Drag Queen Tootie Nefertootie will emcee the lip-sync competition, runway competition and Q&A session at a Catholic university's first-ever on-campus "Drag Show" tonight that has brought local alumni down to their knees. Literally.
“Hard as it is to believe, on April 11, 2012, the University of San Diego, which is my alma mater and a Catholic institution, is planning to have on campus its first ‘Drag Show.’ USD is even planning to have a local ‘drag queen’ M.C. this scandalous event,” said lawyer Charles LiMandri, a Rancho Santa Fe lawyer, USD graduate and former member of the alumni board, TFP Student Action news reported.
"Tootie Nefertootie" is a drag performer at, among other venues, Lips nightclub and restaurant in San Diego, which advertises itself as “the ultimate in drag dining,”LiMandri wrote in a letter to some of his fellow USD alumni.
LiMandri, whose 18-year-old son is a USD freshman, had called on the USD administration to cancel the show.
"You've got men up there bumping and grinding and girls putting money in their underwear that's not appropriate," he told Fox 5 news. "I went to USD during the 70's and the sexual revolution. I'm not a prude about these things, but there's certain ways to act in regards to sexual morality on a Catholic campus."
He added: “Catholics don’t believe in gender flexibility. If you are confused about that, you need to get help for that,” U-T San Diego reported.
So Limandri started a website last week with a petition against the campus drag show entitled, "Offend Our Lord No More: Cancel the Drag Show."
Dr. Mary Lyons, President
University of San Diego
I am appalled that your university plans to host a pro-homosexual “drag show” on April 11, 2012. I respectfully urge you to stand true to your Catholic identity and cancel the “drag show” and any other event that undermines Catholic moral teaching. Thank you in advance for addressing this situation.
But University President Mary Lyons, in a letter published in the California Catholic Daily, said the show is meant to "foster students' understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Allowing the show on campus does not imply that the university is "advocating or promoting a lifestyle and behaviors inconsistent with the teachings of the Christian church," Lyons said.
USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Payton told U-T San Diego the drag show is one of several events planned by students in April.
She said USD will not be canceling the activities.
One of the activities include watching and cheering on "students as they compete against each other in pageant-style to be USD's first Supreme Drag Superstar," according to the university website.
"Crazy, this is the first time we've had this event and the fact that it sold out within an hour is insane," USD Pride Association marketing director Max Nanzig told Fox 5.
Catholics and students react
Most students told Fox 5 that they didn't seem to mind having the show on campus.
"I don't think it's bad, I do realize this is a Catholic campus but I don't think it's effecting Catholic beliefs directly anyway," said Mario Ramirez, a student. "I think it's awesome. I think it's great. I would never think that USD would have that."
The Los Angeles Times writes: "Drag entertainers--men dressed and coiffed as women--perform at several San Diego nightspots. RuPaul, a nationally known drag entertainer, formerly lived in San Diego."
RuPaul (L) and Mike Ruiz at the Chicago premiere of "Starrbooty" (Reeling, the Chicago Lesbian and Gay Film Festival)
"The hand of Jesus will reach down to stop this abomination," wrote JR Elliott from San Diego, California. "The Lord was very clear about what kinds of clothes that males and females should be able to wear."
On The Los Angeles Times website, David Wheeler from St. Meinrad College put it this way.
"Can you imagine, men parading around in dresses, how “sexually perverse” is that? Just picture men in scarlet red dresses or beautiful deep purple dresses and with shoes to match no less, it just defies the imagination. Oh wait, that’s what bishops and cardinals ware."