Drag Syndrome issues brilliant response to troll peddling hate about people with Down Syndrome

Members of drag collective Drag Syndrome.

Renowned UK drag troupe Drag Syndrome has clapped back after a troll claimed that its members are too vulnerable to do drag because they live with Down Syndrome.

Founded in 2018, the Drag Syndrome collective features drag queens and kings who perform at LGBTQ+ events around the world.

Despite being critically acclaimed for their performances, one bigot decided that its members are experiencing “pure exploitation” in order to “push the trans agenda”.

The troll’s tweet swiftly went viral, with countless fans sharing their support for Drag Syndrome. Members of the collective have responded too, condemning the hater for trying to “take away their sparkle”.

In a video statement, Drag Syndrome member Lady Mercury said: “People with Down Syndrome are very talented people.

“We do need to be respected by other people. I know people might think because we’ve got Down Syndrome, it’s like a sick illness, but it’s not… Down Syndrome is about dancing with a syndrome. You’re dancing your heart out, and just trying to earn respect. Some people might see it as a target they would like to pin on you.”

You may like to watch

She rounded off her response by saying the collective refused to be “treated like dogs” and giving a four-letter send-off to the hateful keyboard warrior.

“We’re special people, and that’s why I respect different types of beings like animals or people. But haters: f**k off!”

The collective shared several other responses, including a link to an article about them in British Vogue with the caption: “We are golden. Don’t be jealous.”

In another retort, the collective simply said: “You cannot erase us. We are here.”

Fans of the collective have labelled any insinuation that people with Down Syndrome can’t consent to taking part in drag as “patronising, disrespectful, and ableist as hell”.

“Drag Syndrome [are] artists who do everything with intention and skill,” one person wrote. “Furthermore, they are adults. Back off and stop infantilising people with disabilities because we are tired of it.”

Owen J Harcum, the former mayor of Bangor, in Wales, also shot down claims that the performers are being exploited.

“I have hung out with most members of Drag Syndrome and I can tell you that these amazing performers are – like all drag stars – doing drag they want and love to,” Harcum said. “This is not exploitation, this is beautiful art by incredible artists. Pipe down, bigot.”

Writer Jason Reid added: “People with disabilities are human beings (despite you thinking otherwise), who express themselves and live full lives. They’re not to be pitied. This isn’t the 1950s.”

In a final, cheeky retort, Drag Syndrome shared an image with the words: “When they say you can’t do it, do it twice and take pics.”

Drag queens across the US are currently being targeted by legislation, aimed at restricting how and where they can perform, with Tennessee recently becoming the first state to ban drag performances in public.

The art form is also facing rising hostility in the UK, with right-wingers protesting against events such as Drag Queen Story Hour.

Please login or register to comment on this story.