Wanda dparke, re-elected MP Trevor Evans and Miss Synthetique, at the Newmarket State School polling booth on Saturday, May 18. Picture: TREVOR EVANS
Wanda dparke, re-elected MP Trevor Evans and Miss Synthetique, at the Newmarket State School polling booth on Saturday, May 18. Picture: TREVOR EVANS

‘Traitor’: Drag queen trolled for appearing with gay LNP MP

DRAG queen Wanda Dparke has been trolled on social media for her appearance at a polling booth with Brisbane LNP candidate Trevor Evans.

Images showing Ms Dparke and another performer, Miss Synthetique, circulating among the crowd at New Farm State School and posing for photos with Mr Evans have appeared on social media sites and in the mainstream media.

 

Images showing Ms dparke and another performer, Miss Synthetique, circulating among the crowd at New Farm State School and posing for photos with Brisbane MP Trevor Evans and Central ward Councillor Vicki Howard. Pictures: SUPPLIED
Images showing Ms dparke and another performer, Miss Synthetique, circulating among the crowd at New Farm State School and posing for photos with Brisbane MP Trevor Evans and Central ward Councillor Vicki Howard. Pictures: SUPPLIED

 

A spokesman for Mr Evans said a supporter arranged for the duo to be at the polling booth.

Ms Dparke has been performing since 1992, has multiple awards to her name including a place in the Sportsman Hotel's Australian Drag Hall Of Fame, and is a well-known local identity in the LGBTQ+ community. She is a regular host of Rainbow Karaoke held every Wednesday night at Sportsman Hotel, Spring Hill.

Images showing Ms dparke and another performer, Miss Synthetique, circulating among the crowd at New Farm State School and posing for photos with Brisbane MP Trevor Evans and Central ward Councillor Vicki Howard. Pictures: SUPPLIED
Images showing Ms dparke and another performer, Miss Synthetique, circulating among the crowd at New Farm State School and posing for photos with Brisbane MP Trevor Evans and Central ward Councillor Vicki Howard. Pictures: SUPPLIED

 

But when photographs of their visit were published on social media sites, Ms Dparke said she was shocked by the reaction.

"I was raised, together with my five brothers, in the Central Queensland town of Biloela," Ms Dparke said.

"Growing up in such an unforgiving place for someone like me, I know what it is like to be 'different', and I wear my scars, both physical and mental, with pride. As a result I pride myself on supporting LGBTQ+ events and charities throughout Brisbane and regional Queensland.

"I was thrilled to be asked, together with my fellow legendary performer Miss Synthetique, to spend a couple of hours with Brisbane MP Trevor Evans - an openly gay man.

"He is a wonderful man, who takes his position very seriously, wanting to serve to the best of his abilities. Another dear friend - Brisbane City Councillor Vicki Howard - was also there, working as a volunteer with Trevor's team, so we had a lovely cuddle and a catch up.

 

Wanda dparke, re-elected MP Trevor Evans and Miss Synthetique, at the Newmarket State School polling booth on Saturday, May 18. Picture: TREVOR EVANS
Wanda dparke, re-elected MP Trevor Evans and Miss Synthetique, at the Newmarket State School polling booth on Saturday, May 18. Picture: TREVOR EVANS

 

 

Federal MP for Brisbane Trevor Evans at the Brunswick Street Pride Festival March 2017
Federal MP for Brisbane Trevor Evans at the Brunswick Street Pride Festival March 2017

 

"In our eyes, Synnie and I felt that we did not do an awful lot to be perfectly honest. It was meant to be just a little bit of lighthearted, innocent fun. A bit of a giggle for the voters.

"We walked with Trevor, met some of the voters, cuddled lots and lots of dogs - Dachshunds must be a New Farm staple as there were plenty of them - and we posed for lots of selfies with the voters.

"The funny thing about appearing on the day beside Trevor - well actually one step behind, he was the Diana Ross and we were his Supremes - is that I actually don't live in the Federal electorate of Brisbane. Even if I wanted to I could not have voted for him.

"Which makes it even more of a surprise, when Trevor's team posted a handful of the pics during the day: Here we are in New Farm on voting day, having a lovely time, chatting with the voters, meeting the locals, and then the perfectly innocent pics and post seemed to go viral, and the 'proverbial' hit the 'proverbial' super-quick.

"The post garnered a pretty much immediate and controversial social media response. I am only on Facebook - yes, I am of THAT generation - so don't know about any reaction on Snapchat, Twitter or other platforms. BUT, I personally got such negative feedback from many of my Facebook friends, and total strangers, and bore the brunt of quite a bit of social media abuse as a result of me throwing a face and frock on that day.

"I received many 'how dare you', 'how could you', 'traitor', 'it's your fault if the LNP win' and worse private messages, together with 'How soon the Queens forget … how could they support that vile man and his party, who are all Homophobic' … um … hello? Openly Gay man in office?

"As the hours went on it just got progressively worse, and I eventually had to start defending my choice to be there, and to attempt to explain all the good things that Trevor has been part of, in his support of the LGBTQ+ community.

"He was a big supporter in the push for the HIV prevention protocol 'Prep' becoming available on the PBS; he supported the lobbying efforts of, and helped push through federal funding for, Brisbane's Open Doors Youth Service. He also was a loud voice during the whole Marriage Equality debate, as were we all.

"Trevor is an openly gay MP, doing his best to serve his city, his community, and his constituents. Why would he try and jeopardise that on voting day by having two Drag Queens beside him? He had so much more than me to lose if it all went wrong on the day.

"I spoke to Trevor and he was very apologetic for all the drama. I told him that his concern was appreciated, and that any apology made to me should come from those who have vilified me, not from him. He said people get very opinionated during the elections (which I already knew). Thankfully I believe in democracy; that people have the right to their opinions; and that they are entitled to voice them.

"I have more of a backbone these days, so I stood my ground with a lot of the comments that have been made. I jokingly said to Trevor that, 'If people thought a couple of Drag Queens were responsible for him retaining his seat, perhaps I should run for office!'."

Would Ms Dparke do it again?

"Absolutely! As I have said in posts defending my actions: I would rather have someone like Trevor Evans MP in my corner, singing my song … rather than have nobody singing my song at all.

"He is a good egg in my book."

.

- Rainbow Karaoke, from 8pm-midnight, Nellie's Showroom and Lounge Bar, Sportsman Hotel, 130 Leichhardt St, Spring Hill. Info here.



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