A drag queen spoke to Colorado middle school students about performing in drag as part of the school’s Career Day, and some parents are less than happy about it.
As KCNC-TV (Denver) reports, Rocky Top Middle School, in Thornton, invited a variety of adults to speak to the 6th- through 8th-graders about their career options. Among the invitees was a drag queen who uses the stage name “Jessica L’Whor.” She says that performing in drag is her career, and she’s so busy with bookings that she often works six nights per week.
Jessica did not mention her whole stage name in speaking to the students, instead asking them to call her “Ms. Jessica.” Neither did she perform her act; rather, in full costume and makeup, she read from a book, identified by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as Horrible Harry, which discusses bullying, Jessica told a KCNC reporter.
“The book talks about bullies, and the negative things that can happen through being bullied.”
As far as Jessica is concerned, the visit to the suburban Denver school, which was facilitated by a young relative who attends Rocky Top, the visit was a raging success.
“I went to four classes. In every class, one person asked me how to handle negativity and hate. There were a lot of kids interested in how I could have the confidence to go out looking the way I look.”
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Some parents, however, are not so thrilled.
One, for example, emailed KCNC to say that several are “outraged,” calling the event “inappropriate on so many levels.” Similarly, parent Heather Rogers tells KDVR-TV (Denver) that inviting a drag queen to a middle school was not age-appropriate.
“This person is an adult entertainer and is talking to 12-year-old students about something that’s adult nature.”
Still, others just say that they wish they had known about Jessica’s visit in advance, so they could have made the decision whether or not to allow their kids to attend that day.
Rocky Top principal Chelsea Behanna, while refusing to apologize for inviting Ms. Jessica, says that she can see where the parents are coming from.
“I take responsibility for not notifying families ahead of time and apologize for any stress this has caused you and your child. Moving forward, a prominent step in planning for next year will be to share the guest list for all families prior to the event.”
Jessica, for her part, says that she was energized by the positive feedback she got from the kids and hopes to be invited to speak to more schools, even elementary schools.