Muslim Drag Queens, a Channel 4 documentary following the lives of minority queens, aired on Monday night. The programme got off to a controversial start before hitting screens, with battles over whose idea the film really was being fought online. The documentary is based on a 30 minutes film of the same name originally made by Kieran Yates and published by the Guardian. Yates remains unhappy with the production of the programme and her subsequent lack of involvement in the new version, but irrespective of disputes the documentary aired on Monday night.
The film stars Asifa Lahore, Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen. Unfortunately, as Channel 4 showed the documentary, Lahore received numerous horrific messages, many now deleted, on the #MuslimDragQueens hashtag.
"I would happily watch you all die fags", said one. "Disgusted," said another, while one user referred to the drag queens as "insects". Amidst the abuse there was overwhelming support for Lahore and the rest of the queens, something that Lahore recognised on Twitter:
Most of the backlash appeared to come from British Muslims who believed that Lahore’s behaviour contradicted the teachings of Islam, but it’s par for the course that plenty of non-Muslims will have said their piece too. When will we just let people be who they want to be?