Drag queens pelted with ‘groomer’ and ‘molester’ slurs after school cancels Pride event

Two drag performers stand side by side, one with blonde hair and another with orange hair, as they appear to wear what looks like air cabin crew uniforms

Nottingham drag queens Seven and Lin Gerie have revealed how they were called “groomers” and “molesters” after a secondary school cancelled their youth-friendly Pride event over alleged “adult content” on social media.

They say the “massive” wave of homophobic backlash made them feel like people wanted to “murder” them.

The duo contacted Toot Hill School in Nottingham – which previously they both attended – back in March to arrange a visit to celebrate Pride this year.

The event would have been for all five year-groups at the secondary school and potentially allow them to share their experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community with hundreds of students.

But just a week before the planned visit, the queens received an email abruptly cancelling the event. The email sent by the school – seen by PinkNews – said after viewing the flyers, concerns were raised that students would be able to find “unsuitable” content for “under 18 year olds” if they were to look on social media. 

The school added it wouldn’t be able to run the activity as it has “strict safeguarding protocols” to adhere to, and “this is deemed unsuitable for our students”. 

When asked by PinkNews about the “unsuitable” content on social media, the school did not provide any examples.

Seven and Lin say they asked the same question, but they were given no further explanation either.

Drag queens: ‘These people want to murder us’

Lin tells PinkNews the queens became the target of “massive homophobic backlash” after news broke that the event had been axed.

She says they both expected there would be some kind of reaction, but the queens didn’t expect some of the “insane” and hateful responses directed toward them.

“It’s alright when you get it on the street – you can brush it off,” Lin says.

“But when it’s directed at you, it was just like, ‘Oh my God, all these people want to murder us.’”

Seven said the hate proved the “point” as to why the queens wanted to visit in the first place. She described how people were being “f**king ridiculous” in comments online and were “jumping down [their] throats”.

“We’ve been called groomers, molesters, [been told] we’re going to sexually assault these kids and all this malarkey,” Seven tells PinkNews. “And I don’t think people realise how much the school wanted us there and to talk to the kids.”

Lin says the school has not taken a stance against the hate directed toward the queens. She says the inaction “baffles” her because either they “cannot see” what their silence does or “chooses not to” – which is “even more disturbing” and infuriating.

Seven, a drag queen, wears a dark long-haired wig styled in waves as she wears a white off the shoulder dress

Seven said the queens would have ‘touched’ on their drag careers, but it would have been “only a small” part of the LGBTQ+ kid-friendly event. (Sonia Graham)

Dr Chris Eardley, head of school for Toot Hill, confirmed via email to PinkNews that the visit was cancelled “due to adult content” published on the drag queens’ social media accounts. He added it was brought to his attention after Lin and Seven were invited to the school.

However, he refused to provide evidence of what this so-called “adult content” was when asked. 

“I would like to stress that this decision would have been the same for guest speakers to the school of any sexual orientation,” Eardley says.

“We celebrate diversity and educate all our students about the protected characteristics. We have a large diversity group at Toot Hill School that consists of students from all year groups, including the college.”

Nova Education Trust, the academy trust for Toot Hill, tells PinkNews it is “saddened to hear” the queens reported “having received backlash” as a result of word spreading about their event being cancelled. 

PinkNews has asked the Trust to respond to Lin’s complaint that the school had failed to take a stance against the backlash. No response has as yet been received.

In a joint statement posted on Instagram, the drag queens said they were left feeling “dirty” and as if what they do is “so provocative and too much for kids to see.”

The statement added they didn’t believe the visit would have been an “issue” if they had been a “general social media influencer” or celebrity “who was straight”. 


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Lin says the event was particularly significant to them because both queens attended the school at a time when there wasn’t a “lot of LGBT support or education”. 

“I know, me personally, that probably hindered me actually finding myself and coming out.”

“I just wanted to go and show we’ve been here, we’ve been through this situation, this is where we are now and we’ve done some amazing things that I thought we’d never do.”

Lin says the message of the event was for kids to not be “afraid” to be themselves even if they think they are “different” and it “might seem hard” now. 

She recalls how the email cancelling the event felt “like a punch down” from their former school, and she said it felt like they were being told that they were a “problem”. 

Seven thinks the event would have been “closure” for some “dark years” when the pair were picked on and bullied by kids while attending the school. She said being excluded from coming back to help LGBTQ+ kids brought up those hurtful memories. 

Lin, a drag queen, wears a long-haired blond wig with a hair pin reading 'queen' in rhinestones. She is also wearing a bejewelled necklace and matching earrings

Lin felt like she ran into a “massive wall” after her LGBTQ+ event with Seven was cancelled. (Sonia Graham)

Both Seven and Lin also received support online from people angry at the cancellation. The drag queens said it was upsetting not to be able to help kids at the school, but they have been invited to do similar events at other locations. 

They said helping kids was ultimately what they both wanted to do.

Lin described how it would have “meant the world” to her when she was younger if someone who was part of the LGBTQ+ community came in for a school visit.