Drag Queen Center Stage At George Mason University

2.23.2009

By Courtney Nichols

While homecoming queens across the nation accepted their
crown in an ensemble of low-rise jeans, pink tube tops and Tiffany’s
accessories, Ryan Allen of George Mason University used his tiara to extenuate
his sequined top and green-and-gold bow, sewn together by the university’s
theater department. Allen, in size 12 pumps and a curly bob to match, beat his
female competition and became the first drag queen recipient of the Ms. Mason
title on February 20th. In front a sold old-out basketball game
against Northeastern at the Patriot Center, he accepted his crown in an
educational climate in which one-third of the 30,000 student population is a
minority. While most stood in a standing ovation as Allen addressed the crowd,
some believed it was an inopportune moment for such publicity as George Mason
is attempting to revamp its image as a commuter school. Yet, despite the muted
outrage, the university’s spokesman Daniel Walsch noted the school is
"very comfortable with it. We're fine.”

A local cabaret nightlife personality, Allen originally
entered the contest as a senior year prank performing Britney Spears’s
“Womanizer.” Though he was competing against more traditional candidates for
the title including a sorority member who argued the tiara should be hers
because she has “pride in Mason to the point where [her] towels are green and
gold,” Allen still managed to win. Allen worked the stadium’s court as if it
was his personal runway with hand held high and a Vaseline-induced smile that
could rival a tweaked out Cameron Diaz. And as for Mr. Mason? Well, junior
Ricky Malebranche from Woodbridge was not only overshadowed, but also awkwardly emasculated. For the first time, his muscle tee and ripped biceps did not
work in his favor. 

-- COURTNEY NICHOLS

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