‘This Is Unethical And This Is Evil’: British Performing Group Features Down Syndrome Adults In Drag

A troupe has been established featuring adults with Down syndrome performing in drag shows.

An experimental performance and dance company called Culture Device, which works with Down Syndrome adults, operates “Drag Syndrome,” which they describe as “The Drag Troupe for Kings and Queens with Learning Disabilities.” Daniel Vais, the artistic director of Culture Device, enthused about bringing Down syndrome adults into performing in drag.

“All of them got really excited,” Vais told Mashable. “So we started researching drag. The history of drag. The styles of drag. We looked at drag queens from all around the world. By the time we met the next time, they knew everything about the history of drag.”

“We now have invites [to perform] from around the world,” Vais boasting that an American tour is forthcoming. He claimed people with Down Syndrome aren’t expected to have sexuality.  “They tell me, ‘People see us as childish. They don’t even think that we can actually watch porn if we want. They don’t see us as people with desire.  But we have the dreams and aspirations of anybody else,’” Vais claimed.

Vais spoke of the first event for his Down Syndrome performers :

The event fully sold out. And while we were performing it, the audience came up to me and said, “This is revolutionary. This is history happening here. The artists that performed it did such a good job.” The audience realized we were doing something out of this world. This was not just people with Down syndrome dressing up. This is proper, proper drag. It was so new to them.

“Suddenly in front of them is an amazing drag queen with Down syndrome performing like a master,” he continued. “ [The audience] thought [the people with Down syndrome] were all very cute and very angelic. Suddenly, it becomes so fierce. You have this drag queen going on stage saying ‘Good evening, bitches.’ And it’s an amazing drag queen. And she controls the crowd.”

“When my artists are dancing on the dance floor it’s like Rihanna came. This is not a social experiment. It’s not an after-school club. This is proper avant-garde art,” Vais concluded.

This is unethical and this is evil. Exploiting and demeaning helpless people with Down Syndrome for entertainment or political clout is depraved. pic.twitter.com/cKbOe5j2mK

— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) January 5, 2023

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