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Seattle Dance Team Could Not Perform Because U.S. Flag Uniforms Made People Feel ‘Triggered and Unsafe’

via King 5 Seattle

A Seattle women’s dance squad was told they could not perform at an LGBTQ-hosted country dance event while wearing their usual American flag-themed uniforms.

Some attendees at the Emerald City Hoedown reportedly felt “triggered and unsafe” by the outfits due to issues like Palestine and the transgender community.

“Unfortunately, what our team was met with upon arrival was that our flag tops were offensive to some of the convention goers. There was a small group that felt ‘triggered and unsafe,’” Borderline Dance Team wrote.

Organizers gave the Borderline Dance Team an ultimatum to either change clothes or not perform at all.

The team refused and stood in solidarity with another squad that also walked out.

“At first we were told we would just be booed, yelled at, and, likely, many of them would walk out. This did not deter us,” the dance team stated. “But then we were given an ultimatum.”

Members noted they were informed to “remove the flag tops and perform in either street clothes (which most didn’t bring, as they traveled there in their uniforms) or they would supply us with ECH shirts from years past…Or, don’t perform at all, which, effectively, was asking us to leave.”

“We don’t speak for our team, we speak on behalf of them, so the choice was theirs — as we knew would happen because there really was no choice in our minds. It was a unanimous NO,” they wrote.

“Both of our teams stood in solidarity and put actions to words,” Borderline stated.

While organizers claimed it was a misunderstanding and no one was asked to leave, the captain said it was clear they were discriminated against for their patriotic uniforms.

She advocated for more inclusive acceptance of groups outside people’s comfort zones.

“My team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance,” team co-captain Lindsay Stamp said. “We’re a patriotic group. We support our military, our veterans, our first responders. We’re a group of patriots.”

“We all understood and accepted this and walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination we had experienced,” the group wrote.

“We will be in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday,” Rain Country Dance Association Board President Ziadee Cambier wrote.

“To clarify, as this was not a competition, no one was disqualified, and no one was asked to leave. While we are mending our relationships directly with the dance teams, we will be disabling comments on this post. We will be sharing more information later this week to hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.”

“It’s pretty clear to me. There’s always room for error in any situation, but I don’t believe so,” the captain said.

“I would just love to see more conversations opened about people accepting one another, about being wholly inclusive,” she added. “You know, every group of [people] talks about being inclusive and accepting. And I think that we need to work on being inclusive and accepting of people outside of our immediate comfort zones. I would love to see that.”

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