Current Affairs

Female drag artist flees India after being ‘hunted down’ by armed police

Joseph McCormick May 22, 2016
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A female drag artist has said she was forced to flee India when she performed to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

40-year-old Andrea Smith told the Birmingham Mail that her show was branded “indecent” by the organisers of a women’s conference at which she had been booked to perform.

Smith performs as Swingerella, and her ‘Finding Your Voice Through Art’ was apparently too much for the organisers of the event on Thursday.

Female drag artist flees India after being ‘hunted down’ by armed police

The act, which she performed at the Women’s Economic Forum in New Delhi, begins with Smith wearing knickers and nipple covers.

Later she said she was told that military police were looking for her and that she risked being detained.

The performer then paid more than £800 for a last minute ticket back to the UK.

The mother of two told the Mail: “I was invited to speak at the forum and organisers knew what sort of show I performed as they had seen the videos on Youtube. I carried out my act, and at the time nothing was said.

“But on Friday, when I asked the organiser why my performance had not been put on Youtube, he tore into me.

“He told me that I was indecent. He made me feel ashamed.

“My show IS outrageous, but they had all the links to it from YouTube and would have known what to expect.”

Going on, she said she was “threatened with jail”, and “hunted down by police”.

“I think my performance was a bit of a culture shock to them,’’ she told the Mail. “But it is about domestic abuse.”

Politicians in India in March voted down a bill that would decriminalise gay sex for the second time in three months.

Activists have been battling to remove Section 377, the country’s colonial-era anti-gay law, which was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 2013.


More: Asia, India, India, UK

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