The College Fix LANSDOWNE, Pa. — Unbeknownst to local residents, a “Gay-Straight Alliance” at a high school in Pennsylvania presented a drag show on Wednesday during school hours as part of a day-long event entitled “Coming Home: A Place for Everyone to Feel Safe.”
An anonymous tipster alerted The College Fix about the event at Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne and provided photographs of a promotional flyer posted in various locations at the taxpayer-funded educational institution.
Morning sessions held at the school library centered on “Being an Ally,” “Navigating the World: College and Beyond” and “LGBTQ+ Health Issues.”
In the afternoon, students could attend “singing and runway performances” in the auditorium, as well as a video on the Stonewall riots and a presentation on “the history of drag.”
“At first I was [like], I don’t know if I should do it. It’s a little weird,” one 18-year-old performer, who had participated in the school’s production of “Rent” earlier this year, said of the show. “[But] it was fun. It’s just dressing up.”
An alumni of the school who is now a vogue dancer, Kemar Jewel, also delivered a performance and “pep talk” to the students. Jewel’s YouTube page includes a music video entitled “G.A.Y. (God Accepts You).”
The show ended with an all-on-stage sing-along to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”
The advisor for the Alliance is school nurse Tracy Boyle, “a 13 year certified school nurse and educational specialist,” according to information on the school’s website.
“We’re not saying, ‘Oh, everybody be gay,’” she told the Philadelphia Enquirer. “We have straight kids who are in the show and beautiful young people [who] haven’t told us what their sexuality is, and it’s none of our business. They all want to have a fun day.”
Boyle remarked that the few who complained about the Alliance programs are “kind of still in the Dark Ages.” The events were stated to be in commemoration of Pride Month, Harvey Milk Day and the 50th year since the Stonewall riots in New York.
Why did it happen?