Canada’s Drag Race star Ilona Verley ‘punched’ by bouncer and told ‘transphobia isn’t real’

Canada’s Drag Race star Ilona Verley has said they were “attacked” by the bouncer of a gay club in British Columbia, Canada.

Having arrived in the city earlier that day, the Indigenous, non-binary, two-spirit queen, who starred in the first series of Canada’s Drag Race, said they were visiting Paparazzi Nightclub on Thursday night (21 April), the only LGBT+ club in Victoria, British Columbia.

Initially posting videos of them having fun with friends to social media, they later posted to their Instagram story: “I was just attacked by the bouncer at Paparazzi Nightclub Victoria.

“The manager laughed in my face and told me the transphobia isn’t real because I’m a ‘bitch’… This s**t is not OK.”

Verley added: “Being told I’m a bitch for standing my ground and knowing my rights is getting old.”

They also posted about this incident on Twitter, writing: “I can’t believe I got punched in my cheek filler the first night I debuted my new face. Transphobia is alive and WELL here in Victoria at Paparazzi Nightclub.

“To be told ‘you deserve it’ by a white man (bouncer) makes me feel so FULL… of f**king rage.”

To b told “u deserve it” by a white man (bouncer ) makes me feel so FULL… of fucking rage

— Ilona Verley (@IlonaVerley) April 22, 2022

The next day, Verley confirmed that they were “OK” but said they would not currently be going into further detail because they didn’t want to “relive that trauma”.

“I’m choosing to move forward knowing that venue is not a safe space and [I] will be steering very clear of it in the future,” they added.

“Thank you to all that have checked in and thank you to those who came forward with their own stories of mistreatment by the staff at that establishment.”

PinkNews has contacted Paparazzi Nightclub for comment.

Ilona Verley said they were told by Canada’s Drag Race to not discuss trans identity

Ilona Verley previously hit out at the producers of Canada’s Drag Race , claiming that they had “received none of the things promised to me when giving up my life for the franchise”.

Verley, who came in sixth in the Canadian spin-off, also claimed: “They also instructed me not to discuss my trans identity on the show and even after they instructed me not to discuss the trans agenda because they were saving that story line for the American franchise.”

Luckily, they were able to be “my queer two-spirit Indigenous self” on screen, which they added “made all this s**t bearable”.

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