Free Glasgow Pride, a non-commercial alternative to the city's official celebration, Pride Glasgow, has taken the controversial step of banning cis-gender drag performers from participating. In a statement issued by the organization, the decision was explained as follows:
"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 reaction has been met with wide international criticism, particularly from those who remember that drag queens were on the forefront at Stonewall—Marsha P. Johnson, a drag queen, was one of the first to fight back against police brutality.
In a post on Facebook, Panti, the Irish drag queen who was instrumental in Ireland's successful marriage equality referendum, spoke out against the policy:
"My career as a performer and occasional activist has been dedicated to *not* being pushed into a strictly gendered box... But unfortunately, recently, a small but vocal regressive minority want to police everyone else's gender expression. They want us all back in our (apparently just three) boxes. And ironically, they themselves are people who benefitted from the breaking down of those boxes."
Pride Glasgow said that they too had debated such a policy in 2010, but "took the decision that drag queens and kings play an important part in the history of the Pride movement and should be included in the event." The organization then went on say they are "saddened to see that this is the direction that Free Pride has chosen to take."
(H/T Gay Star News)