After first announcing that they were banning all drag acts from performing at their event, and then announcing that trans and non-binary drag acts would be allowed but not cis drag acts, today Free Pride announced that they made a mistake and all drag acts are welcome to apply to perform:
We made a mistake, and we apologise.
Drag is an art form, a form of expression and performance, a community with a rich history. The most useful comments and advice that we have been sent from around the world have been from trans people of colour and working class trans people who support drag and have let us know that, without it, they might not have had access to trans/queer culture at all. We are extremely grateful to those individuals who have contacted us to explain this.
Drag, like all forms of art and performance, can entertain us and challenge us. But it also has the capacity to perpetuate oppression such as misogyny, transphobia, and racism. Free Pride is a safe and accessible space for all of us to join and celebrate.
Anyone and anything has the capacity to perpetuate misogyny, transphobia, and racism. Stand-up comics, preachers, pundits, bakers, politicians, drag queens, community organizers—some of them are going to be assholes. But we don't ban comedy, baking, drag, etc., because some comics, bakers, drag queens, etc., are malicious or thoughtless assholes. We critique the assholes, malicious or thoughtless, while seeking out, supporting, and booking those comics, bakers, drag queens, etc., who aren't assholes.