Sharon Le Grand, who performed to a crowd at the River Stage festival in south London over the weekend, went on a tirade about “inclusivity” before making the remark that stunned event-goers.
“We need to teach our children to open their hearts, teach our children to open their minds... and to teach our children to open their legs,” said the male performer.
A mother who was present at the show expressed her shock on British parents’ website, Mumsnet, who described the line as being “said with the same tone as if it was a risque joke.”
“Both me and [my significant other] are just disgusted by what we saw. We couldn't believe it. This act had a short dress on and their bulge was showing [throughout]. It was just plain weird. Fine in a club, not at a festival literally targeted as being good for families,” wrote the poster.
“From then the evening just got weirder. There was a drag queen and a drag king contest. Great! I literally had never seen drag king acts and was really excited and thought it was great representation and diversity,” she added. “However, with every single drag king act they took their clothes off.”
“No drag queens take their clothes off, but the drag kings did and were showing their scars from their mastectomy/gender affirming surgery,” the audience member explained. “I do get the message that they are proud and don't need to hide and really I do agree with that. But it just felt weird that women who now identify as men are still having to take their clothes off, [whereas] the drag queens didn't remove one item of clothing.”
Another angered parent stated that “lots of babies and children were there,” adding that the act was “‘Fine in a club, not at a festival literally targeted as being good for families. Sexualising children in that way is all shades of wrong.”
As detailed by the National Theatre, the River Stage festival, which runs over five weekends from July, is “for the whole family to enjoy.”
The Daily Mail reports that the performer in question has been featured in several magazines and has performed in numerous London venues.
“The performer also runs a Youtube channel which features a number of surreal and confusing videos, some with sexual content,” the Daily Mail reported.
A spokesperson for the theatrical organization confirmed the ban with the publication, and stated that the drag queen's comments “go against the festival's content and performance guidelines was made on stage during the first weekend of the festival; the performer will not appear again at the River Stage.”