The show, set for Wednesday at the University Center, is to include runway and lip-sync competitions with local drag entertainer Tootie serving as emcee.
"The teachings on Catholic social justice do not align with this event, and anyone with a formed Christian conscience cannot approve an event that is sexually perverse," said lawyer Charles LiMandri, a Rancho Santa Fe lawyer, USD graduate and former member of the alumni board.
LiMandri has called on the USD administration to cancel the show.
But University President Mary Lyons, in a letter published in the California Catholic Daily, said the show is meant to "foster students' understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity."
Allowing the show on campus does not imply that the university is "advocating or promoting a lifestyle and behaviors inconsistent with the teachings of the Christian church," Lyons said.
Drag entertainers--men dressed and coiffed as women--perform at several San Diego nightspots. RuPaul, a nationally known drag entertainer, formerly lived in San Diego.