Glow from drag queen's 'fun' photo shoot wears off after patrons complain
HALIFAX -- Drag performer Cynthia Stilts thought a photo shoot at the Christmas Glow event in Halifax would be fun.
The event, run by a British Columbia-based company, bills itself as one of largest indoor Christmas festivals in the world and welcomes patrons to take pictures.
Cynthia bought tickets for herself and a photographer for an evening session, took a picture, and had a great time.
"You know everyone was very kind and sweet and loving, and I experienced no hate at the venue," said Stilts.
It wasn't until a post appeared online afterwards -- a post from someone who was there that night and called the photo shoot "inappropriate" -- that she says negative comments targeting her started coming in.
She says instead of getting angry, she began sharing them. That's when a representative from the event wrote her.
"The message basically said, 'your pictures are getting a lot of backlash, I'm getting a lot of backlash from the photos that you have taken, and if you could please stop sharing the complaints that the clients are making about you,'" Stilts said.
CTV News had scheduled an interview with a local representative of the event, but that interview was later cancelled. The company behind the event, Glow Gardens, released a statement instead.
That statement reads in part:
"We sincerely apologize to Cynthia and the LGBTQ2S+ community for the miscommunication and initial insensitivity …"
Then continues: "we do have a policy regarding appropriate clothing being worn at Glow. In this case, we did feel that the outfit worn did violate this policy.
This is a policy we enforce to all of our guests."
"I'm sure a lot of you know that with drag, a lot of it is padding and nylon," Stilts said. "Have you seen figure skaters? Ballet dancers? They wear the same exact nylons and it's showing just as much skin."
Stilts has had many messages of support since this all started, and she says that makes all the difference to her.