Drag queens and kings will descend on central London on Friday – complete with high heels and punk costumes – to protest against US President Donald Trump, who is on a state visit to the UK.
The drag artists will meet in Soho, before protesting down Shaftesbury Avenue and joining the Women’s March London ‘Bring The Noise’ parade through to Parliament Square.
The ‘Drag Protest Parade for the Trump UK visit‘ has been organised by a drag troupe from Manchester, who will be travelling down to London on Friday morning for the event.
Asked why the group is protesting against Trump, drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous told PinkNews: “Are you kidding me? Do you know what I mean? Are you kidding me that people would not want to protest him?
“That is the peculiar thing…we’re still in this place where we try to find an angle of why we should not approve of this man’s views, and not want to associate with this man’s views as part of the special relationship between the UK and the US.
“It is evident why that man should not represent our shared special relationship. It is evident why that man should not be in the office he is in.”
The group, which will be wearing punk-inspired outfits, also includes drag artists Donna Trump, Jonny Banks, Anna Phylactic, Liquorice Black, and Violet Blonde.
Gorgeous said that they have worked closely with the Metropolitan Police and other march organisers – along with the people behind London’s planned LGBTQ+ Community Centre, which are providing stewards – to co-ordinate the day.
“Drag has a particular power of making certain stuff visible,” said Gorgeous. “And whether that be really internal stuff – about identity and about feelings, about emotions – or whether that be bigger stories and political things.”
Gorgeous added that drag has “always had a power” in the LGBT+ rights movement, including in charities, the Stonewall riots, and political marches.
They said that the performers will also be marching with a fetish group, as Fetish Week London is running from July 8 to 15.
Trump arrived in the UK on Thursday for a four-day visit, which is set to be met with mass protests, including a giant baby blimp version of Trump being flown over London.
In a bid to steer clear of the protests, the US president’s itinerary largely avoids the capital – and any other large cities in the UK – with much of his trip being conducted in private estates or palaces.
Goreous continued: “It’s a show of solidarity with LGBT+ people, yes, but it’s also a show of solidarity with women, it’s a show of solidarity with migrants.”
The Facebook event page for the protest, states that participants will “defend diversity,” and show solidarity for other marginalised groups, including people of colour and transgender people.
They added: “Rather than an attack on one minority, Trump is an attack on the idea of diversity, and the ability for people to live their lives in a way that doesn’t affect anyone else…this is about standing in solidarity with this is about protecting our right to be different from one another and to get along.
“Trump’s entire political argument revolves and relies around a division between people, and a blame culture.”
They added that the protest was about “standing in solidarity with America.”
Gorgeous said that Friday’s march is also about showing solidarity with Trump voters, who, they said, will suffer under his government.
“Ironically, it’s also standing in solidarity with those people who voted for Trump, who ultimately their lives will be affected negatively by this…because they’ve been lied to, they’ve been manipulated.”
For Gorgeous, Trump has singled out marginalised groups in his presidency.
“It’s an easy target, those people who are visibly different,” they said. “Whether that be through skin colour, or whether that be through something they wear, or disability, or the fact that they’re transgender. Those people, who stand out, they’re the easy targets – they’re the first ones to go.”