Overwhelming majority of Brits would reject cruel US-style drag bans, survey finds

A drag queen with a mother and child

A new poll has revealed Brits unanimously support drag shows and would overwhelmingly reject any attempt to ban performances in the UK.

Research carried out by More in Common found that across all political parties and age groups, the UK population is in favour of drag shows and rejects the idea of a ban. 

The research comes just weeks after Tennessee became the first US state to ban drag shows in public, where they might be seen by children, as well as implementing a crackdown on gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

The move by the southern state is part of a wider raft of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being tabled across the US, which seeks to roll back anti-discrimination laws, same-sex marriage and trans rights, alongside drag performances.  

More in Common asked those surveyed: “Several states in the United States have proposed legislation to ban public ‘Drag Shows’, a form of entertainment which involves performers impersonating men or women. Would you support such a ban in the United Kingdom?”. 

The 2,018 respondents included people who identified as supporters of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the Scottish National Party, as well as Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Gen. 

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The research found that across all the groups, more than two-thirds (62 per cent) said they would not support a ban on drag performances. 

A fifth (20 per cent) said they would support such a ban while 19 per cent did not know. 


Supporters of the Green Party and SNP were most likely to reject a ban on drag (74 per cent in each case) while Conservatives were most likely to support a ban (24 per cent). 

Across all the age groups, those aged 41 to 55 most staunchly rejected a drag ban (70 per cent), while those aged 25 to 40 were the most likely to want a ban brought in (24 per cent). 


Drag Queen Story Hour founder Aida H Dee – whose events have been targeted by protesters in the UK – told PinkNews that while she is “happy” to see these kinds of questions being asked, the fact they are even being asked at all is concerning. 

“We are currently in a country where we are polling this type of stuff,” she said. 

“The fact that this poll exists in the first place is in itself showing you the very nature of what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the UK today.

“Drag has always been at the very forefront of LGBTQ+ rights and we’re currently now polling whether or not drag is okay in the public domain. 

Aida H Dee performs during a Drag Queen Story Hour event. (Drag Queen Story Hour UK)

Aida H Dee, who studied Mathematics at Keele University, said the data in question is too small to give a true and accurate picture of how the population of the United Kingdom – 67 million people – would react to an anti-drag bill.  

However, the drag queen told PinkNews they expect some form of anti-drag legislation to appear in the UK in the “next two years” in “trojan horse” form. Whereby, the anti-drag sentiments would be hidden under the “guise of a completely different sounding law”. 

“I would ask people to keep their eye out for a trojan horse law that will attempt to erode trans people’s and other LGBTQ+ people’s rights,” she said. 

A spokesperson for More In Common said: “Our polling shows there’s zero appetite for importing a US culture war on drag here to the UK. 

“An overwhelming majority of Brits, across all demographic and political groups, are opposed to the idea of banning drag shows here in the UK. 

“As More in Common has consistently found, when it comes to so-called culture wars, Britain is not America.”

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