George Mason University Picks Drag Queen as Homecoming Queen

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.

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5 Responses to George Mason University Picks Drag Queen as Homecoming Queen

  1. If only when I was young and struggling with my sexuality had I been able to read a story like this. Back then the only time I had ever seen anything on the TV about sexuality was Klinger on MASH, and Billy Crystal on Soap. It gives me hope that the next generation of gays and lesbians will have it better than us, and yes even the drag queens…god knows they started the stonewall riots and they did it in heels.

  2. Aunt Peg says:

    I love this story.

    What a positive message to young gay and lesbian kids today. The world is changing — slowly and for the better.

  3. Mets Fan says:

    Props to George Mason University. I won’t hold my breath to see a drag queen anytime soon be homecoming queen at Bob Jones University or Southern Methodist.

  4. libhomo says:

    That is wonderful news. Our society is slowly advancing towards a more mature attitude about gender and sexuality.

  5. VicoDANIEL says:

    America is growing up.

    Despite the bigots, religious lunatics and homophobes who want to keep us mired in the 17th century, a glimmer of light is creeping in.

    We didn’t have anyone like this as homecoming queen at my college. But, a number of female teachers came awfully close to “fabulous.”

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