Former British swimmer Sharron Davies causes outrage by comparing drag to blackface

Louis Staples
Saturday 21 December 2019 12:15

Former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies has compared drag to black face.

On Twitter, the outspoken Olympic medallist asked if she’s “the only person" who is "fed up of drag shows?”

Davies said that drag is a parody of what “real” women are, before listing some of the things a “real woman” gets up to, including cooking and childcare.

Lots of people on Twitter took exception to the comparison between drag and black face, not least because drag isn’t necessarily supposed to be realistic.

Blackface was racist mockery, whereas drag is intended as a celebration of femininity, artifice and exaggeration. The art of drag has roots in queer resistance and those who do it have played a key role in shaping queer culture and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

You also don’t have to be a man to do drag. There’s a growing number of women who do drag and refer to themselves as “bio queens”. There's also women who "drag up" as men too and are called "drag kings".

Others pointed out that, just before saying “enough of the stereotypes”, Davies had made a fairly long list of female stereotypes.

This isn’t the first time that Davi​es has clashed with LGBTQ+ people. She has been an outspoken opponent of trans women competing in female sport categories.

In July 2019 she was branded "transphobic" and "homophobic" for posting a bizarre analogy on Twitter. She wrote:

If you put 2 biological females on an island humanity dies out (but they’d talk loads) if you put a biological male & a trans woman on an island humanity dies out.

But if u put a male & a female there we might stand a chance! Providing they can fish of course. Binary Sex matters.

Following the success of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, a second season has been ordered by the BBC. So it seems like it might be just Davies who is "sick" of drag shows.

indy100 has contacted Davies for comment. She hasn't responded yet, but if she does we'll let you know.

More: 'Binary sex matters': Olympian Sharron Davies sparks transphobia row after bizarre desert island analogy​