Arts·Queer Pride Inside

How many more? Luna DuBois's poetic performance about anti-Black racism demands your attention

The Toronto drag queen wants people to understand that the work of social progression is never-ending.

The Toronto drag queen wants people to understand that the work of social progression is never-ending

CBC Arts Presents Queer Pride Inside: A Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret was a virtual cabaret featuring over a dozen LGBTQ Canadian artists that CBC Arts produced in partnership with Buddies in Bad Times this past June in celebration of Pride Month. Over the course of the summer, we'll be highlighting some of the individual performances that were included in the cabaret. 

"How many more times to we have to fight?" Toronto drag queen Luna DuBois asks. "How many more times do we have to bleed? Do we have to beg? Do we have to plead?" 

"How Many More" is both the title and the central question of DuBois's powerful segment in our recent special CBC Arts Presents Queer Pride Inside: A Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret.

"I simply wanted to express my feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement and at the same time send a strong message across in the most powerful and provocative way possible," DuBois says of the intention behind the performance. "The poem I wrote was meant to be very direct and have a very pointed tone. Some people may be uncomfortable with this approach of sending a positive message, but that's actually the goal."

Luna DuBois. (CBC Arts)

A self-described "fashion diva," DuBois was born and partly raised in Nigeria before moving to Canada. She is known for "her jaw-dropping looks, snatched mug, modelling skills and captivating soulful and dance performances." Her background in fashion design and her self-taught makeup skills come in "very handy with her brand which as allowed her to be a well known name in the drag scene and fashion industry in Toronto." 

For her piece for Queer Pride Inside, DuBois wanted to raise important questions and strike up conversations that, for most non-Black people, "are uncomfortable to have."

"The Black Lives Matter movement has never felt as strong as now," DuBois says. "Things are starting to change, but there is still so much more to be done and it never ends. I think a lot of people find it hard to understand the concept of the never-ending work of social progression and why it must continue."

"I think my poem does a decent job at making people question themselves on how to make improvements in their communities with issues about racial inequality, or at least it prompts people to take some sort of action."

See CBC Arts Presents Queer Pride Inside: A Buddies in Bad Times Cabaret in its entirety on CBC Gem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Knegt (he/him) has worked for CBC Arts since 2016, writing the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the 2019 Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada) and spearheading the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2020s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films and the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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