Zander Murray in 2023. | Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

Zander Murray has been renowned as a barrier breaker since the moment he became the first Scottish senior soccer player to come out publicly as gay in 2022.

So it’s not surprising he would continue to shatter the macho stereotypes associated with his sport less than two years later.

To that end, Murray recently underwent a Youtube drag makeover, courtesy of U.K. drag phenom Cherry West.

It’s not every day that you find a professional soccer player willing to show off that much of his feminine side. Messi might be making $150 million, but he’ll never know what it feels like to earn that money one dollar bill at a time.

At the start of the video, Murray seemed a bit nervous, but once things got going, he relaxed and got into the spirit of it all. The result was a very entertaining and sometimes enlightening 23 minutes.

During the filming of the segment, Murray explained to West that he wanted to try drag in order to show that all personality types of the LGBTQ rainbow are worthy of love and support.

“I always get the, ‘Oh Zander, you’re OK, you’re alright, but see all them dressing up in drag and being dead girly? Nah, not having that,’ and it’s up to me in that position to challenge that,” Murray later told PinkNews reporter Charlie Duncan, “Doing this collab, it’s just shown that I’m part of this community, whether you like it or not.”

The “one of the good ones” rhetoric that Murray referenced is a particularly insulting bit of homophobia, partly because those who use it think they’re disguising it in a compliment.

To see him push back against that harmful trope and stand up for everyone in his community was gratifying. That Murray did so while being made up with lipstick and eyeshadow further emphasized whose side he was on.

Being put in full drag was also a way for Murray to get in touch with his vulnerable side and helped him open up to West about his coming out journey. As he told Outsports, “My feminine/camp side has always been there. However, I’ve kept that in a closed box for 16 years of my life as I knew this would not go down well playing professional football.”

Murray told West that he first realized he was gay as a teenager while playing The Sims. As he described it, he set up two male characters in the game in a relationship and then found himself flooded with his first rush of gay feelings.

“Obviously a moment of pure joy but then obviously at that point I was playing professional academy football and obviously used to get in dressing rooms and I was like, ‘Fuck!’ I was terrified. I was like, ‘Oh my God, how can I be gay?’” he recalled to West.

Murray advances the ball during the 2022 Scottish Cup. | Photo by Craig Brown/SNS Group via Getty Images

He also expressed admiration to West for being able to live as her authentic self during her teenage years. While he was being made up, Murray ruefully compared West’s experience to his own school years, when he bullied other gay kids while being closeted himself.

“I really enjoyed the conversation with Cherry,” he told Outsports, “I was very impressed that from 14 years old, Sam [West’s name out of drag] could chase his dreams to be a successful drag queen, ignoring all hate from bullies at school—something I couldn’t do.”

As the segment progressed, Murray reflected on the massive outpouring of letters he has received from LGBTQ schoolchildren, most notably since the premiere of his 2023 documentary about homophobia in soccer.

Toward the conclusion, Murray had two big reveals. The first was that he has been approached by a production company to create his own series centered around founding an LGBTQ-inclusive soccer team.

“You know everyone’s got like a team mascot?” he asked West, “I’m thinking, oh my God, we could do it as a drag queen!”

Hey, if Gritty could get a Queer Eye makeover

The other big reveal happened at the end when Murray stepped out in full wig, breastplate, and gown to unveil his drag persona Miss De Ball. Even though was new to the art form, his drag name game was already at a Ronaldo level.

Getting in the spirit of the segment perfectly, Murray was fully in character and it was clear Miss De Ball was living her best life. (Although that neckline should have resulted in a penalty kick.)

“Drag is an outlet for people to be their authentic self. I’m super glad I got the chance to do it! I am aware of being one of the very few gay footballers [and] that probably some people may disagree with this. But I hope it’s also changed some minds and perceptions. Drag is an art form and a way of life for people. It should be celebrated,” he said to Outsports.

Thanks to a collab between the soccer and drag worlds, Murray was giving Lady Camden and Megan Rapinoe—and we were here for it.