WINNIPEG, Manitoba (TND) — A drag queen mentorship program for youth has come under fire for exposing kids, potentially as young as 13, to “the basics of the art form of Drag.”
Wall-to-Wall Mural and Culture Festival, an art festival put on by a Canadian art collective Synonym Art Consultation, states on its website that youth involved in the program will learn about drag queen makeup, wigs and performances “from the pros."
The program’s 2022 drag mentor, “Feather Talia,” is described on the site as a “two spirit indigiqueer Drag Queen.”
Feather has been given the title: Indigiqueer drag Comedian,” a bio for the drag mentor reads. “When Feather is performing, She is here to bring you some sass, yet outrageously funny entertainment! She will either have you gagged with her stunts or your guts hurting from laughter!”
The organization’s website indicates the mentorship program is for “youth” between the ages of 15 and 29 years of age. But, according to a social media post from an Instagram page dedicated to another festival put together by Synonym Art Consultation, the mentorship program is available to kids as young as 13.
The program’s application does not ask applicants to identify their age. The only question on the application pertaining to age, asks for applicants under 18 to have their parent or guardian provide their “legal name and pronoun.”
Many online have taken notice of the program and heavily criticized its inclusion of children. Some have even called the program an example of "grooming." Others have called the drag mentors "predators."
Last month, news broke of a child in Oregon, age 11, who was reportedly mentored by a drag queen who later got arrested on child sex abuse charges, according to The Daily Mail.
The National Desk (TND) reached out to Synonym Art Consultation to confirm the youngest age able to participate in Wall-to-Wall’s drag queen mentorship program but did not immediately receive a response. If one is received this story will be updated.