In Brittany, drag culture in the sights of the far right

In January, at the media library in Lamballe (Côtes-d'Armor), three artists from the Broadway French company read

The party is in full swing at the BREF, Vannes’ cultural haunt, at the invitation of the city’s LGBT + association, Liberty Max. On the program, a drag make-up workshop, led by members of the Rennes musical comedy company Broadway French: the thirty-year-old Mathieu Guiral – artistic director and drag-queen known as Darling Millie – and Léo Roméo, drag-king aged 27. years. “When we do drag, it’s to be seen from afar”, advances the first, providing tips for applying foundation.

The atmosphere is warm in this month of May, far from the tensions of the beginning of the year. In January, in Lamballe (Côtes-d’Armor), the program of the “Emancipé.es” project to fight against discrimination and prejudice sparked the ire of the conservative Catholic political party founded by Christine Boutin, Via la Voie du Peuple , at the origin of a petition.

Coming to read children’s stories at the city’s media library in this context, Darling Millie, Léo Romeo and their accomplices were received by a demonstration. Léo Roméo remembers the media frenzy and the police surrounding the establishment: “We had a great time with the families. But in the evening, when it was time to part, we didn’t want to part. Emotionally, we needed to take the pressure off. »

Online harassment, school bullying

After protests from the far right in several major cities (Toulouse, Bordeaux or Paris), members of the Rennes fascist group L’Oriflamme interrupted a reading for young audiences in May, led this time by the burlesque and drag collective The Space Circus at the library of Saint-Senoux (Ille-et-Vilaine), with homophobic and transphobic remarks denouncing a “indoctrination of children”.

The narrators evoke on Instagram the ” vertigo “ who took them when they saw the dozen demonstrators – masks on their faces and smoke bombs in hand – arriving in this village of 1,800 inhabitants. A little further north, the walls of Rennes-II University, known for its leftist roots, were covered with homophobic slogans, and the town of Saint-Brieuc suffered the same fate at the end of the March. pride of May 13.

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The show for young audiences by the artist from Rennes, Girl or boy, around gender stereotypes, has suffered threats from the far right at each performance since January: online harassment, school appeals. Until the uprooting, in April, of an electrical panel in Nantes while she was playing. “I am accused of ‘spreading the word of Satan'”, sighs the 46-year-old musician and director.

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