Group backs university president on drag show
An alumni group has formed in support of a drag show planned at the University of San Diego.
The group formed in response to a protest by a prominent alum who believes such a show is contrary to Christian values.
The group called A USD For Everyone has created a website that congratulates University President Mary Lyons for working "to make USD an inclusive place for every member of the USD community."
Among those endorsing the group's message are an Episcopal priest, several former student-body presidents and San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria. Many of the testimonials on the site are anonymous because the signers are not yet "out."
A drag runway show, a lip-sync competition and a question-and-answer session with drag entertainer Tootie as host is set for Wednesday night at the Catholic campus. The show is reportedly sold out.
Charles LiMandri, Rancho Santa Fe attorney and former USD alumni board member, says the idea of a drag show on the campus is an affront to Catholic teachings. LiMandri said he has collected nearly 7,000 names on a website calling for Lyons to cancel the show. LiMandri said he would no longer financially support the university.
"Past drag show events at other supposedly 'Catholic' universities have displayed degenerate behavior that does not align with Catholic values," LiMandri said on his website.
The group A USD for Everyone responded: "Unfortunately, some USD alum have retaliated in poor form, by threatening to stop donating, calling the President's office, and sending emails...As alums, we have the responsibility to ensure USD remains a place for everyone."
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Tootie. Credit: Gay and Lesbian Times