WARNING: Graphic language
Darcy Daniels was walking hand-in-hand with his boyfriend on a Saturday afternoon in downtown Kamloops when he said not one, but three strangers yelled out a stream of derogatory insults.
Daniels, 27, decided to post about it on social media, in part to show homophobic slurs aren’t as rare in B.C. as some might think.
“Three people decided to call me and my boyfriends faggots, talk about how much they hate faggots and how much gay people disgust them,” Daniels said in a video that had been viewed more than 15,000 times as of Friday.
The drag queen and performer told Black Press Media confrontations like these have made up most of his life, even before he knew he was gay and was chastised and picked on for being overly feminine.
“I wasn’t surprised because I grew up here,” Daniels said. “I’m not surprised in the slightest, and probably wouldn’t have made the video had I not seen how upset it made my partner.”
To encapsulate the hateful banter Daniels and others face, one needs to look no further than the comments on his video.
“I’m not here to force anything on anyone, I don’t have a gun to anyone’s head here. I just want to feel safe and be able to freely express myself like any other human being,” Daniels said.
“So being told things like, ‘If you didn’t shove it down our throats it’d be fine’ or ‘You don’t always have to be a walking rainbow parade’ can be agitating.”
People who never had to fight for anything don’t understand the concept of pride symbols, Daniels said. “When everything’s given to you, symbolizing something such as decades of strength and pride probably would seem silly.”
He said he has received many messages of inspiration and support from allies since speaking out online.
In the future, he said he wants to organize drag show fundraisers, work with the Kamloops pride committee and speak to kids in schools about acceptance.