Online threats and homophobic abuse directed at a performer due to appear at Dundee Contemporary Arts on Saturday has forced the venue to cancel the event due to safety fears.
The Drag Queen Storytime event was due to take place at the venue at 1pm but has since been cancelled due to what the DCA described as “hateful and intimidatory behaviour of a small number of people online” leading to the performer feeling unsafe.
Performer, Miss Peaches, was due to appear at the event which is part of the venue’s Transcendent season celebrating those exploring gender issues.
‘Hateful and intimidatory behaviour’
The venue said both the performer as well as DCA employees had received “abusive and threatening messages”.
It also confirmed that police had been informed of the incidents on Tuesday when the online abuse was first received.
Our Transcendent season continues today, celebrating those exploring and pushing past gender norms: https://t.co/QJNSeawPn1
📚 Drag Queen Storytime with @MissPeachesDQ: 11:00
— DCA (@DCAdundee) December 3, 2022
A statement outlining the DCA’s reasons for the last-minute cancellation was posted on social media.
It read: “We are very sorry to say that today’s Drag Queen Storytime event was unable to go ahead because of the hateful and intimidatory behaviour of a small number of people online, which led to the performer feeling unsafe.
“We are appalled that she and members of our team have received abusive and threatening messages this week, and have reported this behaviour to the police.
Event cancelled due to safety concerns
“We refuse to be intimidated by hate speech and abusive behaviour and hope very much to reschedule this event soon.
“In the meantime we will be making a donation to LGBT Youth Scotland in recognition of the struggles faced by the LGBT community on a daily basis.”
Following the cancellation performer, Miss Peaches, thanked those who had supported her decision to cancel the engagement.
She added: “Being forcefully misgendered, accused of pedophilia and having my social media cherry picked to create a narrative that i’m not safe to be around children is heartbreaking.
“I chose to cancel because the event became about something more than a story time.
“It was overshadowed by a transphobic, queer-phobic, bigoted hate campaign against myself personally and anyone like me.
“Most importantly I didn’t want children being faced with a mob of people holding signs.”
She also vowed to reschedule the event for an as yet unspecified date in a bid not to “let these horrible people win”.
Tommy Small, Dundee Pride chairperson said described the alleged abuse as “disgusting”.
He told The Courier: “It’s so sad to see these hateful groups spreading their disgusting misinformation, homophobia and transphobia at what should have been a very joyful, happy event for children and their families.
“They dress their lies, and hateful views by clutching their pearls and shouting ‘think of the children’ when in fact they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
“Dundee pride have been fortunate enough to work with the brilliant Miss peaches on drag Queen story time in the past.
“Not only is Miss Peaches an inspiring, kind, warm woman she is also an absolute professional and the children who have attended in the past have smiled from ear to ear hearing her read beautiful children’s stories.”
This latest incident comes just weeks after a LGBT hub in Kirkcaldy, Fife was subjected to two separate attacks in the same evening.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers received a report of threatening messages being made online in relation to a planned show at Dundee Contemporary Arts gallery.
“Following enquiries, no criminality was established.”