Vancouver drag camp for kids facing hateful threats and harassment

Apr 10 2023, 10:13 pm

A Vancouver youth art theatre says it’s been “under attack by anti-gay, anti-trans aggressors,” and the harassment has amplified after a Canadian political leader spotlighted their drag camp.

The Carousel Theatre says its mission is to empower young people and families through
“meaningful, imaginative, and accessible theatrical experiences.” Drag Camps were part of achieving that mission by allowing young people “to express themselves, explore their identity, and access their inner confidence.”

The camps are planned to kick off this summer for kids between the ages of 7 to 11 and teens from 12 to 17 years old.

However, amid laws in the US passing to restrict drag performances and anti-drag movements continuing to occur in BC, the Carousel Theatre said it received non-stop threats and intimidation that have left staff and volunteers fearing for their safety.

“These cruel, explicit, personal, and threatening messages have put our everyday operations in serious jeopardy,” an email reads.

And the harassment heightened after the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, tweeted a screenshot of the program offered by Carousel Theatre and called it “utterly disgusting.”

“Camps indoctrinating kids as young as seven with gender ideology and sexual confusion are now being promoted and subsidized by all government levels,” his tweet reads.

Despite the “vile characterizations” made against Carousel Theatre, it says, “We do not want to let these small-minded people win by shutting down operations.”

The theatre is instead urging the public to help drown out the negativity “by wrapping their arms around our imaginative, inclusive, and accessible organization.”

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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