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Teen drag queen banned from school talent show will perform at Brighton Pride

Lewis Bailey was told it was illegal for under 18's to perform in drag.

2018-07-29

A teenage boy who was banned from performing in drag at his school’s talent show will now be performing at Brighton Pride. 

Lewis Bailey 14, was left distraught when he was told he couldn’t compete as drag queen Athena Heart in Castle High School and Visual Arts College talent show after practising his lip-sync and dance for weeks.

His mother Natalie was told by the school that it is illegal for people under 18 to take part in drag competitions.

This week, the teen, who came out as gay to his mum and stepdad last year, accepted an invite to perform at DragWorld UK alongside several stars from RuPaul's Drag Race. 

Now, Brighton & Hove Pride organisers have revealed that Bailey will perform at Brighton Pride on August 4 after Tom Jenkins, who performs as drag queen Martha d'Arthur, suggested inviting him. 

In a statement, the organisers said: "Brighton & Hove Pride strongly disagree and feel any expression of a persons individuality is a thing to be cherished and celebrated."

Martha d'Arthur said: "After seeing Lewis' story on social media on Sunday, it upset and lit a fire under me that a school would imply that all drag is somehow sexual and shameful, so I reached out to Lewis and Natalie on Sunday to see if I could offer him the amazing and positive experience of performing at one of the most phenomenal Pride celebrations in the world, in Brighton." 

Lewis' mother Natalie said: "The support Lewis has had has been amazing, he's so glad the story is out there to let others Lewis' age know it's OK to be different and to be proud of who they are.

"Lewis is also feeling very loved by all that have supported him and the continued support he has for the future. I also think the support has been tremendous, it's boosted Lewis' confidence in his quest to prove that it's OK for kids to be different and all kids should have the love and support of people around them."

She added: "We are looking forward to attending Brighton & Hove Pride and can't wait to meet everyone that has made this possible for Lewis." 

According to reports, Bailey will join the 'Colour My World' Pride Community Parade and will later perform alongside Martha d'Arthur in Preston Park, where Britney Spears is headlining.