Deering High School’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance had their second annual drag show to raise money for their club on Wednesday night. Several students performed to an audience of about 150 people in the high school auditorium, many of them performing in drag for the first time ever. Even Deering’s new principal Gregg Palmer made his drag debut on the stage that night. Wearing a teal blue wig he danced across the stage to David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.”

Senior Alex Fitzgerald, who was the host of the show and also performed, said that he has been anxiously awaiting the show for months. He said that having a vibrant LGBTQI community at the school has helped make a night like Wednesday possible, as well as having administration that is supportive. Fitzgerald said Portland school board’s adoption of the comprehensive transgender policy was an important moment for LGBTQI students at the school. It was a moment of acknowledgement. And Wednesday was a moment of celebration.

Senior Izzy Smith said that Principal Palmer agreeing to perform was, “unexpected in the best possible way.”

“For him to donate his time to us and be so enthusiastic and happy to be with us and to go ‘ham’ with us, was extraordinary and such a nice way to end the year,” Smith said.

The students said they hope that more high school GSAs will put on drag shows in years to come and Fitzgerald said he already has talked to people who told him that they are planning on performing next year. “It has been so successful I’m sure it will be continued.”

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