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Thread: Drag queens, inclusivity and problems.

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member Sarah-RT's Avatar
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    Drag queens, inclusivity and problems.

    Hey all,

    I was reading an article on Facebook about a pride weekend in Britain soon that has banned drag performers unless the performers are trans to avoid upsetting trans people who may be offended or afraid to be themselves.
    It has caused a backlash by the gay community, many of which are condemning the lack of expression and freedom.

    My question is, do you find drag queens/kings offensive?

    There is a well known drag queen from Dublin called panti bliss who has spent the bulk of his career trying to further LGBT rights, mostly LGB rights since he's a gay man but the inclusivity is noted.
    He owns and performs in a bar called the panti bar in Dublin and he has come out complaining on the decision by the pride organisers. I can understand that what he does is a profession rather than a lifestyle but it seems very narrow minded, and as he said, pigeon holing which we actively try to avoid (male or female only, that's the given gender pigeon holes)

    Personally I find drag, while a bit OTT, helpful, twice I've been in an LGBT bar for drag shows and I look at them and say, no one in here minds what they wear. I am actually planning on going to his bar at the weekend dressed for my birthday since it feels like a place of safety or comfort to be yourself but I can't help but think that if he was there and saw me would he have any animosity towards us after this PC overload.

    Thoughts?
    Sarah x
    I cant stand to fly, I'm not that naive. I'm just out to find the better part of me. I'm more than a bird, I'm more than a plane, I'm more than some pretty face beside a train. Its not easy to be me.

  2. #2
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    it sounds like political correctness gone too far to me. I can guess at their rationale - that the drag-queen can "take the mick" (apologies for the non-pc irish term) out of transgender, or cause offense but ...

    the entire CD world is largely straight and surely can only include anyone who dresses as the other gender than their physical body, otherwise we will see the CD's kicked out of the LGBT, and that can't be right?!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
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    But there you have it, Pamela. I'll sit there and watch these debates and I feel like I'm at the net at a tennis match. Gay [lob] Straight [lob]. Uh, what happened to folks right in the middle like me? I love drag queens - some very close friends were campy as can be and had a great time, never taking much seriously. Except for one very critical thing - acceptance, the very thing we all crave (I assume). So at least within the gay community, there is a mechanism for inbuilt acceptance. Outside that community, it's much harder, but I find it very difficult to be handed a platform as a strict condition to inclusion, acceptance or friendship. So, I simply do not know where I fall within the definitional spectrum, and as time goes by, I care less daily.

    So for Sarah - go to the bar, dress, have a wonderful time, and when the going gets rough, remember that you always have the option to best anyone at their game. Be fabulous.

  4. #4
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle too, Belle Cri, I just don't advertise it, well perhaps I do?!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
    I used to believe this, now I'm in the company of many tiggers. A tigger does not wonder why she is a tigger, she just is a tigger.

    thanks to krististeph: tigger = TG'er .. T-I-GG-er

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    And what of it if you do? For me the path of realization of bisexuality -> dressing was much easier than what I had struggled with before, which was dressing -> bisexuality. It's a matter of emphasis one might say

  6. #6
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say offensive. Over the top, perhaps. I don't personally want to present in such an over stylized manner. But I would think that reasonable people could acknowledge that much of what goes on in a Pride parade....or a St Paddy's parade for that matter...is intentionally over the top. That's part of the fun.

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    Silver Member Marcia Blue's Avatar
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    I have a friends who do Drag. Some are Gay, Some are Straight, Some are Trans, and some are CD. People need to be open minded or tolerant of others. Intolerance leads to many, man made ills.
    Marcia (LOVES) Blue

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    I don't find drag performers offensive at all. I frequently go to drag shows en-femme and watch them, and I tip the performers regularly for their efforts. Many of the drag performers in my area are staunch supporters of the LGBT community, and regularly help with fund raisers and other efforts. I chose the club that I go to as my preferred public hangout while en-femme precisely because they host drag shows. Since the clientèle accepts that, I felt they would also accept CD customers, and I was right. It's proven to be a very safe and inclusive place for me to go as a woman.

    The only problem I have with them isn't with the performers at all - it's with other people who are neither drag performers or CD/TG themselves, but assume that drag performers and CD/TG people are the same thing.

