A new spoof video where a drag queen poses as the actual Queen for the State Opening of Parliament takes aim at the government’s controversial approach to trans conversion therapy.
On Tuesday, the ceremonial Queen’s Speech – which will actually be delivered by her heir Prince Charles this time – unpacks what legislation Downing Street will be focusing on in the upcoming session of parliament.
Drag queen River Medway, a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, joined forces with LGBTQ+ charity Mermaids to criticize No.10′s decision not to ban trans conversion therapy earlier this year.
The video begins in a jokey tone, with Medway dressed up in regal drag in a mock-up of the House of Lords. She addresses the camera with: “My lords, ladies, gentle thems and theybes, please be seated.”
The drag queen then dives into Boris Johnson’s decision to only ban gay conversion therapy, which has been widely condemned across the political spectrum.
Medway explains: “My government has royally messed up, deciding that protecting trans people from a ban on conversion practices is not a priority – despite the fact that the government knows how damaging it is and knows trans people are at a higher risk than the rest of the LGBTQ community.
“Conversion practices take many forms, from psychiatric to religious, or cultural interventions.
“They can be carried out by anyone, including community leaders and family members.
“But one thing they all have in common is that they are extremely cruel. and they do not work.”
Conversion therapy aims to suppress or change a person’s sexual orientation. It is also used in a bid to make trans people’s gender identity correspond with the sex they had at birth.
NHS England has described the practice as “unethical and potentially harmful”, while mental health charity Mind said it has a “terrible impact on a person’s mental health”.
Back in the video, Medway continues: “My government promised to protect trans people. It has broken that promise. One cannot get involved in constitutional matters – I am the queen, after all – but you can do something about this.
“Write to my ministers and your members of parliament and ask them to speak up for a ban that protects trans people.
“A government should be accountable to its people. So tell them they’ve got this one wrong.
“I pray that they listen to you and keep trans in the ban. Now can I get an A-Them?”
The government first pledged to ban conversion therapy back in 2018 under former prime minister Theresa May.
Only in October last year, the prime minister’s wife Carrie Johnson promised a reception at a Tory Party conference that the government was “completely committed” to LGBTQ+ rights.
Boris Johnson defended his decision to exclude trans people from the conversion therapy ban in April, when he said there were “complexities and sensitivities” when “you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender”.