Pride Toronto forced to defend itself after altercation involving drag artist in Mexico
A random man who is said to have lied about working with Pride Toronto got the Canadian non-profit in some hot water this week — through no fault of its own — by allegedly harassing a popular drag performer in Mexico.
Mississippi-based artist Silky Ganache, who landed in the top 4 in Season 11 of RuPaul's Drag Race, tweeted out a disturbing image early Wednesday morning while vacationing down south in an attempt to identify the man in question.'
"Do anyone know this guy??? He harassed me in Mexico. He said he worked on the Toronto Pride board a few years ago that booked me, A'keria and Vanjie," reads a text overlay on the image, which had been viewed more than 1.5 million times as of Friday afternoon.
"He attempted to read me, then he called every name in the book. To top it off he said he makes $400k and is better than me," the image reads. "Help me identify him and his place of employment. No white man should treat me like this while I'm on vacation."
In the caption of the tweet, Ganache encourages her followers to help "identify this man from Toronto, Canada" and addresses Pride Toronto directly, asking "do you stand behind this board member?"
@PrideToronto Do you know this man? Anyway, on behalf of Toronto, I am so sorry. What a degenerate. https://t.co/2sJVV5ht6D— Michelle “Bring Back The Masks” Jones (@maej43) February 16, 2023
Many who viewed the tweet started tagging Pride Toronto, which is behind one of the largest organized annual LBGTQ+ events in the world, asking for a response.
It didn't take long for the 42-year-old organization to issue clarify that the man pictured does not sit on, and has never been associated with their board.
"We are aware of a report on social media that an individual representing themselves as a Pride Toronto board member/former board member was recently involved in an altercation with a drag artist in Mexico," reads a statement issued via Instagram on Thursday.
"We have reviewed the social media report, and responded to the artist directly. The individual involved is not a Pride Toronto board member, and never has been, nor are they or have they been a staff member. They are not affiliated with Pride Toronto."
Thank you Toronto Pride and the 519 for reaching out to me. I’m going back to my peace.— Silky “Cancel Student Loans” Ganache (@SilkyGanache) February 15, 2023
Ganache stated on Twitter Wednesday that several people had reached out to her via DM, identifying the individual. blogTO has not been able to independently verify the man's identity, though it's of note that at least a few people responded to a public image containing his name with concerns.
"I am sorry you had to go through this. Please delete this — he is not well at all," wrote one respondent. "He is a kind, good person who is dealing with extreme mental health issues."
"Silky, he's allegedly Autistic. High on the spectrum. Not an excuse. Just letting you know," wrote another, prompting Ganache to point out that there is no excuse for the kind of harassment she experienced.
The artist says she eventually heard from both Pride Toronto and The 519 (a queer-focused City of Toronto agency that had actually booked Ganache for the Pride event mentioned in her initial tweet, as opposed to Pride Toronto).
"Thank you Toronto Pride and the 519 for reaching out to me," she wrote, putting the issue to rest later on Wednesday. "I'm going back to my peace."
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