GAY global news

Country dancers in woke Seattle ordered to remove American flag shirts

Written by

A group of volunteer dancers were told they’d have to remove their American flag T-shirts because of ‘what’s going on in Palestine and the LGBTQ community’ The group of women were slated to perform at the Seattle Emerald City Hoedown, hosted by a local nonprofit that made the call about the shirts 

A Seattle dance group say they were forced to change out of their patriotic shirts ahead of a scheduled performance and now event organizations are facing a backlash over the move. 

The Borderline Dance Team is a group of nearly two dozen women who regularly volunteer to perform at events around Washington.

Many of the group’s members participated in workshops hosted by the Emerald City Hoedown organizers, which occurred over three days.

But on the final day, one of the group’s members – Lindsay Stamp – said the women were given an ultimatum: change out of their American flag T-shirts, or back out of the show.

When the dancers pushed the organizers on the request, one of them said ‘it had to do with what was going on in Palestine and the LGBTQ community in America.’  

The group was asked to change just 20 minutes after they’d arrived at the hoedown venue, one of the dancers told local outlet

An event organizer, who worked for local nonprofit Rain Country Dance Association, told the dancer there were ‘some individuals within the community that felt unsafe and bothered, triggered, if you will, by our flag shirts.’

The shirts are red, white and blue and feature the stars and stripes of the flag of the United States of America – they otherwise have no signs, words or symbols on them.

Stamp added the dancers were told ‘a small population decided that they were they were going to boycott or protest our performance.’

The choreographer said the group was baffled by the reasoning for the protest, but decided they would perform anyway, even if the crowd did not embrace them.

‘I said, this doesn’t bother me. I understand that. And I respect your opinions, and I respect your feelings. And that is totally OK. But we are a dance team. We don’t take a political stance,’ she said.

One of the group’s dancers, Carly Baker, said: ‘I really don’t know what’s going on, or why it would be such a big deal to wear the flag honestly.

‘I am a part of the LGBTQ community. Me and my wife have been married for six years. And so it was really hard.’ 

The organizers offered the group alternative T-shirts, but they were steadfast in their objection.

Members of the team said there had been no previous disputes between the team and the organizers, nor had any member made a controversial comment with which anyone might’ve taken issue.

Sharie Peterson, another one of the dancers, said the incident was incredibly disappointing because their group has always extended acceptance to other groups and is ‘a community who really does value inclusivity that was not also extended to us.’ 

In a Facebook post, the president of Rain Country Dance Association, which has been the subject of online outrage following their attempts to strip the women of their shirts and/or their chance to perform, said she is hoping to clear up any misunderstandings.

Ziadee Cambier, the president, said the group was not asked to leave the hoedown, but did not issue any further comment aside from saying they are ‘in communication with those directly involved.’

Stamp confirmed the group ‘extend(ed) their apologies. And we’re in communication trying to figure out how we want to move forward with this.’

The president of the dance association also said the group has received ‘credible’ threats of violence since the incident made the news.

Stamp said: ‘violence and harassment is not something that we condone towards any person or any group for any reason.’ 


Leave a Comment