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Drag queen under fire over ‘vile’ poster mocking black and brown Pride flag

Nick Duffy January 23, 2019
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Manchester drag queen Peggy Wessex came under fire over the poster

Manchester drag queen Peggy Wessex came under fire over the poster

A Manchester drag queen is under fire for a poster mocking the adoption of a rainbow flag variant with black and brown stripes to be inclusive of people of colour.

Manchester Pride announced on January 10 that it would adopt a variant of the rainbow flag featuring additional black and brown stripes, which was first designed in 2017 to address the LGBT+ movement’s failures to include people of colour.

Drag queen backlash: A still of Manchester Pride's promotional video, featuring an eight-striped Pride flag
Manchester Pride has chosen to use this eight-striped design for its official flag (Manchester Pride)

A poster for a drag queen show at Canal Street’s Bar Pop mocked the decision this week, depicting a unicorn puking the colours black and brown, below a traditional six-colour rainbow flag alongside slogan “taste the rainbow.”

Manchester drag queen Peggy Wessex attacked for ‘unicorn vomit’ poster

The poster was shared by drag queen Peggy Wessex, who came under fire on social media.

Twitter user @LewJB wrote: “Just so all of my POC friends know, you are not welcome at Bar Pop Manchester.

“In fact, you are considered unicorn vomit, it would seem. Quite a nice analogy for how we’re treated by the wider gay community and why additional representation on a flag is nice, actually.”

A Facebook commenter wrote: “You literally depicted brown and black LGBTI people as vomit in order to get a cheap laugh. Yes, that’s racist.”

The poster has since been removed.

Responding to controversy on her Facebook page, drag queen Peggy Wessex initially wrote: “Before it all kicks off. Has anyone here been to my shows and found them to be racist or offensive as in nasty and intentionally to offend?

“I would like some positive feedback please. It seems that some people who have never seen my show are out to cause trouble.

“Let’s see if any of you actually will defend Peggy Wessex show or if you find it all offensive. Thank you.”

That post has now also been deleted.

Bar Pop apologises for ‘any harm, upset or offence caused’

In a statement on Facebook, Bar Pop said it had asked for the “insensitive” poster to be removed, claiming it was “made independently” to promote Wessex.

However, the bar indicated the event would go forward.

Director Antonio Negron said: “We have worked hard to create a loving, accepting environment for everyone that walks through our community.

“We created the ‘Taste the Rainbow Show as a way of demonstrating the pride we have for our community as a family, and we are sorry for any harm, upset or offence caused by the posting.”

The bar explained the event is a memorial for the late performer, Madame Phyllis Ann Von Hollywood Aries, with donations going to HIV care charity George House Trust.

Negron added: “Our February event is a chance for us to keep her memory alive and remember that as a community we have a responsibility to look after those less privileged that us in any way we can.”

The bar’s response attracted more criticism.

One response said: “Wait was this an advertisement or an apology?”

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