Community Fear | 

Dublin drag queens ‘don’t feel safe’ on streets anymore amid homophobic attacks

“On Thursday of last week, a friend of mine was homophobically (sic) attacked on Grafton Street and ended up in hospital with a broken cheekbone and dislocated jaw”

Enda McGrattan aka Veda. Picture by Frank McGrath

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Dublin drag queens are more fearful than ever that they will be the victim of a hate crime, one performer has said.

Last year, a group of drag queens were attacked by a gang of men on Dame Street in the city centre following a performance in LGBTQ+ nightclub The George.

And Enda McGrattan, who is better known by his drag name Veda, said that the community is becoming increasingly worried that homophobic and transphobic attacks are getting “closer to home”.

“I don’t think I have felt as much fear in the community as I have lately,” he told Newstalk’s Moncrieff.

“I’ve heard about more attacks and they’re getting closer to home and I’m just witnessing a different vibe on the streets compared to a few years ago when I might have felt more comfortable traipsing through the city in drag to get from gig to gig.

“These days I really don’t do that. I try not to do that”.

Enda explained that he’s “really lucky” to have his own dressing room at The George, so he can de-drag after a night’s work.

“I can walk in there, do my thing, leave all my drag there, and walk home again. I’ve always walked because I don’t live very far from The George but these days, I just don’t feel as safe as I used to.

He said that, despite the fear, “a lot of brave young girls” still walk around Dublin in full drag “because they have to”.

“On Thursday of last week, a friend of mine was homophobically (sic) attacked on Grafton Street and ended up in hospital with a broken cheekbone and dislocated jaw.

“Things like that just seem to be happening more and more at the moment.”

The HIV activist said that he thinks the “far-right racial agenda” which also shows hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community is to blame for these kinds of attacks.

“I think it’s because of what’s happening on social media.

“There’s a lot of controversy being created around drag and trans issues, I think in many ways just as a smokescreen to distract people from other issues that they might be more concerned about if they weren’t busy arguing about bathrooms for drag queens or children at drag shows.”

“It’s not really the same thing but it’s an umbrella that a lot of drag queens exist under. There are a lot of trans people who find their identity through drag.

“And then there are a lot of people like myself who embrace a nonbinary gender... It’s a grey area.

“I think anything that’s not conforming or not binary triggers them.

“If I’m walking down the street in a black cocktail dress and a nice pair of heels, they don’t care if I identify as a drag queen or a trans woman or a nonbinary person.

“The abuse is going to be the same if you don’t pass and convince people you’re that gender,” he added.

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