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Schools Put On Drag Show at Halftime

Crowd cheers students and faculty parading in support of LGBTQ people
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 16, 2021 3:25 PM CDT
Schools Put On Drag Show at Halftime
People participate in the "drag ball" halftime show at Burlington High School on Friday night.   (Fritz Senftleber via AP)

(Newser) – A Vermont high school homecoming football game turned into a "drag ball" runway at halftime, with a mix of students and faculty members parading in gowns, wigs, and makeup—and a big crowd in rainbow colors to cheer them on. "Things went amazing," Ezra Totten, student leader of the Gender Sexuality Alliance at Burlington High School, said of Friday night's event. It included participants from South Burlington High School, the AP reports. "The stands were completely packed. ... It was just so heartwarming to see."

As school cheerleaders wrapped up their routine, about 30 students and faculty members dressed as drag queens and kings—or a bit of both—walked out onto the field, and the crowd started to chant, "Drag Ball!" Performers paraded and danced to show support for LGBTQ people. They also lip-synced to singer Todrick Hall's "Rainbow Reign." Andrew LeValley, an English teacher and alliance adviser at the school, came up with the idea. "We had some people that are pretty involved in theater come in and talk about how you put on a persona," he said.

LeValley wore a Shakespearean burgundy gown and a wig on the runway. "I was just really hoping to give our students—who are both out and the students that were in the stands who are not out—a moment to shine and feel loved, and know that there is a place for them in public schools," LeValley said. Athletic Director Quaron Pinckney suggested the show be held at homecoming. Lauren McBride, Burlington's principal, said she heard a man talking to his two sons who didn't know the drag ball was going to be the halftime show. She heard him explaining to them what dressing in drag means, she said, "and it was like, 'This is really cool.'"

(Read more LGBTQ stories.)

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