NBC San Diego VIDEO and Article 4-10-12


Devout Catholic Charles LiMandri says when he heard school administrators had approved a Drag Queen show at USD where he graduated in 1977, he couldn't believe it. NBC 7's Tony Shin reports.

The idea of boys dressed as girls, bumping and grinding on stage, during an event on the University of San Diego campus has pushed one university supporter and former alumni president to organize fellow alums in protest.

Charles LiMandri considers himself a devout Catholic. His son, attends his alma mater on scholarship and LiMandri himself has donated thousands of dollars to the private university.

When LiMandri heard USD administrators had approved a Drag Queen Show, he couldn’t believe it.

"I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. Although not everything is taken literally it does say men should dress as men, women should dress as women," LiMandri told NBCSanDiego Monday night.

The Drag Show, scheduled for Wednesday, is designed as a celebration of equality, similar to the message of San Diego’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

Organizers of the event say the show will have positive messages about diversity and acceptance.

"Students are encouraged to dress up as someone from a different gender and express their identity like that," explained sophomore Ernesto Reyes.

"We're hoping out campus community will become more knowledgeable and aware of other students who have other sexual orientations, students who are gay lesbian and transsexual," Reyes said.

LiMandri is not the show’s only critic.

As NBCSanDiego first reported last week, the Drag Show has drawn harsh criticism from some students and alumni. A website gathering names of people who are against the show claims to have about 7,000 names. Over the weekend LiMandri created his own website, AlumniforaCatholicUSD.org, asking people to put pressure on school administrators to stop the show.

"If they're not going to be teaching values that they're advertising then I can't support them," LiMandri explains.

A university spokesperson said the event has been approved according to it's Equal Opportunity Policy.

Some students who oppose the event said they will protest outside the university center while the event takes place inside.