Sunday, February 22, 2009
“Wilbur, the times they are a-changin'” – Divine, as Edna Turnblad, in Hairspray
George Mason University senior Ryan Allen dresses in drag and doesn’t mind being called a queen — homecoming queen, to be exact. Allen, who is gay and performs in drag at nightclubs in the region, said he entered the homecoming contest as a joke.
His drag queen persona is, Reann Ballslee.
He considers the victory one of his happiest moments and proof that the suburban Washington, D.C., school famous for its run to the Final Four a few years back celebrates its diverse student body.
“I was very touched by how Mason was so supportive through the whole process of allowing a boy in a dress to run for homecoming queen,” Allen said in a phone interview. “It says a lot about the campus that not only do we have diversity but we celebrate it.”
The senior from Virginia’s Goochland County won the pageant Saturday at a sold-out Homecoming basketball game against Northeastern University.
Large portions of the crowd cheered as Allen, wearing a gold-sequined top, accepted the tiara and the Ms. Mason 2009 sash.