Middle School Invites Drag Queens To 'Teach' Students How 'People are Different'
The teacher believed that students identifying as LGBT were being bullied
A middle school in North Carolina last week hosted an array of local drag queens to talk, educate, and celebrate 'how people are different.'
Two liberal teachers were behind the idea, both from Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina - Taylor Schmidt and Schara Brooks.
The teacher believed that students identifying as LGBT were being bullied, which prompted the decision to invite drag queens to the school.
Schmidt said, "If we're going to be a school that's focused on equity and justice, and if we're going to be a school that believes in the act of liberation, we need to be creative with our approach.”
The teachers last year pushed for the event to be launched to address the issue, prompting the creation of the Pride and Liberation Event.
Drag queens, Vivica C. Coxx and Stormie Daie of the House of Coxx drag house spoke at the school along with a panel featuring a city council member.
The event included a drag show along with another show from the school's step team, according to CNN.
“Students were allowed to opt out of the event, but the school says most decided to attend," CNN noted.
According to the News & Record:
In between Beyonce and Nikki Minaj songs, Coxx and Daie connected with the students over growing up in Durham and what it was like to feel different, slipping in quick lessons about LGBT history along the way.
For one song, Daie swirled a floor-length skirt, each layer of fabric a different color of the rainbow. Cheers erupted when she pulled the dress off to reveal a gold jumpsuit and knee-high gold boots.
Coxx told CNN:
"Central Park didn't water it down, but they made it age-appropriate to give a depth to social justice and activism, which is the core of the queer experience.
I thought they must be feeling so empowered to see someone being themselves on stage. Visibility matters, and seeing a queer person of color on stage saying 'this is me' has an impact that no one can really measure."
Daie continued, "You hope that the children listen to this so that they know we didn't have this when we were growing up. We weren't seeing people like us being celebrated."
Schmidt stated, "Our drive was to remove barriers to success, belonging and the ability to thrive for all students.
It called for a hard look at the roots of these behaviors and intentional actions to liberate not just the bullied from oppressive acts, but the bully from the oppressive root causes of their actions."
In April, Ohio state lawmakers introduced legislation to ban child drag shows following a nine-year-old’s performance in a bar.
The new legislation aims to ban such activity for “endangering children.”
The House Bill 180 was introduced by state Rep. Tim Schaffer earlier this month after the outrage of a video of Jacob Measley of suburban Toled accepting cash for performing at a drag charity function at a Fairfield County bar last year.