The Welsh word ‘Cŵm’ is pronounced exactly how you fear it might be. It means valley, the landform perhaps most associated with the country. It’s within Wales’ famous Valleys that you can find a perfect example of the complexities and contradictions encased within the small nation. Amongst breathtaking natural beauty, there are pockets of deprivation; communities hung out to dry amongst the bucolic peaks and dips of the scars left by ancient glaciers.
It’s this area, and all the history, the struggle, the beauty and the pain wrapped up within it that gives its name to Cŵm Rag – a drag collective of Welsh queer people, who all left Wales and moved to London. After performing for years across East London at venues like Dalston Superstore and The Glory, the collective took to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), climbing the country’s highest peak in drag for Trans Aid Cymru.
Filmed for S4C, the homecoming saw the collective explore the realities of growing up queer in Wales, reflecting on leaving, and the communities that they’ve formed. Following an appearance on SC4’s Gogglebox, they took their show home to Cardiff with a sold-out performance at the Wales Millennium Centre in March. Photographer Megan Winstone was there to document the chaotic atmosphere backstage.