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Drag queen's event poster sparks accusations of racism

Vomiting unicorn spurs racist controversy for drag queen.
Photo credit:
Peggy Wessex

Peggy Wessex, a drag performer in the UK is coming under fire for the design of her promo poster that includes a unicorn vomiting up the colors black and brown, "taste THE rainbow," it reads. 

In June of 2017 Philly Pride in the United States unfurled the new design of the rainbow flag which included an additional black and brown stripe at the banner's top.

This modification was meant to symbolize multi-racial inclusion. 

According to the UK publication Pink News, the city of Manchester, where Wessex is to perform at the Canal Street’s Bar Pop, said their Pride organization is also adopting the modified flag. 

People who saw Wessex's now-removed ad interpreted the poster and the venue as racist and quickly called her to the carpet, citing the illustration as a statement that people of color are not welcome.  

“Just so all of my POC friends know, you are not welcome at Bar Pop Manchester," Twitter user LewJB wrote, “In fact, you are considered unicorn vomit, it would seem. Quite a nice analogy for how we’re treated by the wider gay community and why additional representation on a flag is nice, actually.”

Wessex made a statement in her own defense saying the whole thing is being orchestrated by people who don't know her, suggesting that the visual falls in line with her brand of humor and isn't racist at all. 

“Before it all kicks off," she wrote on Facebook. "Has anyone here been to my shows and found them to be racist or offensive as in nasty and intentionally to offend?

“I would like some positive feedback please. It seems that some people who have never seen my show are out to cause trouble.

“Let’s see if any of you actually will defend Peggy Wessex show or if you find it all offensive. Thank you.”

Bar Pop didn't seem to be amused either and asked for the ad to be taken down saying the performers make their own posters and it doesn't reflect the sentiment of the house. 

“We have worked hard to create a loving, accepting environment for everyone that walks through our community," said bar director Antonio Negron. 

“We created the ‘Taste the Rainbow Show as a way of demonstrating the pride we have for our community as a family, and we are sorry for any harm, upset or offense caused by the posting.”

The show is actually an HIV/AIDS charity event to honor Madame Phyllis Ann Von Hollywood Aries.

“Our February event is a chance for us to keep her memory alive and remember that as a community we have a responsibility to look after those less privileged than us in any way we can," added Negron.

Wessex has taken to social media to apologize many times over the design, " it was never intentional and if people can't accept that then let them carry on," she wrote. 

Bar Pop says the show will go on as scheduled. 

The Pride flag hasn't undergone many modifications since Gilbert Baker created it forty years ago. A year after the black and brown stripes were added, artist Daniel Quasar created one that incorporated the trans Pride colors too. 

That banner was raised at a church in Calgary last summer during that Canadian city's Pride week.