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Drag socials banned by university after cis men use them as ‘an opportunity to ridicule trans women’

Lily Wakefield September 4, 2020
university drag social ban

A man applies drag makeup. (cottonbro/ Pexels)

Aberystwyth University has been forced to ban drag socials because cisgender men were using them as “an opportunity to ridicule trans people”.

According to The Tab, Aberystwyth Students’ Union made the decision in consultation with the university’s LGBT+ society AberPride.

The SU said the socials had become “about members of random groups dressing up as the opposite gender in a general way that has the intention of being as funny as possible”.

AberPride said: “The decision was made with input from AberPride members, especially members of the trans community, because we feel that most societies who have drag socials do so in a mockery of trans women and the trans femme experience.”

Although the ban will also stop the LGBT+ society from hosting drag socials at the university, it said it had no plans for one as it would make members feel “uncomfortable”.

The society continued: “Often cisgender (and frequently heterosexual) males will take drag socials as an opportunity to ridicule trans people, and AberPride will not stand by and accept that.

“We are unlikely to want to have a drag social at this time, due to the fact that it would make a large proportion of our members uncomfortable.

“The SU has said that they are happy to discuss the situation and make an exception based on a case by case basis, to ensure that any drag socials will not become hugely offensive.”

The Students’ Union added: “If a society or club wanted to organise a drag social to celebrate drag and LGBT+ pride then the SU would be supportive of that and would put students in touch with relevant people who could help make that event a success.

“We would also consult with our relevant liberation officers and societies to make sure that it considered a range of angles and factors to ensure maximum inclusivity.

“These rules aren’t about banning fun but have been put in place to protect our LGBT+ students and drag community, and brings us in line with the rest of the sector and follow a range of complaints received from those communities throughout previous years.

“We encourage all clubs and societies to contact us directly if they have any queries about a social theme and as ever we’ll be as helpful as possible.”

More: Aberystwyth University, drag socials

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