GWU's LGBTQ Club Cancels Drag Show Due to Concerns It's Homophobic

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 12:35 PM
GWU's LGBTQ Club Cancels Drag Show Due to Concerns It's Homophobic

For the past few years, members of George Washington University's LGBTQ organization Allied in Pride have put on a drag show with members of GWU's Greek community in order to raise money for The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBT youth. However, this tradition is no more: This year, the drag show has been canceled due to complaints from students that it was "homophobic" and "counterproductive."

Personally, I don't see how something that has raised over a thousand dollars in the past is "counterproductive," but to each his own.

From Campus Reform:

Despite its success in the past, students removed the drag competition from this year’s “Allied in Greek Week” after participants labeled the event “homophobic.”

“We had some fun before, but let’s use our resources to amp up education, raise awareness and raise money for charity,” Allied in Pride president Robert Todaro told the GW Hatchet. “The point is to celebrate our similarities and our diverse identities, not to offend people.”

Instead, Todaro and his cohorts replaced the drag show with educational programming aimed at reducing misconceptions about LGBTQ Greek life members.

“[C]ommunities will benefit greatly from increased opportunities for education,” Tim Stackhouse, president of GW’s Interfraternity Council, told the Hatchet.

Throughout the week, members of Allied in Pride visited a number of fraternity and sorority houses to deliver educational pamphlets and answer questions about GW’s LGBTQ community.

Nick Gumas, former chair of Allied in Pride, was upset with the characterization of the event as homophobic and explained that drag queens had an important place in LGBT history.

“Drag queens were instrumental in starting the Stonewall Riots in 1969, sparking the modern LGBTQ rights movement, so the notion that a drag event is homophobic is not based in historical facts."

This seems to be an overzealous attempt to make sure nobody's feelings are hurt. Video coverage of last year's event was overwhelmingly positive, and participants went out of their way to explain their respect for the LGBT community on campus and their desire to promote inclusivity. That is the polar opposite of anything that remotely could be construed as "homophobic." It's a shame that GWU (and the charity that would have benefited) loses out on what seemed like a fun event due to overly sensitive students.