An indigenous LGBTI leader and a prominent transgender activist were angered by a “tasteless” and “racist” drag performance at the recent Out! Cairns New Year’s Eve party.
Transgender activist Melody Moore was deeply offended after the performer threw a condom full of “white liquid” at her during the event at Buddha Bar.
The drag queen was also accused of being racist and misogynist, as the performer appeared in ‘black face’, imitating an overweight, drunk and dark-skinned indigenous/islander woman. The performer’s act included stumbling around acting drunk, brandishing a bottle of rum and constantly drinking from it whilst miming along to a song.
The act was performed to the song ‘Kookie Little Paradise’, a 1960’s song about living on a Caribbean/jungle island, a song choice that was said to be in very bad taste, along with the rest of the act.
The performer whose name was reportedly ‘Aunty Berna Housedown’ was seen in a video during his act throwing the condom and hitting Moore who was attending the event.
“It felt so yucky and awful… how much respect does this person have for the community?” Moore told the Star Observer.
Moore said the performer had apologised at a later date to her but she said it was still “way out of taste” and “insensitive”.
Highly respected LGBTI community member and leader of the Australian Aboriginal and Islander Sistergirl community (a term given to trans male-to-female Indigenous Australians), Vanessa Smith was incredibly disturbed by the performance.
“It made me feel very sad. These are supposed to be our brothers and sisters,” Smith told the Star Observer.
“Where has political correctness gone? Does it apply to everyone or is the gay community exempt? Why is a minority allowed to discriminate against another minority?”
Smith questioned how organisers of the event allowed such a performance to go ahead.
“How could this be condoned by an official LGBTI community event in Cairns? It was a real slap in the face. We all exist under the LGBTI umbrella, we are all minorities.”
The name of the performer particularly upset Smith who saw it as a racial attack, implying that “black women get drunk and burn houses down.”
Out!Cairns spokeman Ricky Philbin said the committee was extremely sorry for any offence caused to their guests and apologised unreservedly.