Ontario teen seeks apology after school board cancels visit from drag performers

A 16-year-old student says he wants an apology from his northern Ontario school board after it cancelled a planned event featuring drag performers who are travelling to Canadian schools with the aim of supporting LGBTQ youth.

Ra'Jah Mohamed, who was helping to organize a local stop of the Courage Across Canada Tour, says the event was to be held at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, which he attends, but the Rainbow District School Board has cancelled it.

Mohamed, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, says he was told twice by board representatives that they felt the event would be "hypersexual."

He says the event – featuring members of the television show "Canada's Drag Race" – is designed for students and has been vetted by other school boards, and he says the cancellation perpetuates negative stereotypes of the drag community.

Kimora Amour, a drag performer who is part of the event, says the school board's decision is disappointing and students deserve an apology.

The school board did not immediately respond to requests for comment but in a statement sent to local media this week it said it won't participate in the event and will focus on existing workshops it has planned for LGBTQ youth.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press