Lewis Bailey was on the end of a cruel knock back when teachers informed him he could not perform in the school show if he intended to wear drag. Lewis had aimed to appear as his drag character, Athena Heart, lip synching to a medley of pop songs. However, school officials insisted to his mother it was illegal for someone under the age of 18 to perform in drag.
Lewis was left “heartbroken and confused,” stating “when I’m in drag I feel I’m truly being myself”. He said the rejection had knocked his confidence completely.
Lewis’ mother continued, “I think the school are being judgmental. There’s no law over impersonating a female.” She also responded to concerns over whether his school show performance would have been age appropriate: “There is no swearing, no raunchy behaviour, nothing over the top. It’s just him dressing as a female doing a dance.”
Michelle King, Lewis’ principal at Castle Academy, countered, “With regard to the performance of our student Lewis Bailey at the end-of-term talent show; we made the decision that it was not age appropriate for either the learner and for the intended audience, his peer group, for Lewis to appear as a ‘drag act.’ We understood Lewis wanted to appear in the style of Ru Paul, whose style of performance is characterised by strong language and sexual innuendo.”
All was not lost for the hopeful, however, as he was invited to perform at DragWorld UK by organisers who had heard of his situation. Now, lucky Lewis, or Athena, will get to perform alongside RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty Bebe Zahara Bennet and Jinx Monsoon.
— Crystal Lubrikunt (@CrystaLubrikunt) July 22, 2018
A spokesperson for DragWorld said, “It is an absolute honour to showcase the great young talent. We don’t believe anyone should be told they can’t be who they want to be!”
For Lewis, and the attendees of DragWorld, this is one raincloud that had a glittery lining.
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