An alternative gay Pride event in Glasgow, Scotland will now allow drag queens after the gathering's officials made headlines this week for announcing a ban on all drag artists because they were deemed too "offensive" for the transgender community.
Gay Star News reports the Free Pride event, which is set to take place next month, called the move a "mistake" and will now welcome any performers of any gender. Billed as the "anti-commercialist" alternative to Glasgow's main Pride event, Free Pride caused an international stir when its organizers first revealed drag queens were not allowed because trans people could be offended by the art form.
"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," Free Pride said, according to GSN. "We made a mistake, and we apologize."
The rest of the of the statement reads:
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 color 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.
We hope to learn from this in order to foster the kind of community we want to see. We believe there is a greater need for dialogue within, and indeed between the trans and drag communities. We look forward to creating spaces where these dialogues take place with mutual compassion and respect.