Drag show to be staged at University of San Diego: Opposing students plan prayer protest

SAN DIEGO - On Thursday, a controversial drag show is set to take place for the second time on the campus of University of San Diego, but some students believe the Catholic campus is no place for a show like this.

The controversy has divided USD students down the middle. On one side is the student-run PRIDE group, which is made up of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students who are saying that all views should be celebrated. The other is a student group saying a drag show has no business on a Catholic campus.

"I think that this show doesn't respect the dignity of the human person," said concerned USD student Ailsa Tirado.

Tirado plans to protest what is called the "Supreme Drag Superstar 2" show on Thursday night. She and others – like last year – will do that through prayer and song.

"As a student, I came to this university expecting to receive Catholic values, expecting to receive a Catholic formation and expected my faith to be respected," Tirado said. "I think that it's confusing for a school to send both messages to students that the homosexual lifestyle is OK while at the same time the church disagrees with people living a homosexual lifestyle."

When 10News covered last year's event, we found that USD set strict rules for the event. 10News was not allowed inside, but since then, we have found pictures from the event online.

Other students on the campus told 10News they plan on attending and support the university's decision to allow it to be held on campus.

"This is how you love people. This is how you embrace people," USD student supporter Ayala Pourat told 10News. "There are tons of Catholics who are supporting this because that is their interpretation of their religion."

Meanwhile, Tirado and other concerned students sent a letter to USD President Mary Lyons saying they are saddened and concerned and want her to cancel the show.

While Tirado says she has not heard back from the president's office, 10News has.

In a statement, 10News was told USD approved this event because:

The program's content and design are intended to illustrate the complexities of issues around gender identity and gender expression.

The event supports the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the human person and does not promote either behavior or lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of the Church.

The event complies with the same rules and protocols applied to all other sanctioned campus events planned and carried out by students at USD.

10News reached out to the show's organizers, the student-run PRIDE group, but did not hear back.

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