A 15 year old boy named David Bridge has stunned locals in the village of Axbridge by being elected ‘alternative carnival queen’.
The annual Blackberry Carnival in Somerset held last weekend has been going for centuries, the only requirements for the role of carnival queen being enthusiasm and a big smile.
The Blackberry Carnival Committee said they did not have the heart to turn David down, so elected 16-year-old Kayleigh Sweet as Queen, and David as alternative queen.
David donned a long flowing dress, high heels and a jewelled tiara for his appearance.
David, who carries a handbag and wears make-up, told the Sunday Express, : “I’ve always liked the carnival and I thought, ‘Why not take part?”
“When I did the audition there were a few in the audience who didn’t know what to make of me. But then others said, ‘If you’re brave enough to do it, go for it’.”
The decision has angered members of the local community, one grandmother branded the decision ‘ridiculous’. “How can you have a boy as a carnival queen? It has to be a girl, just like it has been for years”.
Chris Whittaker, a local resident said the decision to appoint a male queen had spoilt the parade for many of the locals, who had been enjoying the carnival for years.
15 year old David said: “There will be a few bigots who might not approve, but I’m hoping to show I’ve enough confidence to carry it off. It’s important to show you don’t have to be in London to dress up as gay, or in drag costume.”
Carnival chairman Robin Goodfellow, 66, said: “Whilst some people might be offended but we would rather be inclusive than exclusive.