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Bethel drag show controversies meet rapid resolution
After a Student Life request to end drag shows on campus, BeLonGTo and GSA defended this club tradition.
On Thursday, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Dr. MeShonya Wren-Coleman, informed the presidents of BeLonGTo and Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) that there will be no drag shows this year.
“I did not feel like the show represented Bethel College,” said Wren-Coleman. “There was too much profanity and skin exposure from a drag artist.”
This decision changed yesterday, however, after communication with Dr. Henry Waters, advisor of GSA, affirming that the drag shows will continue.
“I trust Dr. Waters, and I trust GSA and what they are going to do with the show. They now know the expectation,” Dr. Wren-Coleman explained.
Since 2020, the LGBTQIA+ Bethel club BeLonGTo has hosted a biannual drag show for students. This drag show has been a way to express and celebrate the voices of LGBTQIA+ individuals on campus.
“The goal has always been to educate the Bethel community about the LGBTQ+ community. Having the ability to have drag shows on campus is the next step in promoting inclusivity on campus,” said President of BeLonGTo Hayden Honomichl.
The show also helps to represent the drag community, which has been under scrutiny from legislators nationwide. This year, politicians from Tennessee, Texas, and Montana, have passed legislation that restricts drag queens from performing.
“College is a place where people come to learn and grow,” explained President of GSA Lucy Buller. “Banning drag shows only sets Bethel back and actively harms the LGBTQ+ community by not allowing us this queer-affirming space.”
The Bethel drag show will be held on Oct. 20 in the Krehbiel Auditorium.