First and foremost, I want to sincerely apologize for anything that came across as offensive in the drag show article I wrote. It was not my intention to offend any group or any person in particular, and I hope you all know that. In Natalie’s response article, she states that the purpose of the drag show was to generate conversation and “challenge our preconceived notions about what it means to be a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ and what it means to perform gender.” That said, it’s important to remember that the use of language is crucial when it comes to sensitive topics such as this one, and that is one of the primary things I have learned and will take from this whole experience.
Second, I will admit straight up that I probably was not the best person to write an article about this topic. It was my first drag show experience; I had no idea what to expect. I know it has become a more accepted part of our culture recently, but I am also aware that the term “drag queen” itself has been around since the late 19th– early 20th century (possibly as early as the 18th century). Drag has also been used in movies since the early 1950’s. Yes, I probably should have included this information and more in the article, such as participant interviews and more in-depth audience reactions.
Third, I want to clarify that I honestly have absolutely nothing against drag or any other aspect of the LGBTQ community. I understand that it is a form of self-expression and should be appreciated and respected. It clearly did not come across that way in my article, and for that I apologize. As I said before, it was a new cultural experience for me and I did not know how it would go. In the end, I had mixed emotions about the show—and I am allowed to. It did not appeal to my personal taste, but I understand why people would find it entertaining. Just as it would be difficult for someone who knows nothing about sports to write a summary of a basketball game, it was difficult for me to write this article about a drag show. (Note: I am NOT comparing drag shows to sporting events; just simply using a similar situation with a different concept.)
As a freshman pursuing a career in journalism, I understand that these kinds of issues will happen from time to time. Controversial articles will be written, published, and will generate a reaction from the public. I want you all to know that I genuinely appreciate your reactions and criticism and will keep that in mind the next time I post a commentary article. I will definitely take this as a learning experience. As I mentioned before, Allies’ goal was to open conversations with the drag show, and that is something that was accomplished. Hopefully now, students will be more open and willing to discuss issues that they normally would be hesitant to mention.
In turn, I ask that you please remember that people’s opinions will not always agree with yours, and commentary is a section where people are allowed to express their opinions. Granted, my opinion was unclear in the article, and it was challenging to write about something that I had mixed reactions about.
Again, I apologize for any misconceptions in the article. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me and I will address you personally.
Thank you for your time and for being active, interested readers of the Free Press!
Kelsey, thanks so much for this follow up! I appreciate the courage you’ve demonstrated here, and I hope you don’t let this incident deter you from pursing journalism or from continuing to branch out and try things that take you outside your comfort zone throughout your college career. You were more than entitled to an opinion, and I’m glad you defended that right while still clearing up any ambiguities the first article might have left. Good work!