‘Drag Syndrome’ not allowed to perform at Tanglefoot

(Courtesy: Drag Snydrome Facebook)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A congressional candidate running against Rep. Justin Amash has decided a drag show with people who have Down syndrome can’t perform at his building.

Drag Syndrome was supposed to perform Sept. 7 at Tanglefoot on Straight Avenue SW for Project 1 by ArtPrize, but Peter Meijer has decided against the performance.

In an Aug. 19 letter sent to ArtPrize, Meijer said he “cannot know, and neither can an audience, whether the individuals performing for Drag Syndrome are giving, or are in a position to give, their full and informed consent.”

The group putting on the show, DisArt, said the show will still take place that day but hasn’t determined where. The Grand Rapids-based group disputed Meijer’s claim that his decision was to protect the performers.

“It didn’t matter that these Artists have long-standing, successful, internationally acclaimed careers. It didn’t matter that after founding Drag Syndrome, one of the original members was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II,” a DisArt statement says. “It didn’t matter that another performer has won a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. It didn’t matter that the artists are also accomplished actors and filmmakers, painters, dancers, singers and most important of all, human beings.

“None of that mattered in the decision to exclude their performance. All that mattered was their disability.”

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  • Kevin Rahe

    Let them act, film, dance, paint and sing. Unlike performing in drag, none of those things raise questions about entanglement with an agenda beyond mere creative expression, an agenda that has political connotations of its own.

  • steve

    The fact that the decision maker in this situation is a guy named ‘Meijer’ and he’s running against Justin Amash adds nothing to the article other than a not-so-subtle endorsement of him. Way to go FOX17. Your bias is showing.

  • stop the madness

    I don’t understand. What makes their performance more entertaining dressed in drag? Why is it considered more artistic?

    • J.B.

      You do not get how having people with mentally diminished capacity dressing up as transvestites and dancing around is considered one of the highest forms of modern art and entertainment?

      Do not feel bad…I don’t either.

      • lml25

        The rate of descent,of this country ,is picking up speed.The more bizarre the group,the more the media promotes it.Ifa story is pro- gay,pro-black,pro-illegal immigration or anti- white American,you can bet WOOD and WZZM will endorse the hell out of it.FOX is headed right for that territory,if it isn’t there already.

  • Josh

    I don’t even know where to start. Peter Meijer obviously has the right to use his building however he sees fit; congratulations, Peter, you’ve broadcasted your ignorance loud and clear.

    To all the haters in the comment section, how insecure do you have to be to feel threatened by someone dressing up in a costume and having a good time? Honest question. This is a bunch of people getting together in a room with other like-minded people to have a good time. Nobody is being coerced, nobody is being harmed. Drag performances happen all over the city. It has nothing to do with “political agendas”, being “more artistic” than anything, “transvestites”, “anti-white” or even “pro-black” (because that would be so bad??!!!).

    None of this has nothing to do with you. If you’re so bigoted that you have some kind of problem with this, all you have to do to take the high road is ignore it. If you just can’t help yourself and have to lash out at something because you don’t understand it, that’s on you.

    • Kevin Rahe

      Josh, there are those who feel conflicted about their gender who want others to affirm that their body is a curse rather than a blessing, even though it is usually a healthy and whole body. I cannot cooperate with that for two reasons. One is that I believe a healthy and whole body is a gift from God that cannot be rejected. The other reason is what it says to a handicapped person. Imagine sitting a girl with Down Syndrome or a boy paralyzed from the waist down next to a person with apparently nothing wrong with their body and saying to the child, “That person’s body is a curse!” They would likely (and rightly) respond, “Yeah, right!” Yet exactly this is now being forced on children across our country. Now this event comes along, which takes that one step further and in a sense has handicapped people themselves cooperating in affirming that some people’s healthy and whole bodies are a curse instead of a blessing. Unconscionable.

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