Excuse My Beauty (@excusemybeauty.gla), a Glasgow-based group made up of gender-diverse individuals ramped things up for their second event, with the group taking over the Friday at Kelburn Garden Party’s Saloon Bar. We caught up with two of the founding members of Excuse My Beauty; Ren, one of the organisers behind the impactful rally for trans equality which took place in Glasgow back in January, and Lady Incarnate, artist and performer.
Their Kelbun night had an entirely trans-line-up, an atmosphere engineered to centre trans people, and the aim to create a safer space. Ren talked about the night, ‘We’ve programmed an all trans-line-up, with DJs and performers and dancers. As far as we’re aware, we think it’s the first all-trans line-up stage at a Scottish festival’.
Lady Incarnate explained the reasons why they see it as groundbreaking, ‘As someone who’s worked in the Scottish music industry for over a decade, and been at countless festivals working, I’ve often felt quite isolated, like, the token tranny in these environments… It does feel like a massive step forward that we’ve managed to get booked for and create a space that is going to be all trans for eight hours on a Friday night of a music festival. It’s mad.’
Excuse My Beauty’s launch event was back in May, and was put together in just a few short weeks. Ren says it was primarily a fundraiser for a trans person in the community, Indigo. ‘It was an all-trans-line-up… We collated a database of trans GoFundMe’s to promote and to get people reaching into their pockets, and get used to donating to a variety of people.’
Lady Incarnate expanded upon what makes Excuse My Beauty’s approach different: ‘I think one of the things that we wanted to do to built up to the point where something was happening on a regular predictable basis. There are some amazing events hosted by trans and queer people in Glasgow but they don’t happen every month. We wanted to create something consistent so momentum can develop and we can start having a deeper impact.’
Going from a club night in a bar, to a late-night slot at a festival within a month is a wild turnaround; Ren talked about the community aspect, ‘It was really fast but it’s also a testament to the trans community in Glasgow. We all know separate people and have separate expertise, but also know who to call upon for stuff. Another one of those things where it’s just trans people being really into trans people, showing the fuck up and being excited about it.’
Lady Incarnate talked about the challenges they didn’t face putting the night together, ‘We have an incredible depth of talent in our community, we’re amazing. We have everything we need to organize massive collective action. And awesome parties. So it wasn’t really that hard to put this line-up together at all.’
Something the pair were keen to highlight during the interview was that people attending could feel safe, with Ren noting, ‘All of us have experience running trans, or queer, or otherwise safe spaces. We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make the space as safe as possible not just for performers, but for people who are going to be in our space.’
As for the line-up at the Saloon bar? ‘It’s a ridiculous line-up.’ You can expect to see artists like Miss Cabbage, another member of Excuse My Beauty, as well as Jam and Mahasin, who run Mojxmma a QTPOC night in Glasgow, Lady Incarnate, and about another dozen performers.
The theme for the Saloon Stage at Kelburn is ‘Mushrooms’ — when asked why, the pair laughed, explained in detail a fun but too pricey mushroom badge-themed plan, but admitted, that yes, ‘Mushrooms are cute’, with Ren noting them to be ‘Very community focused, as an organism’.
You can find Excuse My Beauty on Instagram @excusemybeauty.gla with all kinds of helpful links, and if you want to get involved with what they’re doing, you can hit up their email: email@example.com.
The database for the list of GoFundMes can be found at this link.