Row on Stormont drag queen event

Drag acts in the Foyle Pride parade. (Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.)
Drag acts in the Foyle Pride parade. (Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.)

The DUP is maintaining its sponsorship of an event dubbed ‘Alternative Queer Ulster’ to be held tonight at Stormont, despite some intense criticism.

Organised by ‘Queer Greens’ tonight, 28th of July, in the Great Hall at Stormont, promoters have invited “20 queer people” along with their allies and families, to talk about the issues they feel are not being addressed.

One of the 20 speakers will be prominent Belfast drag queen Electra La C***, who previously wore a tiara dipped in HIV positive blood.

North Belfast DUP MLA Paula Bradley sponsored the event, drawing criticism from TUV leader Jim Allister.

“There will many within the DUP’s traditional support base who will be surprised to note that Paula Bradley is sponsoring an event in Stormont which will feature a ‘drag queen’ who reportedly wore a tiara coated with dried HIV positive blood in the past,” he said.

But the DUP said Ms Bradley was not privy to the details of the event. “DUP MLAs act as sponsor and co-sponsor to many different events held at Parliament Buildings,” a party spokesman said.

“The Primary Sponsor for any event in Parliament Buildings is the person responsible for the event under the Assembly’s guidelines.”

Ms Bradley is one of the co-sponsors and as such was not privy to specific details, including participants. She is acting in good faith that the event will comply fully with all assembly policies, the party said. The DUP was not withdrawing the sponsorship, it added.

But event organiser and Green Party activist Mal O’Hara called on people to focus on the speakers.

“Jim Allister was invited along with the other 89 MLAs and he’s welcome to listen to what Electra has to say rather than obsessing about a tiara she wore two years ago,” he said.