Gay footballer Zander Murray does drag for first time to ‘challenge’ prejudice

Zander Murray – Scotland’s first out gay male professional footballer – has received a drag makeover from rising drag starlet Cherry West, and opened up about stereotypes.

Murray made history by becoming the first ever senior Scottish footballer to come out as gay in 2022, while he was playing for the club the Gala Fairydean Rovers – and it’s clear that he’s keen on continuing his trend of breaking boundaries, after receiving a fabulous drag makeover from the self proclaimed ‘Next Generation of Drag’ star, Cherry West.

In the video makeover, shared to West’s YouTube channel, Murray and West can be seen chatting all things drag and all things football – which, as they point out, is not a common cross-section. And, in an exclusive interview with Pink News, the pair have opened up further about why the collaboration is so important.

“For me to have someone who’s a footballer, who’s … very much in the masculine community of football, to see him get put in drag was such a unique experience,” West said.

“We wanted to do something where we were breaking boundaries, and so we came up with the idea of me putting Zander in drag.”

Cherry West giving Zander Murray a drag makeover (Supplied)

“What I love about it, is how wholesome the whole video is,” West continued, before addressing Zander. “I learnt so much about what you went through having to hide yourself, because you were so invovled with football – so it really opened my eyes as well.

“This is why it’s so important that we did this; so we can educate other young queer kids like me, and make them aware they don’t have to hide who they are because they’re in the football world.”

For Zander, who announced his retirement from football in 2023, the stereotype of, ‘You’re not that gay’ was an important reason for him to partake in the collaboration.

“I always get the, ‘Oh Zander, you’re ok, you’re alright, but see all them dressing up in drag and being dead girly? Nah, not having that.’ It’s up to me in that position to challenge that.”

He also added: “Doing this collab, it’s just shown that I’m part of this community, whether you like it or not.”

Cherry West giving Zander Murray a drag makeover (Supplied)

Murray has previously opened up about his early 20s feeling like “conversion therapy”, and that he was often surrounded by homophobia on and off the pitch.

“Being a gay person in that environment was seen as inferior. There [were often] derogatory remarks in the dressing room. I don’t think they were necessarily homophobic, it’s just a lack of education… and that has a huge impact. You just think, this is a horrible thing,” he said.

The full drag makeover is available to watch here, on Cherry West’s YouTube channel.

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