Drag queen Daytona Bitch was fired from the TD Canada Trust Pride Toronto festival for allegedly performing in blackface. The LGBT Communities in North America have been accused of being racially insensitive and other drag performers have been hit hard over the use of blackface.
According to Daytona Bitch, he was hired to perform on 24 June at a Toronto gay bar, but was later fired by the marketing company that had booked him. The company told him that booking him for the bar was “not at all well received by the LGBT community”. In a subsequent email dated 26 June, Diamond Integrated Marketing noted that the performance was a violation of TD Canada’s “longstanding commitment to diversity.”
Daytona Bitch claims that his character of Miss Cleo is not an example of blackface, and that his portrayal of the character, a Black psychic, was often well received. He said “The people I asked at Crews & Tangos thought it was hilarious that I was dressed as a big fat black woman.”
The LGBT Community has been taken to task several times over the years for their attitudes towards race. Sometimes those criticism have been justified. One gay drag performer was called out repeatedly for using blackface during his performances. The LGBT Community was also noted for having blamed racial minorities for the victory of California’s Prop 8 despite the fact that Blacks account for only a small percentage of the population in California, and electorate-wise, were not a major factor in Prop 8′s victory.
Some of that has changed over the years with increasing numbers of Black leaders coming forward to support LGBT rights. Unfortunately, it still lingers in some places.