The Dukes of Drag Manifesto

The Dukes of Drag have been questioning gender and sexuality norms through performance since 2007. Many of our acts have explicitly celebrated gender, sexual and size diversity. Others have explicitly decried discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression, domestic abuse and capitalism. In this light, our work is inherently political. However, until now, we have never made an overt stand against oppression. Today, the Dukes of Drag have chosen to voice our support for all struggles against oppression and our celebration of all forms of diversity. We therefore present the Dukes of Drag manifesto: a pledge against oppression and a statement of celebration of diversity.

The Dukes of Drag Manifesto

The Dukes of Drag stand against oppression based on sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; sex; race; ethnicity; language; size; age; physical or neurological ability; religion; nationality; citizenship status and socio-economic background. We stand for the celebration of all forms of human diversity and the access to respect and dignity for all people. We acknowledge that we live, work and perform on Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) territory.

This means that:

  • We commit to avoiding performances that contribute to oppression, invisibility and marginalisation;
  • We commit to maintaining a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for performers who want to use their creativity to promote social justice issues and anti-oppression messages;
  • We commit to avoiding any association with groups that are oppressive;
  • We commit to continuing our tradition of providing free or “at cost” performances for fund-raisers that benefit groups working for positive change in the above areas;
  • We commit to seeking out ways to make our troupe more welcoming to a diversity of performers.

Some of our acts deal with controversial and sensitive topics, or with stereotypes that may make some people uncomfortable. We are open to dialogue with fans and audience members who have concerns about any of our acts. We are also open to dialogue with people who feel that we have not lived up to the above commitments. Finally, we hope that fans who have special needs will contact us so that we can try to work with them to find a way for them to come enjoy our shows!

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