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May 01, 2018

More Than 1K Drag Queens Will Protest Trump's UK Visit in July

LONDON, U.K.—DragCon LA is about 10 days away at this point, and we have to wonder if anyone representing Cheddar Gorgeous will be there recruiting participants for her "Drag Protest Against Trump UK Visit," which will take place when Trump visits the Royal Family (Britain's, not his own) on July 13. "Calling all drag kings, queens, queers and our allies to march against President Donald Trump's UK visit," Gorgeous wrote on the Facebook Events page dedicated to the protest. "Due to the appalling way the Trump administration has regarded the rights and welfare of LGBTQI communities of the US, the idea of a Trump visit to the UK is unacceptable." Indeed; it's not as if Trump has been at all friendly to the other-than-hetero community. For example, in late March, Trump announced, "Transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service" unless granted a special exemption by Pentagon officials. That news prompted The New York Times to print an editorial this past weekend, titled "A Growing Problem for the Military Transgender Ban—Facts." "[A] growing body of research and expert opinion supports the only fair and just solution: Repudiating Mr. Trump’s cruel decision and giving transgender people the same right to serve their country in a military uniform as any other citizens," the editorial states. "In separate statements over the past month, the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force; the commandant of the Marine Corps; and the incoming commandant of the Coast Guard, testified to Congress that transgender service members do not impair the cohesion of military units or discipline." Of course, transgenders aren't drag queens, though they're generally persecuted by the same people, and Gorgeous certainly included them in a piece she wrote for The Guardian (UK) that was published yesterday. "Despite claiming on the campaign trail to be 'gay friendly', the Trump administration has unleashed a barrage of policies and amendments that demonstrate the contrary," she began. "From reinstating a ban on transgender military personnel and rescinding legal protections for trans workers and students to arguing in favour of a homophobic cake shop, the actions of the US president have been decidedly unfriendly to LGBTQI people... "New York activists in the 90s used the slogan Silence = Death to protest against the way the US government ignored the impact of the Aids crisis on gay men, and the phrase remains pertinent today (particularly given that Trump’s first budget proposal included a roughly $800m cut to bilateral HIV/Aids efforts)," she continued. "One of the things that makes drag so powerful is the way we make ourselves visible in a particularly spectacular way. There is a long history of drag kings and queens getting involved with political and social issues. From their role in the Stonewall riots to the work that they have done raising money for HIV charities, drags are not scared to put themselves forward when there is a need to show up and speak out. By pushing the way that we look to the extremes, we are showing that we are not ashamed to be different—we are proud of our differentness." That protest is still more than two months away, and as more LGBTQI-friendly publications and websites make folks aware of it, Trump could easily be facing several thousand men and women in drag as he looks out over the crowd from Windsor Castle. Pictured: The late, great drag queen Divine.

 
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