Panto dames and other drag queens on TV

The day after Free Pride Glasgow issued its statement saying No to drag performances, Pink News ran a story about a Scottish broadcaster saying No to a drag queen. Uncomfortable timing eh?

Pride Glasgow has attacked Scottish broadcaster STV, for refusing to allow a drag queen to appear in its Pride coverage.

According to the Herald, the group were due to appear on the Riverside Show on the newly-launched STV Glasgow ahead of this week’s Pride event, but the show’s producer refused to allow drag queen Bee Fiarse Beaujambes to appear in the coverage.

Alastair Smith of Pride Glasgow said: “We had suggested to them that a drag queen come on the show to promote the gay pride event, but they said that they didn’t want young children asking what a drag queen is.

“It was really insulting. Basically they’re saying they want to do a feature on gay pride without actually mentioning anything gay. It was just a bit odd.”

Much the same way Free Pride’s exclusion of drag performances is just a bit odd, it seems to me.

“It’s just absolute nonsense, children who ask questions grow up to be the well-informed, open-minded adults of the future.

“They’re already used to seeing panto dames and other drag queens on TV, so I don’t understand what all the fuss was about.”

Right? Panto dames are a big thing in the UK, not to mention all the drag that Monty Python did. Mind you, there’s plenty of room for political analysis of that too, to point out that Monty Python could after all have included some women, but that’s another post. The point is just that drag is well familiar on the sacred family telly boxes of Britain, so what the hell, STV.

Beaujambes said in a Facebook post: “Those of you who know me will know that I am not the kind of person to feel rage, until today that is.

“After hearing that STV GLASGOW withdrew their request for me to be interviewed on the Riverside Show Tomorrow night to talk about Pride Glasgow because having a drag queen wouldn’t be ‘appropriate’ as ‘parents could be watching with their kids’..?!

“Anita Bryant and Brian Souter would be proud! Save the children!

“STV have shown themselves to be narrow minded and prejudiced. Pride was built on the stilettos of Drag Queens, they started the first one.”

I’m curious about what Pride Glasgow thinks about Free Pride Glasgow’s ban on drag performances.


  1. chrislawson says

    I know by strict definition Monty Python did drag — but like Dame Edna Everage, they’re men playing women characters so they dress in women’s clothes for the part, whereas drag (to me) implies a knowing distortion of gender roles. That is, in drag comedy, the joke is “hey look, a man in women’s clothes!” or vice versa with subsequent humour at the clash between gender expectations, whereas in Monty P and Dame Edna, that was never the point.

  2. says

    First they came for the panto dames, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a panto dame.
    Then they came for the drag queens and I did not speak out because I wasn’t a drag queen.
    Finally, they came for the clowns. And there was nobody to help us clowns and all we could do is throw confetti through the bars of our cage, and honk our horns.

  3. Numenaster says

    Monty Python could after all have included some women

    Yup, Carol Cleveland was robbed.

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