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Opera Singer Fired For Facebook Rant Against Drag Queen: VIDEO

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Opera singer Valerian Ruminski [pictured below] does not like men decorating their nails. He dislikes it so much, in fact, that he took to Facebook to complain - at length - after encountering a man on the OC Transpo bus who had long, jewel-studded nails. Said Ruminski, in part:

RuminskiLook at the stupid nails this moron had on while taking a bus in Ottawa. I guess he needs diamond-studded nails to make up for his face.
[H]e is asking for criticism by parading his choices in front of everyone. Like the black males who wear their pants down off their asses. They WANT you to notice it and get angered by it. Thats [sic] part of the strategy. He has an agenda by gluing diamonds onto his nails...and so do I by commenting on how stupid it is!

It would seem Ruminski wasn't aware that things posted on Facebook are not private. Even with privacy settings maxed out, all it takes is one friend or follower to screencap a post and then it's out in the wild, which is exactly what happened. Karma was quick and Ruminski was fired from his role in Puccini's Tosca to start this fall. 

Opera Lyra general director Jeep Jeffries said that he was "disappointed and appalled, to be honest," in an interview on CBC Radio’s All in a Day. For his part, Ruminski has posted a lengthy public apology to his website, complete with the "I've had gay teachers and friends" line and an attempt at identifying with the total stranger he tried to publicly humiliate:

I didn’t take the time to pause and think and consider that we are all special and that this person was different in a way that was unique to everyone else around us. I am an opera singer. He, as I learned, is a drag queen. The two of us are not too far apart, I guess.

No, Ruminksi, you and drag queens are actually quite far apart. Drag queens, for example, actually know how to read.

You can see a video report of the incident AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Facebook]

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Comments

  1. This is ridiculous. He should not be fired because he can't stand drag queens and expresses his opinion. Gay men are becoming like feminists: "There can be nothing in this world that insults me and the definition of rape should include being leered at, that's my right." No it isn't. This is just stupid.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 30, 2014 9:18:07 AM


  2. This is ridiculous. He should not be fired because he can't stand drag queens and expresses his opinion. Gay men are becoming like feminists: "There can be nothing in this world that insults me and the definition of rape should include being leered at, that's my right." No it isn't. This is just stupid.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 30, 2014 9:18:07 AM


  3. This is ridiculous. He should not be fired because he can't stand drag queens and expresses his opinion. Gay men are becoming like feminists: "There can be nothing in this world that insults me and the definition of rape should include being leered at, that's my right." No it isn't. This is just stupid.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 30, 2014 9:18:07 AM


  4. This is ridiculous. He should not be fired because he can't stand drag queens and expresses his opinion. Gay men are becoming like feminists: "There can be nothing in this world that insults me and the definition of rape should include being leered at, that's my right." No it isn't. This is just stupid.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Aug 30, 2014 9:18:13 AM


  5. If everyone who said or posted stupid things were fired, there would be very few employed people. Ruminski crossed the line when he took the picture without Jade London's permission. But he has apologized and asked for forgiveness. He has learned his lesson and should be forgiven. I hope he is hired again by Ottawa's Opera Lyra and other companies, and that he never rants on Facebook again. (BTW, there is nothing comparable in his ill-considered rant to that of the egregious letter posted by the Georgian soprano in which she called gay people "fecal masses." She justly was fired by Opera Australia. I hope she never works again in the West. She truly is a homophobe. I don't think Ruminski is.)

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 30, 2014 9:27:33 AM


  6. I don't think he should be fired. The substance of what he said is accurate. The nails or whatever decoration were meant to bring attention to the drag queens difference - and do force you to pass judgment. Judging from the apology the drag queen was successful in making him question his outlook. All's well that ends well I say.

    Posted by: Markt | Aug 30, 2014 9:29:37 AM


  7. Jonathan: Yes, he should be fired. If you are stupid enough to post your rants on facebook, it's only a question of time you let your bosses do a bad figure in an interview.

    And frankly, the article didn't say anything of gays asking him to be fired

    Posted by: jjose712 | Aug 30, 2014 9:30:22 AM


  8. There's a trend I don't like of gay people I follow on Twitter posting photos of strangers for commentary, some good some very ugly commentary. Even if you want to run over and have them sit on your face, you had no permission to post theirs.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 30, 2014 9:34:21 AM


  9. He was fired because it was becoming a financial issue to the opera company.

    I guess nobody had an issue with his comments about race, either?

