Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bona Drag.

This - the attempt by Pride organisers to ban drag performers from their event - is terrible, terrible politics. Worse, it makes no effort to offer a political justification. If it specifically claimed that drag was in some way a parody of trans (rather than an activity that is within the history of trans), then at least there would be an argument to counter. It doesn't even do that. The argument is simply that the inclusion of drag acts might make some people who are trans or questioning their gender "uncomfortable". That's worse than a slippery slope: the slippage has already begun. You could justify practically any sectarian or bigoted stance on the basis that someone makes you "uncomfortable". It isn't as if certain people don't claim to be made "uncomfortable" by trans people. 

The organisers, in their unconscionably bad faith statement, also claim that it's okay because people in drag can still turn up at Pride, they just won't be performing. That won't wash. They have made a political decision to exclude drag acts from the event; if 'they' are a problem on the stage, making people 'uncomfortable', then 'they' will be a problem off the stage. The organisers have essentially validated some incredibly ill-considered, politically vacuous and ultimately bigoted position and then tried to wash their hands of it.

Update: Credit where it's due, this is a very good statement by the organisers, taking responsibility, retracting the position and above all repudiating the mistaken political perspective.  That doesn't usually happen.