The new Homecoming Queen of George Mason University is a guy.
You may have heard about this. His name is Ryan Allen (above). He is a 22-year-old senior. He is gay, he is popular, he does drag queen shows at clubs near campus, and he entered the Queen pageant as a lark. His stage name for the contest was Reann Ballslee. Seriously. He beat out two female entrants for the title, which was awarded to him at halftime at a sold-out basketball game. A good portion of the crowd, for whom he was the favorite, reportedly went wild. He wore a sequined top, a black skirt, and size 12 pumps, according to the Washington Post.
A Homecoming King was also named, of course, but he kind of got lost in the excitement.
Allen seems to have handled the entire thing with class and honesty, describing his victory to the press as a win for open-mindedness on campus as well as a crazy good time. A university spokesman said the school is fine with it. There was, however, some carping from students who miss the shining days of yore when this sterling university honor was bestowed according to rigorous rules of gender.
The one Post quote that says it all is this:
Right. As if the Pleistocene tradition of girl and boy glamour-pusses vying for campus Barbie and Ken status is a peak of dignity from which we have now fallen with the inclusion of a drag queen.
If anyone deserves sympathy, it might be the two female contestants who were bested for the title by a guy. Let's hope each of them has a high-octane sense of humor.