LGBTQIA Social Issues

Drag Performers With Down Syndrome Denied Performance Space

A venue is facing backlash after it canceled a drag show because some of the performers have Down syndrome.

The British drag group Drag Syndrome was going to perform at the Tanglefoot Building in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in September. But on August 19, Peter Meijer, the owner of the venue, sent a letter to the group to cancel their performance.

His reasoning? He wanted to protect people with Down syndrome from being “exploited” on stage.

“The differently abled are among the most special souls in our community, and I believe they, like children and other vulnerable populations, should be protected,” Meijer wrote in the letter. Meijer wrote that people with Down syndrome might not consent to doing drag, even though they’re performing in drag and literally saying that they want to perform in drag.

Meijer announced he is running for Michigan’s Third Congressional District in July.

Read more about the venue cancellation here