Saturday, February 21, 2009

Drag Queen Crowned at University Homecoming

Officially, the university is "very comfortable with it. We're fine." The school does not require participants in the Mr. and Ms. Mason pageant to compete along precise gender lines.

-- From "GMU's Choice of Homecoming Queen Sparks Campus Divide" by Annie Gowen, Washington Post Staff Writer 2/20/09

George Mason University senior Ryan Allen is now . . . the school's homecoming queen. He received more votes than the two women who vied for the crown.

Allen, who is gay and performs as a popular drag queen at local clubs, assumed the title of Ms. Mason. He was wearing a green-and-gold bow, sewn for him by the theater department costume's shop, that was visible even from the cheap seats, a sequined top, a black skirt and heels. Ricky Malebranche, a junior from Woodbridge, was named Mr. Mason.

Beyond the joyful tears and tiara, Allen's election exposed conflicting cultural currents at the sprawling campus in Fairfax County. Many see it as an expression of inclusiveness at a place where about one-third of the 30,000 students are minority. But others say it is an embarrassment at an inopportune time when Mason is trying to revamp its image from commuter school to distinguished institution of higher learning.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.