The joke about drag racing being a sport for men in high heels is as old as those daft cars themselves, but actual races by drag queens appear to be getting more popular of late. Bristol Pride has one organized for June 26th as a fund raiser for the main event in August. Even the Evening Post has got behind it. Maybe people round here know how much I miss San Francisco.
A weekend earlier there will be a similar event in London. Stephen Fry tweeted about it today. This one has a rather more serious purpose. It is raising money for research into cures for prostate cancer. I guess the idea is to highlight the fact that prostate cancer is a disease that only men suffer from.
Personally I am very happy to see this happening. Two very dear friends of mine have been diagnosed with prostate cancer recently. Thankfully both of them caught it early enough to make it easily treatable. But catching it does rely on regular screening (or good luck).
There is, however, a darker side to people raising money for prostate cancer by dressing in drag, because prostate cancer is one of the major health risks for trans women. They might have had other bits of their anatomy removed, but they still have prostates and, as this American Cancer Society paper notes, their decreased testosterone levels may make them more vulnerable to the disease. This is complicated by the fact that health professionals may not know that trans women need to have such screening, and the women themselves may be afraid to ask to be screened for fear of being discriminated against. Trans people are routinely treated abominably by the NHS. I hope someone points this out to the Great Drag Race people, and that some of the money raised is put towards a bit of education.