‘I’m concerned for my community’: Ontario drag queen worried about growing threats, harassment globalnews.ca

Longtime Guelph, Ontario, Gay Crystal Quartz pleads for help over TikTok, which she refers to as a “campaign of hate”; targeting drag artists in the province.

“Recently I and other drag queens and promoters in Ontario have been targeted by an anti-LGBT, anti-drag queen group that is threatening to come and ruin our shows, bully us, harass us does and even threatens to hurt our customers,” he said in the video.

Quartz travels to venues in cities across Ontario, including popular restaurant chains, where she performs drag shows at brunches and other special events with up to 100 guests in attendance.

“I create safe and inclusive spaces so people can feel free to be themselves. And I started noticing threats to myself on October 30th … and then that kind of fizzled out and then after the Colorado Springs episode over the weekend they threatened me again,” she said.

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Last month, a shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ2 nightclub, Club Q, left five people dead and at least 19 others injured.

“It’s almost like nothing can be done until someone is hurt, shot, stabbed. And that’s where I’m having a problem,” Quartz said.

She said she contacted police in Guelph more than once.

“They can troll around areas and be on site but until I gather, unless there is actual violence, they can’t do anything and for me, that’s scary,” she said. Told.

Global News contacted Guelph Police but did not respond to a request for comment.

“Crystal isn’t the only one experiencing this,” said Dean Lobo, communications coordinator at 519 in Toronto, an organization dedicated to advocating for the inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

“Many people within 2SLGBTQ+ communities feel threatened, fearing for their lives in light of not only Club Q, but so many other attacks we are seeing locally in America and around the world and it is important to know that Canada is not immune to such violence.”

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Lobo said that drag artists and drag culture are an important part of 2SLGBTQ+ communities and that policymakers and officials should listen to them when they say they don’t feel safe and take action.

“Even talking about Club Q, it is an example that hatred in the face of extremism is only growing and this is not the first attack that we have seen. We have seen a lot in the past. And some places Those 2SLGBTQ+ communities that have to congregate, feel safe, are also under attack and I think there’s a very important need to keep those places sacred, to keep them safe,” he said.

“I am concerned for my community. No one should need to be afraid to go to their jobs,” said Quartz.

Recently, an incident forced the cancellation of the event where she was scheduled to perform.

“They canceled, they were very afraid for the safety of their patrons and granted, of course, I totally understand that,” she said. “The amount of work I put into this and made people feel safe, now people are not feeling safe.”

Quartz takes issue with anti-LGBTQ2 groups who claim his drag shows are inappropriate for children.

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“They are discriminating even before they meet me because if they met me, I am sure they would love me, because I am a ball of positive light. I just love to make people smile and laugh and feel good,” she Said. “I make these places kid-friendly. I act like Mary Poppins and any Disney characters, I’m here to light up the kids’ eyes and make them feel safe and comfortable.”

Quartz is now considering taking self-defense courses and hiring security to protect itself and its customers.

“It’s snowballing and it’s getting scarier and scarier and everyone is scared to stand up…. I’ve basically just put a red mark on my back but someone has to do something and someone in our community has to Have to speak for

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