This is one of the hardest posts that I will ever write. Largely because much like my post about my issues with the Cannabis Community, and certain women – specifically – in that community, I am really tired of being the one to call out abuse publically, in Surrey, British Columbia.
Saturday, June 25th, 2022, was the official launch of the British Columbia Pride Season, and it was a beautiful festival filled with people from all walks of life. At Surrey Central Mall we danced, we sang, we talked, we laughed, and some cried.
At Surrey City Center, where City Hall is located was the first-ever Halal Food Festival, which was a sea of Brown, Black, White, Asian, Jewish, and LGBTQ2S+ faces, it was super cool. It was also incredibly overwhelming, because of the number of people, the heat, and the overwhelming sensation that I’ve been isolated for far too long. In part because of the pandemic, but in much larger part, due to my mental health.
During the festival at the mall – presented by a variety of organizations but mainly the Surrey Pride Community, I had a very difficult discussion about a well-known Drag Queen. I am choosing deliberately not to name this person, because if you know, then YOU ALREADY FUCKING KNOW, and if you don’t know it’s genuinely, not my place to out them because by putting them in the direct spotlight I also highlight some people harmed by this person, and it’s not my place to out victims without their consent.
I have spent years questioning my sexual identity, because of abuse at the hands of white men – specifically – more so than coloured men. I have always been a victim of white men, this website freed me from that and allowed me to tell my truth, in a way that felt right and safe for me to do so. It brought drama to my front door, but that was a risk I was willing to take because I knew my story mattered enough for me to be the one to tell it on my terms.
“There are tons of kids out there who endure chronic abuse and suffer in silence. They can’t trust anyone, they can’t tell anyone, and they have no idea how to get away from it.”― C. Kennedy, Ómorphi
I decided that bisexual felt right to me. And so at some point, I decided to tell the world through Twitter that it was important enough for me to acknowledge that I love men, and I also love women and that by saying “I am Bisexual,” what I was really saying is, “I’m not sure what I am looking for in a partner so I am not closing doors until I know what fits right for me.”
In the past at LBGTQ2S+ events that this particular person has attended, someone always ends up hurt. Either because of something this person has said or because of something they have physically done. There are many gay men – specifically – who do not feel safe in this person’s community spaces, and there are several bisexual, straight, and men and even women, who do not feel safe in this person’s company.
I have personally witnessed the after-effects of something I am 99.9% sure was an act of sexual abuse by this person, and while I 100% refuse to out the other person involved, I will say that it was a huge part of the dissolution of that friendship and unfortunately I didn’t know how to witness the signs back then, the way I do now.
If We Are To Be COMMUNITY LEADERS, Then We Have To Be BETTER Than The Men, Women, and Non-binary Folks Who Abused Our VULNERABILITY, For Their Need To Claim POWER Over OUR Selves!
I don’t care what battle you are fighting, if you are going to get on stage and commit to being a community leader, then you don’t get to get on that stage, and claim to be a community leader while being an abuser of the vulnerable people who look up to you for support, leadership, and education about how best to fight the battles they are facing.
Like Marc Emory before this person, we have learned that not all of our community leaders need to be trusted.
It took years for the victims of Marc Emory’s “The Prince of Pot,” to come forward and share their stories. For these women, it took them looking at what happened to them with adult eyes, the kind of eyes they didn’t have when they were young and vulnerable.
On Pride Day in Surrey, I had a very uncomfortable conversation with a person who told me that they took had heard the stories about this particular person and both of us agreed that enough was enough, but the problem is that just because I – alone – am ready to start saying “this is not okay,” doesn’t mean that everyone else is.
The LGBTQ2S+ communities, regardless of where you come from are incredibly small. Everyone in these communities thinks they know everyone, either because they’ve met each other, or because they’ve heard stories. I know that there are stories around out there swimming around the world where I haven’t always been on my best behaviour, and I’ve shared most of them on this site or on Medium.com
The difference is that I don’t pretend to be something that I am not. I am honest and authentic as possible when I talk about the things that I am not proud of and why.
I don’t go to events for the LGBTQ2S+ community events around Surrey and New West specifically because I know that I am going to run into this person and I struggle with not being able to say “I fucking hate you and everything you stand for because none of it’s true, you’re a horrible person and you do horrible things.”
I struggle because this person is incredibly well known and lifted up as a hero, and their fans are far louder than mine.
But I’m saying it nonetheless. The well-known Drag Queen who showed up on stage yesterday and was cheered for and celebrated is an awful person and everyone in the LGBTQ2S+ community knows it, and they aren’t saying anything because they are just as afraid as I am.
I cannot stress enough, the fact that we should not have to be afraid of our abusers, the abuser or those we care about. Our abusers should be terrified, but the reason they are not afraid is that they count on the silence of a community that prefers to pretend that t’s perfect, so they don’t have to address the abusive nature of these people – and there are many of them -.
And the only reason that we protect abusers in our communities, is so that we don’t have to deal with the fallout of what happens when people realize the communities based on lifting up Human Rights, aren’t perfect.
Several years ago there was a man who ran a youth group who ended up living with one of the youth from that group – granted the youth was 18, but they also had nowhere else to go and very few options when it came to their safety and this man knew that. I fought like hell to get him away from the youth group and it ended up dissolving which was the best choice honestly.
I am going to make a concentrated effort to be out at more LGBTQ2S+ events to let people know that I am there to talk, but I can promise you publically and privately that I will not say another word to this drag queen if I can help it, because just because you’re famous in this province, doesn’t mean I have to subscribe to your bullshit.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall