February 18, Shanna Banana and Brandy Snap, two drag queens from Toulouse, were to lead a reading workshop for children at the Toulouse media library as part of a series of meetings set up by the Toulouse library as part of the month “Queer “. Finally, their audience should only be adults. In any case, this is the decision taken by the mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, on Tuesday.
For the past few days, this programming has been the subject of virulent attacks on social networks, but also through leaflets, from the Manif pour tous as well as from a group of Toulouse identities called “Furie Française”.
“This choice of programming – which did not give rise to any visa or endorsement from elected officials – can destabilize part of the public. This is obviously not the will of the community. Also, for the sake of appeasement, this reading will be redirected to accommodate only an adult audience, ”said the Toulouse city councilor, who, at the same time, condemned the threats made to the two drag queen artists.
Municipal opposition tackle
A deprogramming that has since aroused strong reactions. The members of “Furie Française”, at the origin of the controversy and whose mayor requested the dissolution of the movement from the Minister of the Interior, congratulated themselves on social networks on this “victory” thanks to their ” mobilization”, “the town hall has backed down” they plead.
And it is also the feeling of the municipal opposition for whom Jean-Luc Moudenc is “hand in hand with the extreme right in censorship”. “This is once again on the wrong side of history: censoring an event on the pretext that it is not suitable for a minority that proclaims xenophobic, misogynistic and transphobic words is a reactionary authoritarian posture. If Jean-Luc Moudenc seeks to make believe that he has changed since the Manif pour tous, in which he participated in 2012, he reveals by this act the support for intolerance, far from the humanist ideas of our city “, note the elected opposition “left environmentalists and citizens” who ask the mayor to give up this “censorship”.
“When the mayor of Toulouse gives in, he opens the door”
For Sofian Aissaoui, author of the book “Drag, the other face of Queens and Kings”, “bending to simple readings is worrying”. “This contributes to the hysterization of the debate. It can thus suggest that the far right has good reason to ask for deprogramming. When we attack the drag queen, we attack the symbol of the LGBT community. The more visibility there is of the community, the more there will be attempts to make it invisible. Small steps by small steps, this reactionary movement will try to grab hold of this visibility. And at that time, the political reaction must be strong. When the mayor of Toulouse gives in, he opens the door, ”laments the one who is also a journalist and director.
This controversy, in the wake of those born in recent months across the Atlantic, he expected. “We reproduce the same patterns, that’s why I wrote this book, telling myself that we must try to take an interest in what this culture means, how these people exist. We forget that behind these controversies, being drag-queen and drag-king is a profession, that of an artist. And each show adapts to its audience. There, these attacks are knowingly constructed by certain movements in order to delegitimize the drag movement,” concludes Sofian Aissaoui.