believe it is "wrong and going against what an inclusive event should be about."
"As an organisation Pride Glasgow had a similar discussion back in 2010 over how Drag could cause discomfort to people however we took the decision that Drag Queens and Kings play an important part in the history of the Pride movement and should be included within the event, so we used our Pride Guide to address these concerns by having a statement from Crosslynx (a Trans support organisation at the time) explaining that not everyone people would see in Drag at Pride would be Trans or represent the trans community," a statement reads. "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."