London's Budweiser Gardens Apologizes for Gender Policing of Washrooms at 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Event

"People ended up missing parts of the show despite empty washrooms because they were being guarded," says one attendee

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Aug 22, 2023

Management at Budweiser Gardens in London, ON, has apologized to attendees of a RuPaul's Drag Race live event who were forced to contend with a security team gender policing the venue's washrooms during the performance.

A report from CTV News London confirmed allegations from attendees on social media that members of the venue's contracted security outfit were stationed outside both binary male and female washrooms during the Werq the World tour performance held at Budweiser Gardens on Saturday (August 19), reportedly threatening to remove people they deemed did not present as their assigned gender, in addition to attendees who challenged the policy.

"Went to this event last night, literally had security guards outside the men's bathroom yelling, 'No females in the male washroom,' it was so disgusting," @Strawbracha wrote on Twitter X, adding that "The lineup for the women's ended up going into the concession area, the men's stood empty. People ended up missing parts of the show despite empty washrooms because they were being guarded."

Drag artist Courtney Conquers told CTV News London that "The security force went from zero to 100 saying, 'If you question our policies you are out,' and they tried to remove them from the venue of a show that they had paid to be at, even though their approach was not combative, and they were frankly completely in the right."

Despite claims and fear-mongering from conservatives and those in opposition to gender-expansive identities, studies have shown there is no evidence that inclusive policies and public accommodations laws with gender identity protections increase safety risks.

Yesterday (August 21), Budweiser Gardens General Manager Brian Ohl personally apologized that the evening had been "tarnished by the disrespectful actions of a few" via the venue's X account, writing, "We are working directly with our security partner to get a better understanding of how these incidents transpired. It's my responsibility to ensure they never, ever happen again."

Billed as "the largest drag show on Earth," the Werq the World tour previously brought the latest stars of RuPaul's Drag Race to major venues in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Windsor, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

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