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Texas A&M Defunds Annual Drag Show

April 20, 2022

LGBTQ+ student organizers say Texas A&M University defunded its annual drag show without explanation after initially agreeing to partner with them on the event, The Daily Beast reported.

The university has partnered with student organizations to host the popular show, called Draggieland, since its beginning in 2020. Last year the administration disaffiliated from the show, and this year it pulled its sponsorship, students said. Though Draggieland is primarily funded through ticket sales, in the past the university has helped LGBTQ+ organizations with up-front costs, such as booking headliners, and then the organizers paid the university back through profits from the event. Because the university defunded the event, students said they had to do their own fundraising for the show, which took place Monday.

The administration is “actively making decisions that discriminate against the LGBTQ student body for the purpose of making sure that LGBTQ representation is not part of the face of Texas A&M,” Frey Miller, president of the trans student group Transcend, told The Daily Beast.

Before this year’s event, TFP Student Action, which is affiliated with the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, created an online petition calling the drag show “sinful” and “immoral,” which more than 19,000 people signed. Protesters also staged a rally against the event, where they flicked holy water at LGBTQ+ students, Daniel Hou, the executive showrunner of Draggieland 2022, told The Daily Beast.

According to KAGS, an NBC affiliate station, Texas A&M vice president of student affairs Joe Ramirez said during a student government meeting that Draggieland was already self-sufficient and didn’t need the funds. Ramirez said the funds could be used for organizations that don’t have those resources but was unable to give an answer to where those funds would end up.

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