We are a progressive non-profit arts collective serving the city of Toronto through diverse programming and arts events. Our vision is to prioritize and promote inclusive creative content. Our aim is to produce, present, and support emerging artist and art projects in an accessible way for the benefit of the artists and the art community. We are excited to announce our first event of 2020 – a photography exhibition by multidisciplinary visual artist, Kristy Boyce. The night will also include a number of Drag Performances by amazingly talented queer performers (soon to be announced). Come out for an evening of creative culture and performance provided by PillowFort Collective, an independent arts collective for artists, by artists.

We’re terribly sad to announce this, but due to COVID-19 concerns Disciples of Dorothy has been postponed (new date TBD). Have no fear – this amazing show will still happen and to our donors, supporters and friends we promise you that your contributions will be put to good use in putting on this show! Take care of yourselves and others and stay tuned for a new date to come celebrate art and expression with us! 

A photography exhibition by visual artist Kristy Boyce including Drag Performance by three local Toronto Drag Performers (names to be announced) presented by PillowFort Collective.

PillowFort Collective presents,

Disciples of Dorothy

When: TBD

Doors open at 6:00pm – Performances start at 7:30pm

Location: Gallery Labatt, 7 Labatt Ave. Toronto Ontario

Admission: Free

Refreshments provided

Disciples of Dorothy (Drag Patron Saint Devotional Candles)

Throughout history, the existence of LBGTQ people has largely been ignored or even intentionally erased from art and religious works.

If we look at Christian churches both literally and figuratively, the patron saints are often used to represent the values and important facets of the religious culture, history and ideology. Their images, stories and teachings are at the core of what it means to be a visible and proud part of that tradition.

So if LGBTQ people have been left out of classic iconography, how do we create our own?

In the modern western LGBTQ community, the first publicly visible gay icons were drag queens, performing, connecting chosen families, and advocating for human rights. From Stonewall to Pride celebrations, drag queens, through their over-the-top use of the jester/clown trope, they were the first to make “gay” more safe and accessible to the outside world. And through fostering of community and a sense of village during times of police raids and violence, have laid the foundations for how we resist and how we celebrate.

They have been our martyrs and our grand marshals. By canonizing them in this project, that history is honoured and the stories are told with elements of both humour and reverence. By blending aspects of religious iconography with modern drag characters, a new sacred is created, reflecting (often in a tongue in cheek way,) values and tenets of gay male culture. As well as the expression, silliness, and joy that are present in the art and performance of drag and gender nonconformity.

The title Disciples of Dorothy, merges the Christian saint Dorothy of Caesarea who was tortured and then executed for refusing to sacrifice to the gods during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of the Christians; and the gay slang term  “friend of Dorothy” which has been used as an idiom for a gay man since the 1940s.

The origin of the phrase is most commonly attributed to the movie  The Wizard of Oz because Judy Garland, who starred as the main character Dorothy, is a gay icon. In the film, Dorothy is accepting of those who are different, especially  the non gender performing “gentle lion” living a lie, who says “I’m afraid there’s no denyin’, I’m just a dandy lion.