High School's Halftime Gets Souped-up With Something Far More Fabulous

(AP Photo/Hans Punz)

Halftime has doubled its fun.

For decades, football game beginnings and ends have been partitioned by batons and brass, with woodwinds and the whacking of drums.


But a high school in Vermont recently upgraded its game-night fare via a pile of panache.

Marching band, you can’t step to this.

From The Associated Press:

A Vermont high school homecoming football game turned into a “drag ball” runway at halftime, with…a big crowd in rainbow colors to cheer them on.

When I was in school, the word “sexuality” wouldn’t have been officially uttered. But Burlington High has its own Gender Sexuality Alliance.

The group’s leader — Ezra Totten — praised the spectacular’s success:

“The stands were completely packed. … It was just so heartwarming to see.”

And they all got an eyeful — per the AP, participants “[paraded] in gowns, wigs and makeup.”

Perhaps the best part: The show’s cast was “a mix of students and faculty members.”

Even some attendees of South Burlington High got in on the fabulous foray.

Here’s how it all went down:

As school cheerleaders wrapped up their routine, about 30 students and faculty members dressed as drag queens and kings — or a bit of both — walked out onto the field and the crowd started to chant, “Drag Ball!”

Performers paraded and danced to show support for LGBTQ people. They also lip-synced to singer Todrick Hall’s “Rainbow Reign.”


To be clear, the show wasn’t Ezra’s idea.

Credit goes to the Alliance’s adviser, English teacher Andrew LeValley.

The instructor explained the hot ticket got help from veterans of the stage:

“We had some people that are pretty involved in theater come in and talk about how you put on a persona.”

And Andrew assisted in the rainbow’s reign — he dressed in a wig and burgundy Shakespearean gown.

His inspiration, per the AP: “Lady Macbeth and Marie Antoinette.”

The instructor wanted a night of exposure, entertainment, and inclusion:

“I was just really hoping to give our students — who are both out and the students that were in the stands who are not out — a moment to shine and feel loved, and know that there is a place for them in public schools.”

It was undeniably no ordinary evening. Not only were pupils and employees padded and poking out in a panoply of proud pageantry; the event occurred…on homecoming.

That was Athletic Director Quaron Pinckney’s idea.

Pinckney, who is Black, said that the school gave him the space to “uplift my voice” and that he was able to reciprocate and “uplift the voices of another marginalized group and share a space in the athletics realm that doesn’t normally get shared.”


It sure doesn’t:

As previously pointed out, times have changed.

Just a few years ago, one might not have imagined a male sports staffer suggesting men dress as women and lip sync to the cheap seats. And surely few would’ve guessed any school would go along.

But sex, like society, has changed.

According to the AP, the show was a smashing success:

Lauren McBride, principal of Burlington High School, said she heard a dad talking to his two sons at the game who didn’t know that the drag ball was going to be the halftime show.

She heard him explaining to them what dressing in drag means, “and it was like, ‘This is really cool,’” she said.

Every generation possesses its particulars.

Amid the current batch of teens, gender-switching seems all the rage.

The past saw mood rings and friendship bracelets.

An update:

Will the seriousness of changing one’s gender identity on a dime — a sort of mid-day drag show about to start at any moment — give way to the canceling of drag?

Might the art form become the new blackface?

That remains to be seen.

For now — at a public high school in Vermont — it’s raining men.


As women.

If we can still call them that.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: To those who endured pain from twice reading “Drag Ball,” I apologize.


See more pieces from me:

Another One Bites the Gust: Winds of Change Bring a VP of ‘Humanism, Equity and Antiracism’ to an American Medical School

Rutgers Professor Identifies America’s Enemy: White Mothers, and Not the ‘Mom’ Kind

‘Hateful Conduct’: Congressman Gets Corked for Calling a Four-Star Admiral a ‘Man’

Find all my RedState work here.

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