Britain Pride LGBTQ+ Britain

Meet the rural drag queen ‘breaking down barriers’ facing LGBTQ+ people in the countryside

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metro.co.uk

London, that figure was 2.7%, while in parts of the country, such as the east of England, this dipped as low as 1.2%.More often than not, rural-born members of the LGBTQ+ community ‘escape’ to the bright lights of their nearest city.Drag Queen Scaredy Kat, who appeared on the first UK series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, previously described the drag scene in her home county of Wiltshire as ‘a joke in itself’.The county is historically associated with the military on the vast Salisbury Plain, and its bountiful agricultural industry.But Oberon Christmas, who lives in the market town of Devizes, has swapped wellies for high heels.The rural drag queen is determined to make a name for himself in the countryside town he loves.He performs locally under the drag personal Gabriella Christmas.‘There’s always been some sort of backlash to the way I dress or act’, he told Metro.co.uk.He routinely faced abuse in school but learned to shrug off and ignore hateful comments.Oberon could have moved to the likes of London or Bristol after finishing his education, and become part of the wider drag community there.But he chose to stay in Devizes.He often goes on nights out in drag, and says attitudes have been getting far more accepting the more he does so.During the pandemic, Oberon started a small LGBTQ+ support group in a bid to reach out to anyone scared of coming out.‘We started in the park, it was just me in a dress in a field,’ he said.‘Now we have a dedicated group with thousands supporting us online.’The group have had to make do with smaller venues than most, meeting in a pub in the town initially.Now, there’s plans for drag race bingo in the town hall and hopes that Devizes could even host its first ever Pride march.Oberon said:.

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