Drag events targeted by far right

A tale of two responses

December 10, 2022: Community activists in Renton defend a drag queen story hour from homophobic and transphobic right wing attacks. Photo: Radical Women Seattle
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On 8 December in Melbourne, word got out that the Proud Boys and other neo-Nazis planned to crash Glitter Nova, a drag event for young queers at St Kilda’s Pride Centre. Stonnington Youth Services, hosting Glitter Nova, capitulated and cancelled, but hundreds still came out to take on the fascists. Meanwhile in Renton, Washington unidentified thugs shot at The Brewmaster’s Taproom in an attempt to shut down its very popular Drag Queen Story Time. But the pub and locals refused to submit, and the show went on — parents and their kids inside enjoying the afternoon and a large community defence rallied outside. Faced with this strong show of unity, the violent bigots didn’t dare show up. In a similar scene outside a New York City library, hundreds withstood freezing conditions to defend a Drag Story Hour on 29 December.

The best protection against fascists: Stand up to them! Backing down — as Stonnington Youth Services, supported by Victorian Pride Centre, did — is mistaken and dangerous.

Wannabe führers are stalking the LGBTIQA+ community from Melbourne, Renton and New York City to Colorado Springs and across the world. For trans, queer and non-binary people, nowhere is safe — not drag events or nightclubs, schools or workplaces, home or the streets.

The fascist hit list doesn’t end there. Its strategy is to pick off targets, one by one. Last century’s concentration camps tragically taught us that, if fascism is allowed to grow into a powerful movement, no unionist, socialist or anarchist, person of colour, Jew or Muslim, woman, queer, disabled person, national minority or First nation community is safe.

The power of working class solidarity. Fascism comes from capitalism, a brutal system of exploitation driven by its insatiable need for profit. When, inevitably, the economy becomes a pressure cooker and revolt is possible, capitalists will unleash its ultimate weapon, fascism, to crush workers’ ability to organise.

Fascism isn’t here yet, but the far right is growing. No threat can be ignored or minimised. The only way to make neo-Nazi and far-right thugs back off is to confront them — every time. The need for a solid front of working class unity, in all its diversity, is here. Every victory against these terrorists instils confidence in our organised ability to wipe out the menace. And the sooner, the better.

Drag King, Belial B’Zarr, was scheduled to perform at Glitter Nova. They turned out to protest the far right instead, declaring that the decision not to go ahead with the event was “a poor choice.” We agree — Hitler himself said that Nazism could have been stopped if its nucleus had been destroyed before it could grow.

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