Home and heart are indelibly entwined. Your upbringing shapes your personality, morality and humanity.
The relationship between home and self is reflexive. As you embark on your adulthood, you carry certain life lessons with you. There’s a reason why historians gravitate to the birthplaces of notable figures; they help form the foundations of our philosophies.
In other words: home is what you make it and how you project it.
As LGBTQ individuals, homecoming is a mercurial notion. We may not be welcome back to the communities we have outgrown, we often recreate our own extended families as we mature, and yet we can never truly sever our tethers to the past.
But according to the students and faculty at Burlington High School, there’s no need to turn your back on your roots. Instead, you can dig in your stiletto heels and march forward with Pride.
The school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance advisor, Andrew LaValley, consulted local drama coaches to transform the homecoming halftime show into a drag ball, and the results were Vermont-fabulous.
“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 tells the Associated Press.
The pageant was truly a team effort. Quaron Pinckney, athletic director, concocted the concept of staging the burgeoning sashay-fest at homecoming. He credits Burlington with giving him the opportunity to “uplift my voice” as a Black man, so he wanted to “uplift the voices of another marginalized group and share a space in the athletics realm that doesn’t normally get shared.”
Amidst the sea of flowing gowns and glowing attitudes, connection bloomed.
“The stands were completely packed,” recounts student leader of the Gender Sexuality Alliance Ezra Totten. “It was just so heartwarming to see.”
Beaming with enthusiasm, Totten concludes, “Things went amazing!”
Our appetite for inclusion has been sufficiently piqued. We are primped and powdered, we crave those Friday night lights, and we are ready to strut our liberation on the 50-yard line. So, join us in celebrating Burlington’s homecoming highlights in the video below. Win-win-grin!
Last modified: October 26, 2021