Pride flag ripped from home, online hate and harassment won’t stop Kelowna advocates

Queer people in Kelowna are standing up to harmful rhetoric and demonstrating resiliency after experiencing a series of recent hate crimes and abuse.

Jovian, a Drag King performer and non-binary youth in Kelowna has been subject to both physical and online forms of anti-queer hate and abuse.

Recently, they were the target of hate speech after writing a supportive message on Instagram influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s post.

Jovian was attacked in a series of hateful replies which included threatening language like, “I’m coming for you… You people need to be locked away and we needa (sic) throw away the key.”

“If this was an isolated incident, I could ignore it, but it’s not,” said Jovian.

During Jovian’s first six months as a drag performer, they had eggs thrown at them from a vehicle, while leaving the venue.

“I do sometimes wish to hide to avoid hatred towards queer people and drag performers.”

They explained that harmful behaviour like this is happening everywhere, all the time and it is nearly impossible to escape.

“We are exposed to negativity and hurtful comments each time we are online.”

Jovian is asking queer and transgender allies and supporters of the art of drag to stand up against the recent surge in hate both locally and around the world.

Jovian said that they simply want to live a life that is authentic to the way that they feel and what they believe.

“If I don’t fight for our rights, then my community and I will never truly get to be ourselves. That future is simply not an option for me.

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