US President Donald Trump could face the sight of a crowd of drag queens when he arrives in the UK for an official visit this July.
Around 1000 people have said they’ll attend a mass drag protest that’s being organised to greet Trump during the trip, which will be his first visit to Britain. Organisers say the demonstration will be part of larger protests being planned across the city.
Writing on Facebook, Manchester-based drag performers Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, Violet Blonde, Jonny Banks, Liquorice Black and Donna Trump called for “all drag kings, queens, queers and our allies to march against President Donald Trump’s UK visit.”
“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,” they wrote.
“Let’s get visible, stand with our sisters, brothers and others in America, and show that we are a country that celebrates diversity.”
Cheddar Gorgeous explained to The Guardian, “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.
“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 LGBTI people.”
Gorgeous said the protest is intended to “increase awareness of the way Trump’s administration has systematically attacked the LGBT community and to stand in solidarity with the many other groups who feel marginalized along lines of race, class and gender.”
“To not object to the visit would seem like a betrayal of the tolerant society that the UK as a whole strives to be,” the performer said.
“When diversity is attacked, it is imperative that marginalised people stay visible, stand up to bullies and engage satirically with what is going on.
“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.”