Liberal cabinet ministers attended an all-ages drag show on Parliament Hill this week.
Women and gender equality and youth minister Marci Ien shared pictures of the drag event Thursday, which was held following the raising of the progress pride flag to kick off what the government calls “2SLGBTQI+ Pride Season.”
“Let’s embrace the beauty and power of this art, recognizing its rich history and its ability to foster acceptance and unite us.”
Thank-you to everyone who joined us for our #PrideSeason Kick-Off celebration, with a special drag performance from the fabulous Adrianna Exposee.— Marci Ien (@MarciIen) June 9, 2023
Drag is a vibrant and diverse form of art, it’s about expressing yourself and pushing boundaries. pic.twitter.com/DbYcGJZKlJ
“Drag is a vibrant and diverse form of art, it’s about expressing yourself and pushing boundaries,” said Ien. “From timeless glamour to cutting-edge creativity, their energy is truly unforgettable.”
Ien shared several photos of the drag show, including one featuring a young child – indicating the event was not exclusive to adults.
Also present at the drag show was Minister of international trade, export promotion, small Business and economic development Mary Ng, Minister of sport Pascale St-Onge, Minister of families, children and social development Karina Gould and Minister of mental health and addictions Carolyn Bennett.
On Twitter, Ien received criticism for the drag show.
“I always thought that being a member of parliament was a serious position. Marci Ien, first you tweeted about menstrual bracelets, and now you are hosting a drag brunch. What exactly is your job description, because I think you are losing all credibility.” said one user.
“Drag is adult entertainment,” wrote another. “Some even consider it woman-face. Come to think of it, what is a woman, Marci?”
“At some point it would be good to see you actually serving Canadians. Why are our soldiers having to buy their own helmets? Why are Canadian’s charter rights being violated? Why are women unsafe in their own change rooms?” Said another user.
This is not the first time that Liberals have tapped into the culture wars surrounding drag shows.
In May, Defence Minister Anita Anand posted photos of herself with several drag queens, calling drag entertainment “one of Canada’s fundamental freedoms.”
“Expressing yourself through drag is one of Canada’s fundamental freedoms. It’s crucial that we show up to support the 2SLGBTQI+ community in all its diversity,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, Trudeau made an appearance on Canada’s Drag Race in 2022, telling performers “It doesn’t matter what your background is, where you’re from, who you love – you enrich this place”
Expressing yourself through Drag is one of Canada’s fundamental freedoms. It’s crucial that we show up to support the 2SLGBTQI+ community in all its diversity. I enjoyed seeing Devine Darling & Vitality Black at Community Resto. Looking forward to a fantastic #Pride2023. pic.twitter.com/LFZGaE8DSH— Anita Anand (@AnitaAnandMP) May 28, 2023
“It doesn’t matter what your background is, where you’re from, who you love – you enrich this place” ❤️ Thank you Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau for visiting the #CanadasDragRace werkroom— Canada’s Drag Race (@canadasdragrace) November 26, 2022
Where to watch:
🇨🇦 @CraveCanada (Canada)
🇬🇧 @bbcthree (UK)
🌎 @wowpresentsplus (worldwide) pic.twitter.com/FV3Ml26j6i
The Liberals also recently announced 1.5 million dollars in “emergency” safety funding for pride events – amid an increasing backlash against gender ideology.
“Transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, they’re all on the rise. It’s been difficult to watch people and institutions still continue to reject who you are, to try to deny members of our communities the rights to be seen and heard and celebrated,” said Trudeau while raising the progress pride flag Thursday on Parliament Hill.
“And to those kids I’m here to say, even though the Pride flag may not fly at your school, know that it proudly flies here in your seat of government,” he added.
True North asked Ien’s office to ask if taxpayer dollars were used to put on the parliamentary drag show, but they did not respond in time for publication.
With files from True North’s Cosmin Dzsurdzsa.