Diversity dance faces backlash

Anmol Aujla / March 4, 2020

The Burnaby school district released the poster on their website leaving a number of parents disappointed.
(Burnaby School District)

After announcing a diversity dance at a local Burnaby school, members of the LGBTQ community faced tons of backlash. The group introduced a dance for students from grade 8-12 to help promote comfort and acceptance. The dance is being headlined by a well-known drag queen named Kendall Gendr.

 “It’s more anti SOGI groups within different suburbs than parents. There hasn’t been a lot of backlash from the parents actually going to the dance. We have 250 students actually coming to this event and their parents are actually the ones not backlashing. – Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

Gendr has been performing for a while now and has performed for the youth on multiple occasions.
(Kendall Gendr / Facebook)

However, a woman from Langley shares that she is disappointed and disgusted by the choice of the Burnaby school district. Kari Simpson shared on her Facebook the outrage and disappointment of exposing these types of things to such young children.

She doesn’t even have kids actually going to this event, which I think is very important for people to know. – Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

A local supporter of the LGBTQ community, Astrid Lalonde stated most of the backlash and hate was targeted towards Gendr and her potential influence of the children. On Facebook Lalonde asked the public for help and support for tonight’s dance. She shared the importance to support the children at times like this, so they can accept who they are.

When I first saw the post I thought it was a joke, because it said all these crazy things like comparing drag queens to child molesters, sexual deviants, and ready to corrupt children. – Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

It’s homophobia if this was a school dance and they hired a singer or live band there wouldn’t be such an adverse reaction to that person performing. – it just plain homophobia and it’s sad. – Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

Simpson, along with what might be hundreds of people, are planning to gather outside the dance tonight the protest Gendr and the school district. On Simpson’s posts, many parents were in agreement and support of the wrong doings of the school district.

The negative emails and messages I’ve been getting have them going to the organizers, saying extremely homophobic and despicable things to both of us. – Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

Late last night, Gendr addressed the issue and the backlash. In the statement Gendr explained that her in intentions are not to force anything on to anyone but show her talents and way of life.

Gendr shares that her experience in the show industry is something that she is proud of and she enjoys sharing with the world.

“I hope they don’t (protest), it’s more than just the opinions on both sides – it’s about these kids and these kids are just trying to find joy and a safe place to express themselves. There is absolutely no need to protest and an event like this.”- Kendall Gendr, Drag Queen Performer

The dance starts at 6pm at Byrne Creek Community School.