Statement from Mayor Helps on Homophobic Threats and Cancelling of Family-Friendly Drag Show

Today Mayor Lisa Helps issued the following statement on threats made against the 2SLGBTQ+ community:

“In June, Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together to celebrate Pride month. Here in Victoria we do the same. After two years of not being able to gather in person for Pride events and the annual parade, Victorians are keen to come together again to celebrate. Today at City Hall we raised the Pride flag to mark the beginning of Pride week in the City of Victoria.

“Over the past few days, a local coffee shop with deep roots in the community that was to host a family-friendly drag show this weekend was targeted with hateful and homophobic phone calls and threats of violence to people planning to attend the event. The event was cancelled as a result.

“These threats of violence have no place in our community. Pride month is about celebrating love and the right we all have in a free country like Canada for everyone to love whom they choose, to express their gender how they choose and to feel safe in all places and spaces to do so.

“Pride month is about celebrating and honouring diversity, celebrating inclusion and making space in our community for love in all its forms. That is what makes us strong as a community. In these uncertain times, we need to come together as a community, not tear each other apart.

“To all 2SLGBTQ+ members of Victoria’s community, and all our allies, know that you are loved, and that love will always prevail over fear, hate and anger. Happy Pride.”