    What they do as drag performers is most often a parody of the gender they portray, very intentionally over the top, and they make no secret of the idea that even if they are male and have obviously had a boob job or are on HRT or have had other transformational body work, they are still very much a 'man in a dress' (or vice versa, as applies to the FtM performers).

    What I do when I go out is try to make a genuine effort to transform myself into a reasonable semblance of a real woman, and I want to be treated like a real woman. My clothes may be sexy but are never outrageous or scandalous. My makeup is subtle and understated, suitable for what a GG would wear in that venue. I once had a great night out where I hooked up with with a group of four lesbian girls, and where one of them in particular absolutely loved how I looked and dressed and how comfortable I was in heels. She repeatedly said I was 'amazing', and she loved including me in their group. But she also automatically assumed that I should join the drag show and perform, and I couldn't dissuade her of that notion. She literally dragged me by the hand at a near run all over the club, trying to get me signed up! (It made me very glad that I can run comfortably in heels!) I never followed through on it, and the bartender that obligingly took my information while she watched knew me well enough as a frequent normal CD customer that I'm sure he just tossed the info after she left.

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    Drag has a long history within the LGBTQ community and I'm not aware of any general sentiment that drag is inherently transnegative. I suppose it should be dealt with on an individual basis, e.g. whether or not an individual performer's act is transphobic, just as you wouldn't invite a sexist comedian to perform at a feminist venue or a homophobe at a Pride event.

    (I acknowledge that I may be speaking from a position of relative ignorance and am happy to be corrected.)

  10. #10
    Junior Member Alexis08's Avatar
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    While I'm no fan of drag queens that look and act like clowns, I still think they should not be banned. There are crossdressers who walk around with beard and hairy legs.

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    I'm not a fan of drag queens because it seems they're always overplaying their part. I always attend our local parades with my wife and there is a group of DQs that sometimes appear in them. My wife always gets furious when she sees them will wind up not speaking to me for 2 or 3 days. She always equates what I do to what they do.

  12. #12
    AKA Lexi sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    I too don't find drag queens offensive. They're being themselves, and aren't being any more stereotypically over the top than rich women who carry around little dogs in their purses. Our society has gotten to the point where only certain groups, and certain people, are allowed to feel offended, because they believe that only their feelings count. It's actually the opposite of political correctness. The rest of us are just supposed to shut up and deal with it. I don't know what the answer is, but I can definitely tell you, that whether you can see it happening or not, there is a backlash effect to it when you trample on their lives. Don't believe me? Consider: If you treat your servers with contempt whenever you go to a restaurant, you can absolutely, positively know for certain that they're eventually going to do something evil to your food. So those who p!ss people off by trying to censor them and remove them from the public view, will eventually have it come around back to them. karma can be a real b!tch sometimes.
    Last edited by sometimes_miss; 07-20-2015 at 08:59 AM.
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  13. #13
    Work In Progress LucyNewport's Avatar
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    I find the ousting of drag queens to be a bit offensive, actually. It is also prudish and needlessly divisive. Who gets to decide which queens are trans enough to go on? I get that a drag show can be raunchy and have aggressively bad taste - that's the point. They are supposed to be a bit uncomfortable. A good drag show crosses boundaries and goes after taboos. It challenges the little cultural assumptions we make about society, gender, power etc.

    DQ's are some of the hardest working and least appreciated performers around. The events they host are almost always the most inclusive for folks like us. We should always return the favor.

    IMO, obvs.
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  14. #14
    Gold Member NicoleScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah-RT View Post

    I was reading an article on Facebook about a pride weekend in Britain soon that has banned drag performers unless the performers are trans to avoid upsetting trans people who may be offended or afraid to be themselves.
    How do the event officials know who is trans? Do people who find the style and demeanor of drag queens offensive only think that way if the drag queen is not trans? But first things first: what is trans? We're all together on the definition, right?

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    Drag is neither offensive nor interesting to me. I do NOT think that drag represents the cross dressing nor trans community at large. While the drag community is certain "out" they re, unfortunately, what most normals think is cross dressing and cross dressing behavior. THAT part of drag I do not like at all. Now, banning drag queens from an LGBT event is rather absurd.

