C4′s ‘First Cut’ to showcase “Muslim Drag Queens”

UK pubcaster Channel 4 is set to explore Britain's gay Asian community with Muslim Drag Queens (pictured) for its 'First Cut' doc strand.
July 29, 2015

UK pubcaster Channel 4 is set to explore Britain’s gay Asian community with Muslim Drag Queens (pictured) for its ‘First Cut’ doc strand.

Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, the Swan Films-produced film is to explore the British drag scene – which includes an estimated 100 to 150 Muslim drag queens – and the cultural and religious sensitivities surrounding homosexuality within the Islamic faith, as well as the fight for acceptance from their communities.

Directed and produced by Marcus Plowright, the documentary will revolve around the lives of three British Asian drag scene members: 33-year-old British Pakistani Asif Quraishi, Britain’s first “out and proud” Muslim drag queen who performs as Asifa Lahore; 28-year-old British Pakistani Imran, who is searching for love and receives more interest as his drag persona Zareena Khan; and the Mauritian-born Ibrahim, who recently came out and now seeks the mentorship of Quraishi to realize his plans to perform in drag.

David Brindley, commissioning editor of documentaries at C4, commissioned the film, with Joe Evans and Neil Crombie serving as executive producers.

“This is an incredibly important, surprising and moving film,” Brindley said in a statement. “Those who have chosen to tell their stories have done so with immense bravery and speak so eloquently about the struggles they have faced. With piercing honesty, Muslim Drag Queens gets right to the heart of a community that have, up until now, remained hidden from the wider British public.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.