Statement on Homophobic Threats and Cancelling of Family-Friendly Drag Show

Raising the pride flag with from left to right, Pride executive director Deidre Rowland, Pride president Britton Kohn, and city councillors Charlayne Thornton-Joe, Sarah Potts and Stephen Andrew.

In June, Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together to celebrate Pride month. Here in Victoria we do the same. After two years of not being able to gather in person for Pride events and the annual parade, Victorians are keen to come together again to celebrate. On Friday at City Hall we raised the Pride flag to mark the beginning of Pride week in the City of Victoria.

Over the past week, a local coffee shop with deep roots in the community that was to host a family-friendly drag show this weekend was targeted with hateful and homophobic phone calls and threats of violence to people planning to attend the event. The event was cancelled as a result.

On Friday as we gathered as a community to raise the pride flag, I dressed in drag as an act of solidarity to say, and to show, that all forms of love and all forms of gender expression are welcome in our community, and are celebrated.

These threats of violence have no place in our community. Pride month is about celebrating love and the right we all have in a free country like Canada for everyone to love whom they choose, to express their gender how they choose and to feel safe in all places and spaces to do so.

Pride month is about celebrating and honouring diversity, celebrating inclusion and making space in our community for love in all its forms. That is what makes us strong as a community. In these uncertain times, we need to come together as a community and hold each other up, not tear each other apart.

To all 2SLGBTQ+ members of Victoria’s community, and all our allies, know that you are loved, and that that love will always prevail over fear and hate and anger. Happy Pride.

To find out more about this year’s pride events check out the Pride Society website.


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