USC Upstate Cancels ‘Lesbian Play’ Over Too Much Negative Publicity


University of South Carolina Upstate has cancelled a same-sex satirical play after state lawmakers believed the show was an attempt to promote homosexuality among college students.

Leigh Hendrix, a 30-year-old Brooklyn playwright was scheduled to perform "How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less" at the USC Upstate's "Bodies of Knowledge" symposium this week.

"I was really surprised," Hendrix told NY Daily News. "The title is far more provocative than the piece. (Gay recruiting) is not even the premise at all."

"How to Be a Lesbian" is a light-hearted fictional narrative of Hendrix's disclosure of sexual orientation at the age of 17. Hendrix plays "Butchy McDyke" in the play, a character framed to represent herself.

Republican state Sen. Mike Fair said that homosexual relationships are not natural and therefore should not be "glorified." He also added that the play was not about status disclosure but a form of gay recruiting.

"College should be about a wide variety of opinion, not just the agenda of the left," added fellow Republican Sen. Lee Bright. "USC Upstate has become a place of indoctrination, not free inquiry."

Tammy Whaley, a spokeswoman for the school, said that the show was attracting negative publicity and was deviating from the purpose of the seminar.

 "So many people were interpreting her performance as an instructive session rather than the comical or satirical nature of the show," Whaley said. "Elected officials and religious community members were thinking it was a class requirement verses a symposium that was open to the campus and community."

Mike Fair, Conservative Senator, has not been a great fan of embracing diversity at his alma mater. Fair proposed laws that allows teachers to condemn evolution and to teach homosexual behavior is "unnatural, unhealthy and illegal" during sex education classes, he said.

The Senator also did not approve of a book used in a reading program "Out Loud:  The Best of Rainbow Radio", a set of stories from South Carolina's first gay radio show. He proposed funding cuts to the program. Last month, the House slashed $17,146 (exact cost of the program) from University of South Carolina Upstate's budget.

However, some said the cancellation was unfair. Gail Stephenson, president of Upstate Pride, said that the decision to stop the show was unjust to both the university and its students. Stephenson said that people cannot accept a certain part of diversity and chose to ignore the other.

"Then what's next?  Are we going to cut out women's studies?  Racial integration?", New Civil Rights Movement reports.

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