Students and school staff unite to stage sickening ‘drag ball’ halftime show

High school students and staff members in Burlington Vermont perform on the football field during a "drag ball" homecoming show

Students and staff in Vermont donned their finest gowns and wigs in a fabulous “drag ball” during the high school’s homecoming football game.

About 30 students and faculty members from Burlington and South Burlington High School strutted across the field in their best drag costumes, feather boas, glitter and gorgeous makeup during the game’s halftime show.

Each performer had their time in the spotlight, and the group also lip-synced to Todrick Hall’s “Rainbow Rain”.

As the drag queens and kings performed, the people packed into the stands for the same were dressed in a kaleidoscope of colours as they chanted “drag ball” and waved Pride flags.

Andrew LeValley, an English teacher and adviser to the Gender Sexuality Alliance at Burlington High School, came up with the idea for the phenomenal event and even performed in it as well.

The teacher donned a Shakespearean burgundy gown and wig inspired by Lady Macbeth and Marie Antoinette.

“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,” LeValley told the Associated Press.

Ezra Totten, student leader of the alliance, said the event was received positively, adding the “stands were completely packed”.

“It was just so heartwarming to see,” Totten said.

The school district’s athletic director Quaron Pinckney suggested the show be performed at the homecoming game.

Pinckney, who is Black, said the school gave him the space to “uplift my voice”. He told the Associated Press he wanted to return the favour by uplifting the “voices of another marginalised group and share a space in the athletics realm that doesn’t normally get shared”.

The event comes just over a week after racist and transphobic slurs were directed towards Burlington High School players at a volleyball game against South Burlington High School, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Pinckney told NBC News he hoped the drag ball signal to students that they have “plenty of allyship and support” behind them. He wanted the event to be the first of many more inclusive student-run events in the Burlington area.

“We have a diverse community and not just in population but in thoughts and action as well too, and this is just one step in many steps that I hope that we can take to show that,” he said.