Let’s face it: Life’s a drag
ABBY GENTRY | OPINION EDITOR
I get it, we are a Catholic school. This title carries certain expectations, and those expectations bring controversy. Religious institutions always seem to stir the pot because people are passionate about their faith and want their faith to be represented in a way that satisfies them. Now, I don’t believe it is wrong to be passionate about your faith. However, I do not think one’s religious beliefs should harm other people, clubs, organizations, and what they choose to stand for.
Last Thursday, April 14, USD’s PRIDE club hosted its annual Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar V. This event is historic for the chaos it brings to campus and the attention it receives from the outside community. In years past, camera crews and journalists have showed up on campus hoping the capture the drama and controversy surrounding the event. This year, while the event was seemingly more low-key, PRIDE continued to receive backlash from administration, parents, and students alike.
Several parents of students around the country received an email from a John Ritchie requesting signatures to prevent this event from occurring.
“This is a spiritual battle,” Ritchie said. “You and I must respond today with prayer and protest.”
I am not saying that Catholics such as Ritchie are not entitled to their beliefs. However, I do believe that they should not let the way they view the world prevent others to stand for what they believe in and choose to represent.
In contrast to Ritchie, many USD Catholic students proudly support the event to exemplify their religious standard of love and compassion toward others while holding judgment from those that are different.
First year Megan McDonell opens up about why she was able to support the performers in the drag show while exercising her Catholic values.
“I would say that most of my friends who are also devout practicing Christians and Catholics [who went to the drag show] may not 100 percent be able to identify with the values that encompassed the show,” McDonell said. “However, they supported the drag show to demonstrate love and acceptance toward others.”
The thing is, events put on by organizations such as USD PRIDE tend to be some of the most enjoyable because each person involved has poured their heart and soul into having a positive outcome.
These performers are aware that what they are doing is challenging and risky and yet they commit to the performance and genuinely hope to show everyone a good time.
Those involved are not looking to stir the pot and create chaos, the outsiders are the ones doing that. These people just want to celebrate what they are proud of while embracing who they choose to be. This should not be taken away from them by people who disagree based off of their own standards.
Megan McDonell shares how her experience at the drag show was an uplifting experience for her and those around her.
“I think people should know that it is an absolutely heartwarming event,” McDonell said. The atmosphere was one the most animated I have ever seen at an event at USD. Everyone who talked about the show after could stop smiling. You could tell the support meant so much to the performers as well,” McDonell said. “People should know that the show is very educational and just an overall amazing experience.”
As a so-called Changemaker campus, USD and its student body should welcome and encourage these special events that come to campus. We are in a special position to exemplify what it means to accept others regardless of your own beliefs. It can be frustrating and discouraging to watch others suffer for what they believe in while others are put on a pedestal for standing up for their beliefs.
To create an equal mentality amongst our student body, we should encourage and support others by practicing love and acceptance.
McDonell shares her frustrations on the anti-drag movement on campus.
“If USD truly wants to be a welcoming atmosphere that says they support acceptance, then I do not understand why this rule still holds,” McDonell said.
Standing for your personal beliefs and opinions is an important aspect of the college growing experience. When students, members of the community, clubs, and other organizations prevent this from happening, they take away the ability for others to grow in their own way.