    Posted by: Shawn | Aug 30, 2014 9:57:40 AM


  10. this is a slippery slope. thanks to technology we are all turning into paparazzi and critics. hardly seems appropriate to loose one's employment over what would have been a letter to the editor 20 years ago. also how much privacy is expected from riding public transportation? I've heard some pretty viscous things said by drag queens publicly also. clearly he did cross a line by posting the picture but who doesn't have the technology to do this now? where do we draw the line on what is acceptable? seems to me he was fired because his employers feared some sort of civil action if they ignored the situation.

    Posted by: charlie | Aug 30, 2014 10:04:48 AM


  11. He shouldn't be fired for expressing his opinion if he doesn't supervise anyone. If he has authority over others and his rant betrays a racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted attitude—I think railing against gender nonconformity qualifies—then I think his employer is justified in disciplining him, which could include firing, though I think there are probably more constructive responses. Posting someone's photo for ridicule is public bullying, which crosses a line, in my opinion, and deserves a more critical look. I don't care one way or the other if they discipline him for that, whether or not he's in a position of authority. Again, there are probably more constructive approaches than firing.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 30, 2014 10:19:06 AM


  12. Racist, homophobic, stupid.....Yeah.....he should be fired.

    Posted by: Hdtex | Aug 30, 2014 10:25:29 AM


  13. The comment that he's wearing these nails "to make up for his face" sounds racist to me. What's wrong with his face?

    Posted by: Neil | Aug 30, 2014 10:27:15 AM


  14. When you work for a company, and are in a public spotlight, you represent that company, whether you like it or not. Companies have every right to fire someone they feel behaves in a manner that poorly represent them. Sorry, but that is the real world.

    If he had merely expressed these opinions to friends, or in a similarly private manner,then the situation would have been different. Instead, he chose to be very public, and thus held accountable. Had he done similar about women, Jews or racial minorities, the same would likely have happened. Not sure why this is such a difficult concept for some.

    Posted by: LiamB | Aug 30, 2014 10:32:53 AM


  15. His hair is forcing me to make judgments about him. It's there to make me angry and just asking me to criticize this man for his lack of style and his obvious lack of conditioner. Why is his taste not on my level, why is he forcing me to participate in his ego issues?

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 30, 2014 10:38:16 AM


  16. Wow, those nails really got him furious!

    Ironic given that opera is drag with singing. If someone on a bus unhinged him so much that he felt the need to rant about it on Facebook, it's likely that's the tip of the anger-issues iceberg. It's shocking that public personalities somehow think that Facebook is a private forum. If you spout something on FB or Twitter, you may as well be singing it from the stage. He'll either learn something from this or become even more irrationally angry--his choice.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 30, 2014 10:51:37 AM


  17. "When you work for a company, and are in a public spotlight, you represent that company, whether you like it or not."

    No. You represent the company if the terms of your employment agreement say you represent the company. Otherwise you don't. Employment isn't some kind of indentured servitude where companies can make open ended, unilateral, ever expanding claims of authority over your life.

    "Sorry, but that is the real world."

    No, it's just you not knowing the difference between employment and extortion.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 30, 2014 11:10:46 AM


  18. Johnathan is a closet case republican.

    Enough said.

    Posted by: Jake | Aug 30, 2014 11:14:13 AM


  19. People, this is a Canadian opera company, located in the national capital. Of course he should have been fired. We Canadians don't tolerate this sort of stupidity.

    Posted by: Mikey | Aug 30, 2014 11:47:37 AM


  20. Isn't it funny how racism and homophobia just go hand in hand? Because only black males sag their pants. It's not like I've never seen non-black guys sag their pants. It's exclusive to us.

    Posted by: Derrick | Aug 30, 2014 11:48:16 AM


  21. Clearly people have deficiencies and deficits in this world and this is how we get to see them.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Aug 30, 2014 12:05:32 PM


  22. He says those fingernails are a symptom of "deficiencies and deficits," but his own issues, which make him lash out at people like this, must be much worse than the drag queen's.

    Posted by: borut | Aug 30, 2014 12:07:41 PM


  23. I gotta say, I love it when a hot guy sags his pants. Valerian Ruminski obviously just hates men.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 30, 2014 12:23:56 PM


  24. WTF is his problem? bye bye Valerian Ruminski

    Posted by: Honesty | Aug 30, 2014 12:27:24 PM


  25. And, even though I'm from here, I could not view the CBC video directly on the CBC site. My tax dollars at work. Yay. :(

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 30, 2014 12:28:43 PM


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