Drag Night Namibia, one of the highly anticipated events in the country, has been postponed due to concerns for safety.
The decision came after an increase in hate speech and threats of violence following a recent Supreme Court ruling recognizing same-sex marriages performed outside of Namibia.
In response to the ruling, anti-gay WhatsApp groups have emerged, and the Christian Coalition of Churches and other organizations have strongly condemned homosexuality, with plans to propose a law criminalizing same-sex marriages.
Lize Ehlers, co-owner of Drag Night Namibia, expressed the difficulty of the decision, stating that they will resume the event when they feel secure again. The violent conversations and messages circulating since the council of churches opposed the Supreme Court ruling have deeply shocked and appalled the organizers.
Despite the postponement, they remain dedicated to their important work, particularly as Pride Month approaches in June.
Zindri Swartz, the production manager of Drag Night Namibia, emphasized that the event will continue once safety measures are in place. They are currently evaluating and implementing possible mechanisms to ensure the protection of performers and audience members.
The organizers take pride in creating a safe space for the community and their allies, but due to the ongoing threats, they consider the postponement a necessary precaution until further notice.
Drag Night Namibia was established with the goal of exploring the diverse spectrum of drag culture and supporting local drag kings and queens in developing their creativity, charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.