'I don’t deserve to be harassed': Guelph drag queen's all-ages shows threatened
A Guelph drag queen is feeling “anxious” after she says her shows have been threatened on social media, leading to the cancellation of an event.
Crystal Quartz said she started getting hate mail and warnings from an online social media group at the end of October, targeting her all-ages shows.
“[The group] thinks it’s a sexual thing, that we’re grooming [children] to be gay. There’s a bunch of horrible words that they said – that we’re pedophiles. But that’s definitely not who we are. We’re just artists sharing our art with the world, trying to make people smile,” Quartz said.
Her all ages shows that was scheduled in Burlington got cancelled.
Kesley’s Original Roadhouse told CTV News, “We had to cancel the event due to circumstances beyond our control.”
Quartz said her upcoming show in Hamilton is also at risk, after being threatened by the group.
“They said they were going to buy all the tickets and show up to the show and give them a show that they’ll never forget. And that they would harass anybody that’s coming into the building to make them feel so uncomfortable that they would leave.”
She hired security and reported the threat to Hamilton Police, who confirmed to CTV News that they are aware of the situation and will have an officer present at the show.
Quartz started performing in drag 18 years ago, doing a variety of shows, such as all-ages brunches, adult bingo nights, and celebrity impersonations.
“I love making people laugh,” she said. “It’s a crowd of people that I make feel empowered by the time I’m done. And they feel lovely and happy, and they’re ready to take on the world.”
She said up until about a month ago, she always felt safe being out in public in her drag, but that feeling of safety is now gone.
“It doesn’t make me feel right at all,” she said. “I’ve hardly slept, can’t really eat much, it’s really affecting my mental health.”
She posted a video to social media, addressing the anti-LGTBQ threats with hopes to put a stop to it.
Quartz also spoke to MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam, who brought the issue up at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.
Guelph Police are investigating, saying in a release “It is important that everyone recognizes that threats, intimidation and harassment of a criminal nature are not acceptable by law and will not be tolerated in our community; particularly those rooted in discrimination."
Quartz said she is raising funds to take self-defence classes and get an ID scanner that will help determine if an ID is fake.
“It’s had a huge impact on my business and nor do I feel very safe to go and start promoting more shows at this point or booking any more,” she said. “I don’t deserve to be harassed going to my job, for doing the work that I do. You wouldn’t do this to a musician going to his job, right. He’s an entertainer as well.”
Quartz said she will continue to advocate until there is equality.
“I’m just out there trying to make people happy. And they’re trying to destroy that.”