At first it objected to recommended readings that include reference to homosexuality, and by cutting about $70,000 from the budgets of two state universities.
Now state legislature is blocking appearance of a one-act play at University of South Carolina-Upstate because it features a lesbian main character.
In the legislature’s election of the school’s board of trustees last week, state Sen. Mike Fair (R-Greenville) voted against all incumbents, citing objection to its scheduled hosting of “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.”
The one-act show, originally scheduled for a on-campus symposium this week, is a comedic yet touching performance by Leigh Hendrix, Resident Artist at Perishable Theater in Providence, R.I. While the character of motivational speaker Butchy McDyke includes her personal example in sexual identity, the play addresses the broader scope of overcoming social stigmas with positive self-identification.
The play bills itself “the perfect guide to gay for budding lesbians, no matter their sexual orientation!”
Fair interprets the play differently, however, even accusing it of being some gay-conversion tool.
“It’s recruiting,” he told Greenville’s WYFF-4.
Unfortunately, Fair’s homophobic response worked. USC-Upstate cancelled the show.
Says assistant vice chancellor Tammy Whaley:
“The controversy surrounding this performance has become a distraction to the educational mission of USC-Upstate and the overall purpose of the Bodies of Knowledge symposium. As a result, we have canceled this segment of the symposium.”
Leigh offers an in-character reply in a recent video. “(E)verybody has got to figure out how to craft an honest and engaging narrative about who they are in the world,” she says as McDyke.
Quoting Winston Churchill, she closes with “never give up, never give up, never give up.”
See the video below:
Earlier this year, Republican state legislators cut funding from two schools because of their inclusion of books referring to homosexuality on recommended reading lists. The local progressive community responded with an anti-intolerance website, and recently demonstrated at the College of Charleston.