(City of Victoria)

As the City of Victoria celebrates Pride month by raising the Pride flag outside city hall, Mayor Lisa Helps is condemning the actions that led to the cancellation of an upcoming drag show.

In a pledge of support, Helps dressed in drag on Friday morning and joined city councillors Charlayne Thronton, Stephen Andrews, as well as Sarah Potts, who was also in drag, to raise the flag and kick off Pride week locally.

“In June, Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together to celebrate Pride month. Here in Victoria, we do the same,” said Helps.

“After two years of not being able to gather in person for Pride events and the annual parade, Victorians are keen to come together again to celebrate.”

Helps’ comments come amid frustration in the 2SLGBTQ+ community after a Quadra Village coffee shop set to host a family-friendly drag show this Saturday was targeted with hateful and homophobic phone calls and threats of violence.

According to Caffe Fantastico owner Ryan Taylor, one caller suggested someone should “shoot up the place and everyone in it.”

“In the past week, our staff here have been harassed by callers, who have been ignorant to what a drag show is, and have berated us for hosting a family-friendly drag show event,” said Taylor.

The upcoming show, Sashay Cafe: Emo Edition, was a dance performance to be hosted at his cafea welcoming, open and accessible venue for artists and performers to showcase their talents, Taylor explains.

He says the Wednesday gun threat was “very upsetting” to his staff and scheduled performers, as well as the event’s organizer, For The Love Of Drag, who ultimately decided to pull the plug.

READ MORE: Victoria drag show cancelled following harassing calls, shooting threat

“These threats of violence have no place in our community,” said Helps.

Premier John Horgan also chimed in and took to Twitter, saying BC stands with the LGBTQ2S+ community not just during Pride but every day.

“To those spreading homophobia and transphobia, and threatening violence: you do not represent our province,” wrote Horgan.

The caller incidents have been reported to police, with VicPD launching an investigation and seeking anyone with information to come forward.

Victoria Pride Society (VPS) president Britton Kohn attended the Pride flag-raising event and said the society stands in solidarity with those impacted by “this senseless outpouring of hate, and against hate, violence and discrimination of any kind.”

Kicking off next Thursday, June 23rd, there’s less than a week to go until the Victoria Pride Festival, which includes the popular Pride Parade, makes a triumphant return.

“The safety of our communities is our first priority and we have been in conversation with Victoria Police, our event security provider Elite Security, and all of our crew and volunteer leads to make sure precautions are in place to ensure the safety of everyone at our upcoming events,” added VPS in a statement.

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