The events were being used by cis men to make a “mockery of trans women”.
Aberystwyth University has banned drag socials after the events were used as an attempt to mock and demean members of the trans community.
The Aberystwyth Students’ Union made the announcement after consulting with the university’s LGBTQ+ group, AberPride.
Speaking to The Tab, the students’ union said the events were “usually about members of random groups dressing up as the opposite gender in a general way that has the intention of being as funny as possible and not as a celebration of LGBTQ+ pride or sexual liberation in the same way that drag is.”
They emphasised that the decision wasn’t about “banning fun”, adding: “If a society or club wanted to organise a drag social to celebrate drag and LGBT pride then the SU would be supportive of that and would put students in touch with relevant people who could help make that event a success.
“We would also consult with our relevant Liberation Officers and societies to make sure that it considered a range of angles and factors to ensure maximum inclusivity.”
They continued, saying the rules had been brought in to “protect our LGBTQ+ students and drag community, and brings us in line with the rest of the sector and follows a range of complaints received from those communities throughout previous years. We encourage all clubs and societies to contact us directly if they have any queries about a social theme and as ever we’ll be as helpful as possible.”
In a statement, AberPride said: “The decision was made with input from AberPride members, especially members of the trans community, because we feel that most societies who have drag socials do so in a mockery of trans women and the trans femme experience.
“Often cisgender (and frequently heterosexual) males will take drag socials as an opportunity to ridicule trans people, and AberPride will not stand by and accept that.”
They added: “The SU has said that they are happy to discuss the situation and make an exception based on a case by case basis, to ensure that any drag socials will not become hugely offensive.”