Drag Race UK: Bimini Bon Boulash mural painted over

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Defaced mural of drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash reads: Bimini babes, watch the queen conquer, whether you're he, she or them, hashtag Trans Rights.Image source, BBC/World of Wonder
Image caption,
The mural was painted over within days of its completion

A mural tribute to Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon Boulash has been painted over in an apparent act of vandalism.

The work was painted in the Pottergate underpass in Norwich on Wednesday by local artist Knapple, with help from transgender activist Sharpay Salazar.

However, on Sunday morning, the work was found covered over.

Bimini, from Great Yarmouth, responded to the defacement on Twitter, saying they felt "sorry for the people who felt threatened" by the mural.

In the post, they added: "I will never stop being myself.

"I'll never shy away from living an authentically queer experience even if there are people that disagree with our existence.

"I don't feel anger, I have sympathy.

"I feel sorry for the people who felt threatened or intimidated by a message portraying love, positivity and kindness.

"Trans rights are human rights and I will push that message until the end."

Image source, Knapple
Image caption,
The piece as it appeared before being painted over

Bimini was a finalist on RuPaul's Drag Race UK series two and was praised for speaking openly with fellow star Ginny Lemon about being non-binary, and their experience as part of the LGBT community.

The mural depicted Bimini in one of their Drag Race UK runway looks - a homage to Norwich City Football Club.

A flag in the background celebrated Bimini's advocacy, as a non-binary person, for the transgender community.

Image caption,
The mural as it appeared on Sunday morning

Knapple, who planned the mural, said: "It shows such ignorance.

"People think Norwich is quite liberal and progressive, but there is this undercurrent of not being accepting at all."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Last year, a Black Lives Matter mural by the artist, was removed by council contractors in a "hugely regrettable" move, before a second version was defaced.

She said: "This isn't the end. It just shows there is work to be done.

"Why should we be silenced by people that don't shared the same progressive views?"

Image caption,
Discarded paint and rollers were found near the defaced mural in Norwich

Passer-by Catherine Sutherland, who has lived in Norwich for 30 years, said the mural's removal was "heart-breaking".

She said: "I feel like I want to cry - it was such an uplifting piece.

"To see it being painted over so quickly makes me really, really upset because it's so clear it's because someone feels like it doesn't represent Norwich and in that they are really wrong."

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