  16. #16
    Aspiring Member Sarah-RT's Avatar
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    I see that almost everyone has agree'd on the negative idea of banning them, pride festivals are usually glamorous and OTT to celebrate being who you are. Im getting the idea from the way the article I read ( ill add a link) refers to transgender as transsexual rather than the umbrella term many of us have adopted, the point still stands though.

    Bear with me and ill get the link: ( https://www.facebook.com/freeprideglasgow?fref=nf ) thats to the event organisers facebook page, the first 3 or so posts are all about the issue. what I cant get my head around is what is a trans drag performer? do we do our best to look femme, and then a poor attempt to try and look like men again? very odd..

    Sarah x
    Last edited by Sarah-RT; 07-20-2015 at 10:19 AM.
    I cant stand to fly, I'm not that naive. I'm just out to find the better part of me. I'm more than a bird, I'm more than a plane, I'm more than some pretty face beside a train. Its not easy to be me.

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    wow, I think that is ridiculous! I like drag queens and think trans women that get offended by them need to stop being so sensitive to what everyone else is doing.

    what I cant get my head around is what is a trans drag performer?
    I do know one transitioned woman that likes doing drag performances too. And to be honest I've been kinda drawn to the idea of doing it something about it seems like it could be fun.
    Last edited by arbon; 07-20-2015 at 10:28 AM.

  18. #18
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Drag queens are acting a part. No more, no less. It's not something that interests me but limiting performers based on their sexual identity seems wrong and probably illegal.

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    Silver Member LilSissyStevie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleScott View Post
    How do the event officials know who is trans? Do people who find the style and demeanor of drag queens offensive only think that way if the drag queen is not trans? But first things first: what is trans? We're all together on the definition, right?
    Maybe they can set up a TSA like checkpoint where everyone has to show their junk to get in.

  20. #20
    Martini Girl Katey888's Avatar
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    Weird... and totally daft...

    Ban DQs because some MtF trans people might be offended...

    What follows that is banning MtF crossdressers because some GGs might be offended...

    Or how about banning lesbians because heterosexual MtF CDers might be offended...

    or... or... or...

    And since when have the Bonnie Scots been worried about offending ANYONE!

    Barmy...

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  21. #21
    Gender adventurer JamieG's Avatar
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    A lot of people tend to forget that drag queens were at the forefront of one of the most pivotal moments in LGBT civil rights: the Stonewall Riots in NYC. If anyone has earned a right to be themselves at a Pride festival, it is drag queens. One group under the LGBT umbrella cannot decide to be intolerant towards any other group. In fact, I think having both transwomen (and transmen) and drag queens visible at a Pride festival will go a long away towards emphasizing the differences, which are generally unclear in the minds of the general public. Now, if a specific individual is consistently mocking or antagonizing another group, or is behaving in a way that is inappropriate (and I think a lot of leeway on appropriateness should be granted for a PrideFest), banning or kicking out that individual is justified. Following the rules of a particular festival shouldn't be that hard for most attendees. I've been to a family-friendly Pride Festival where the drag queens (some of them nationally known) eliminated the vulgarity in their acts and actually interacted with the children in the audience in a very sweet way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah-RT View Post
    My question is, do you find drag queens/kings offensive?
    No, not in the least. It is entertainment; no more, no less. Personally, I wouldn't even call it a lifestyle as people usually don't do that as an everyday, daytime thing. If you took the time to do makeup like that every day, you'd never get out of the house.

    Further, it is silly to me to exclude people. It sounds like the flip side of excluding trans women at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and I don't think that's right either. Simply BS in my opinion.

    DeeAnn
    Last edited by flatlander_48; 07-20-2015 at 07:08 PM.

  23. #23
    Silver Member CynthiaD's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of drag queens, but I certainly don't find them offensive. Banning them from a pride event does seem a little weird.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Robert's Avatar
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    There are some who equate drag with donning blackface, and see it as mocking women. I have a female friend who argues just this, and her arguments are compelling.

    I have also heard some DQs call women pretty terrible names.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleScott View Post
    How do the event officials know who is trans? . . . But first things first: what is trans? We're all together on the definition, right?
    Arrg . . . I was going to ask the exact same question Nicole. Do we have start bringing our "Trans Identity Cards" to events now? Plain stupid, narrow minded and just not right IMHO

    Cheers

    Isha

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