Drag queens targeted by death threats at Moncton show

Drag queens targeted by death threats at Moncton show

Drag queens Chiquita Mere, Barbara Wire, Sami Landri and Rose Beef (aka Tommy Des Rosiers) during the August 15 show at the Acadie Rock Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Drag queens were targeted with serious threats during a National Acadian Day performance on August 15 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

We have been targeted by death threats, denounces Tommy Des Rosiers, who plays Rose Beef and who hosted the big show organized by the Acadie Rock festival.

It's crazy, it's insane, he laments. It's not the first time we've received insults, but death threats, serious ones, yes.

Tommy Des Rosiers says he had to go on stage at the waterfront park in downtown Moncton as the tintamarre arrived. He was made aware of these threats by festival organizers just minutes before the show.

They told me that they had received a death threat against the drags, which was serious, and that he did not want me to go on stage, while we called the RCMP and were sure that it's safe, he says.

The drag queens on stage during the August 15 show at Acadie Rock in Moncton, along with the singer of Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire, Serge Brideau (in the center) and Lisa LeBlanc (on his shoulders).

The director of the Acadie Rock festival, Eric Cormier, did not want to specify the exact content of these threats, but he indicates that they were serious enough to ask the artists not to go on stage.< /p>

We took that very seriously. It's a hate crime, let's judge. We didn't let the artists on stage until the police confirmed that they had a suspect, the person who had said these things, explains Eric Cormier.

Éric Cormier, director of the Acadie Rock festival (archives)

According to him, it is the first time that the festival has had to deal with an incident of such magnitude in terms of the severity of the remarks that would have been made.

For its part, the RCMP says it has opened an investigation following a complaint of threats, on August 15, at the Acadie Rock festival.

No charges have been filed in this case, at this time, according to police.

Tommy Des Rosiers and the other drag queens attending the event – ​​Chiquita Mere (Xavier Gould), Barbara Wire (Annabelle Babineau), Sami Landri (Samuel Landry) and Heather Silk – finally decided to take the stage on August 15.

We did it, but we all had it in our heads. At one point, we saw the security running and we said to ourselves: “that's it, it's happening”, but in the end it was another matter, says Tommy Des Rosiers.

“This threat justifies why we were here and why we had to go on stage. It was for representation, diversity.

—Tommy Des Rosiers

Tommy Des Rosiers believes that this unfortunate event proves the importance of the presence of drag queens in the public square.

He says he receives far more hateful comments in person and on social media overall than in the past. Threats, violence, we constantly receive them.

I don't know who the person who made the threat is. But I think his threat was heightened by the fact that drag in 2022 is political and it was a family event and we were there, he believes.

With information from Noémie Avidar

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