Ban the drag acts, Pride chiefs urged

Rose White, Opus Point, Halifax.
Rose White, Opus Point, Halifax.

A WOMAN has said this weekend’s Calderdale Pride celebration should not include performances by drag acts.

Rose White, a transexual, has written to councillors and the organisers of Calder-dale Pride asking them to either ban the turns or publish a disclaimer about them.

She argues their appearance promotes negative stereotypes about transexuals and encourages hatred of those who have changed sex.

She said: “Drag queens – homosexuals dressed as women – and drag kings, women dressed as men, performing as stereotypical crossdressers promote, foster and reinforce the belief among the audience that any bloke in a frock must be a homosexual.”

Rose, 64, from Skircoat Green, said by allowing the acts to take to the stage they were breaching the Gender Equality Duty, which the council is bound to promote.

“The council needs to prevent anything that reinforces out-of-date stereotyping.

“If these people are allowed to perform in the town in the Pride, they must have a prominent sign stating ‘We are homosexual men – not transexuals’.

Organiser Matt Gosridge said the event was organised to promote diversity.

“We wouldn’t ever want to attempt to restrict or control in any way the people that attend the event.

“Calderdale Pride is all about inclusivity and freedom of expression.

“Her letter requesting that any cross- dressers make a public statement would be an invasion of privacy.”

The event, this Saturday, is at the Piece Hall. It opens at noon and the last act will be on stage at 5.15pm.

This year’s acts include X Factor finalists Diva Fever.

l What do you think? Should drag acts be made to wear signs saying they are homosexuals? E-mail us: yoursay@halifax