UT San Diego Article 4-11-12

Source: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/10/usd-alum-tries-halt-drag-show/

USD alum tries to halt drag show

More than 7,500 sign petition opposing program; university says event will go on

A former president of the University of San Diego’s national alumni association has unsuccessfully sought to have a drag show on campus canceled that he says goes against Catholic moral teachings.

Prominent local attorney Charles S. LiMandri, whose 18-year-old son is a USD freshman, is opposed to the university’s plans for a drag show to bring attention to issues of gender identity and gender expression. The show is scheduled for Wednesday night.

LiMandri said the show is contrary to the Catholic faith and traditions, and he contacted college officials with his concerns before launching a website.

He said more than 7,500 people have signed a petition opposing the show.

“Having boys dress up as girls doesn’t further the discussion; it just provides a lewd form of entertainment,” LiMandri said. “This is not an educational program, and it is not the way to address these serious issues.”

USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Payton said the drag show is one of several events planned by students in April. “Together, the events are intended to foster students’ understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity,” Payton said in a statement. She said USD will not be canceling the activities.

LiMandri said he supports USD’s diversity and multicultural programs but said they were not about “jettisoning the Catholic values of the university.”

“Catholics don’t believe in gender flexibility. If you are confused about that, you need to get help for that,” he said.

An alumni group has launched its own website in support of the transgender awareness activities, saying it wants to keep the university “a welcoming place for everyone.”