Drag Race UK and MAFS stars say Tory party is ‘biggest threat’ to LGBTQ+ community

RuPaul's Drag Race UK stars Tomara Thomas and Alexis Saint-Pete at the 2023 PinkNews Awards.

Reality TV stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, I Kissed a Boy and Married at First Sight UK were in agreement about who they hold responsible for an increasingly hostile climate for queer people in Britain.

At the 2023 PinkNews Awards on Thursday (18 October), drag queens and reality stars were quizzed on what they believe is the greatest threat to the UK’s queer community, and what gives them the most hope for the future.

From Married at First Sight UK‘s Ella Morgan to Drag Race UK‘s Pixie Polite, the answer was clear: the Conservative Party is the biggest threat to LGBTQ+ people in Britain.

Tomara Thomas: ‘We are causing no harm’

Hartlepool drag queen Tomara Thomas – of the fifth season of Drag Race UK – said the UK government is currently the biggest threat to the LGBTQ+ community. 

“It’s ridiculous,” Tomara said, adding that her biggest hope is that queer people will be allowed to flourish.

“Let us be who we are,” the County Durham queen said. “We are causing no harm. Just let us live.” 

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Tomara Thomas at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Ella Morgan: ‘Let trans people tell their stories on big platforms’

Married At First Sight UK’s history-making first trans bride Ella Morgan didn’t hold back when it came to discussing Britain’s Conservative government.

Morgan told PinkNews: “The biggest threat to the LGBT community is probably the Tory party, the Conservatives, anyone that votes Conservative. 

“Rishi Sunak – if he was on fire, I wouldn’t p** on him or s**t on him. They are the biggest problem with our community, but I don’t want [us] to ever give up.”

The trans reality TV star said she’s not scared by “all of this scaremongering” as she knows that there’s enough of “us and our allies” to “break down” transphobic rhetoric in the government.

“I don’t want any young trans boys or girls to feel like they are worries about their future or life,” she said, adding that the biggest hope for the future is for big media companies, publications and TV producers to “let trans people tell their stories on big platforms”.

Married at First Sight UK’s Ella Morgan at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Lucy Clark: ‘Embrace positive stories’

The first trans football referee in the world, Lucy Clark, told PinkNews that unfortunately, homophobia and transphobia are still “rife” in Britain.

Clark said: “People are still stuck in the 1980s with regards to the homophobia and transphobia.

“Gender critical people are noisy, and the government think it’s going to get them votes but in reality it will get them loss.”

The TRUK United ref shared that the things that give her the most hope are “being visible, showing trans joy and embracing positive stories and people from our community”.

Lucy Clark (R) with her wife Avril (L) at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Dita Garbo: ‘I hope the new generation will grow up in a more accepting world’

Drag queen Dita Garbo and Fever Dream – the latter also known as producer ILĀ – said the biggest threat to the LGBTQ+ community in the UK currently is the Tory government, with Garbo adding that “division in the community” is also an issue.

Garbo, who works with children, said her hope can be found in younger generations who are “so much more open than we were when I was a child”. 

“That’s my hope,” Garbo continued, “that the new generation is going to grow up in a world that’s brighter, more diverse and more accepting.” 

Dita Garbo (L) and ILĀ (R) at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Pixie Polite: ‘Down with the Tories’

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season four queen Pixie Polite told PinkNews “the Tories and politics in general” pose the largest threat to the queer community.

Polite remarked that an insidious narrative has found its way into “how we speak about trans people and people in this country, before adding: “Down with the Tories and just do what you can to show solidarity.”

The biggest hope, she said, is in the “resilience” of the LGBTQ+ community.

“This is just yet another hurdle in the road,” Brighton drag queen said.

Pixie Polite at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Alexis Saint-Pete: ‘We are the hope’

Drag Race UK‘s Polish queen and the season five contestant to be eliminated, Alexis Saint-Pete, said the biggest threat to LGBTQ+ people in the UK is “the media”. 

On the pink carpet, Saint-Pete said: “I think fake news is being put out there and we should be focusing on what’s important which is human rights. Not putting people aside and deciding how people should live their lives.” 

Saint-Pete added: “We are the hope.”

Alexis Saint-Pete at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Ross Bester: ‘It’s diabolical’

Victor Moreira and Ross Bester from BBC Three’s hit gay dating show I Kissed a Boy both agreed that the biggest threat to the queer community is the Tory government. 

Moreira said he feels the government are “using the queer community” to distract from pressing issues, such as the cost of living crisis. 

Victor Moreira.

Bester added: “It’s diabolical, it’s disgusting and it’s no on.”

Moreira said having more queer representation on TV with trailblazing shows like I Kissed a Boy, enables media and the public to “open their minds”. 

Ross Bester at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Zack Pinsent: ‘People just want to get on with their lives’

Bespoke period tailor Zack Pinsent told PinkNews that the queer community is being “used as a political foil and talking point, when people just want to get on with their lives”.

“Everything the LGBTQ+ community does is being brought up as some kind of issue in Parliament,” the Brighton-based tailor said, adding that the government should pick their battles and focus on issues that need addressing, such as the economy.  

The hope, Pinsent said, is that kids no longer have to grow up with the same legislative barriers that were once a reality for queer people in the UK.

“People are more accepting and they are more willing to understand and accept people which is wonderful and going in the right direction,” he concluded

Zack Pinsent at the PinkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

Don One: ‘Get rid of the Tories’

Drag king Don One didn’t mince his words, telling PinkNews that the biggest threat to LGBTQ+ people in the UK is “literally the Tories”.

“It’s people pushing a narrative that no longer exists,” they continued. “That whole standard traditional family setting is gone. 

“We have our chosen family in the queer community and we also decide how we want to identify”. 

Don One said the hope for the future is to “get rid of the Tories”, before adding that they hope society “becomes more accepting”, so “drag kings get the same recognition as drag queens”.

Don One (L) and Jonbers Blonde (R) at the PInkNews Awards 2023. (Paul Grace)

The backlash against the Tory party follows prime minister Rishi Sunak saying that misgendering a trans person is “common sense” at the annual Conservative Party Conference.

On 4 October, Suank said the British public are being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be.”

He added: “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.” 

At the conference, home secretary Suella Braverman backed a plan to ban trans women from women’s hospital wards, saying: “Trans women have no place in women’s wards or, indeed, any safe space relating to biological women.”

PinkNews has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.