Texas A&M University hosted a drag queen show Wednesday evening at the MSC Town Hall event that was co-sponsored by the A&M LGBTQ+ Pride Center.
Hundreds attend first DRAGgieland on Texas A&M campus; Show draws protests against, in support of eventhttps://t.co/gOGfOKoh43
— The Eagle (@theeagle) February 20, 2020
Though the show, dubbed DRAGgieland, at Rudder Plaza was sold out, members of Tradition, Family, Property (TFP) Student Action, an international Catholic organization, protested outside the venue with signs as they prayed the rosary, reported the Eagle.
RuPaul’s Drag Race performer Kevin Richardson, aka Monique Heart, emcee’d the show.
Texas A&M sophomore Caysey Mackey, aka Jessy B Darling, also performed in the show using music from hip hop artist Lizzo.
“Drag is fun, and drag is art,” Mackey said. “People getting upset about it is a little disheartening, but we are just having a good time.”
According to the report, nine people performed in the show, including four students.
“Performances were required to remain PG-13 — meaning performers could not remove clothing or use explicit music — and were pre-approved by organizers,” the report noted.
A&M junior Sophie Gonzalez, Town Hall special events executive, said 763 tickets were sold and the event was funded entirely by ticket sales.
Rudder Theatre to host sold-out drag show Wednesdayhttps://t.co/LIB3X7es0x
— The Eagle (@theeagle) February 19, 2020
Gonzalez said the drag queen show brings diversity to Town Hall’s regular schedule of events. She hopes the show will become an annual event.
However, TFP Texas representative Cesar Franco said the event should not be sponsored by university groups that receive student fees.
“We are entirely opposed to the drag show,” Franco said. “This is something that doesn’t belong at an institution of higher education.”
“This is being pushed by the LGBT agenda to normalize homosexual sin,” he added. “This is being pushed by the LGBT movement on campus to shove the homosexual lifestyle down people’s throats.”
A&M sophomore Emma Schaller, an elementary education major, also protested, observing the misogynistic aspect of men dressing as women in exaggerated sexually provocative clothing.
“We don’t, as Aggies, believe that this display of making kind of a mockery of femininity embodies the Aggie value of respect,” she said. “We want to show that we don’t agree with it. We aren’t trying to stop anyone or discourage anyone or condemn anyone. We’re here in love.”
A petition at change.org, titled STOP DRAGGIELAND, garnered 1,825 supporters as it condemned the sexual exploitation of women by men dressed in drag. The petition reads:
This event, funded by the university, contradicts the A&M core values, especially respect and excellence. The dress and actions of these performers are disrespectful to women, with men portraying women as objects of sexual exploitation for the entertainment of the student body. The actions of this event do not promote excellence of the student body, but instead foster a climate of degradation.
Meanwhile, a counter-petition in favor of the drag show gathered less than 620 supporters.
The Rev. Amy Klinkovsky, a campus minister for United Campus Ministry, told the Eagle she supported the drag queen show and stood for it since she could not obtain a ticket.
“As someone who is an ordained minister, it is being present for all of God’s children and making sure that what we’re proclaiming is a message of love and support for our fellow human beings in all of the ways that they want to express themselves,” Klinkovsky said.
Education policy commenter Donna Garner wrote at EducationViews.org, “Texas A&M is a public university; Rudder Plaza and Rudder Theatre are publicly owned.”
“All schools should strive to guide students into making healthy lifestyle choices – not ones that will lead them into suffering and/or early deaths,” Garner added, observing the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the high rates of sexually transmitted disease among LGBTQ individuals.