In Drag To Protest And Educate
In March, West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler canceled a student drag show organized by several campus student clubs including members of the Secular Student Alliance.
In an email to all students, faculty, and staff, President Wendler cited his personal religious beliefs and evoked God and Creator multiple times in his justification for canceling the student event. He also falsely likened drag to blackface, claiming that the art form is misogynistic, divisive, and void of human dignity.
President Wendler’s personal religious beliefs and biblical references have no place in justifying the cancellation of the event. West Texas A&M University is a public institution and the wall of the separation of state and church remains standing.
Last week, Andrew Seidel, a constitutional lawyer and vice president of strategic communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, visited West Texas A&M University to give an address to support the students suing President Wendler, demonstrate that drag is not threatening, and detail the dangers of Christian Nationalism.
Andrew explained that drag shouldn’t be a concern for anyone: “Drag is art. Drag is human. Drag is beautiful.” However for religious conservatives, anything that calls into question the gender binary or the conservative Christian idea of what men ought to look like is perceived as a threat – solely because of their religious beliefs.