Maritime drag performers go virtual to share and connect during COVID-19

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As the novel coronavirus pandemic makes its way through the Maritimes, members of the queer community are coming up with creative ways to stay connected, share their talents and ensure the show does indeed go on.

Drag queens and kings in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are hosting live, online performances called “Sociable Distancing” — shows that have become so popular in recent weeks, they attract upwards of 100 viewers at a time.

Now, they’re teaching other Pride groups across Canada how to host their own shows in an effort to spread their love and artwork in a time of physical distancing.

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“Our queer community is our family,” explained Jess Smith, Atlantic regional director for Fierté Canada Pride, ahead of the show on Saturday night.

“They are our mothers, our siblings, our fathers, and that’s why the last show was important to happen when it did, near Mother’s Day, to fill that void for some of the people who are missing their biological mothers. We have our chosen family.”

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Smith co-founded Sociable Distancing with partner Cat MacKeigan almost immediately after the lockdown began in Nova Scotia.



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