Satirical 'How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days' Play Canceled at University of South Carolina Upstate Because It's "Indoctrination"
If you live in South Carolina and were looking to see the highly helpful, "instructional" play How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days , then you are unfortunately out of luck. Several South Carolina senators have successfully lobbied the University of South Carolina Upstate to cancel the upcoming show, apparently outraged that the university was allowing such blatant lesbian recruiting on campus. Well darn, now how will anyone find out how to be a lesbian? Oh wait, the play is satirical.
Playwright Leigh Hendrix told PolicyMic, "I was probably more surprised than I should have been by this," adding that, despite the title, she's never been accused of gay recruitment before. The play is more about "finding yourself and finding your voice in the face of all the ideas other people have about how you are supposed to do that." Apparently this nuance was lost on South Carolina lawmakers.
"College should be about a wide variety of opinion, not just the agenda of the left. USC Upstate has become a place of indoctrination, not free inquiry," said Republican Sen. Lee Bright. Fellow Republican Senator Mike Fair said of the play, "That's not an explanation of 'I was born this way.' It's recruiting,"
All of which was news to Hendrix, the author of the one woman show who originally hails from South Carolina but now lives in New York.
The show was scheduled to be part of the University of South Carolina Upstate's Bodies of Knowledge event put on by their Center for Women's & Gender Studies, and somewhat tragically it was intended to be a way to make LGBT students feel more welcome on campus. I wonder what message those students are getting now. Probably that they aren't even welcome in the state.
This isn't the first time University of South Carolina Upstate has run afoul of legislators over LGBT issues. Just this year the legislature threatened to cut funding over several LGBT-themed books that were part of the school's curriculum. The school has defended the value of teaching the titles even though it meant budget cuts.
In this case however, they have bowed to pressure and cancelled the performance of How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days. According to their spokesperson, the decision was due to the fact that the controversy had "become a distraction to the educational mission of USC Upstate."
So that sends a great message.
Overall, this whole thing is kind of ridiculous and stems from the strange yet commonly held idea that the LGBT community has some sort of "gay agenda" that involves recruiting people into an "immoral lifestyle choice" or some such nonsense. It's that type of thinking that allows someone to see a play about the "right" way to be a lesbian not as an exploration of identity but as propaganda. So if we as a society could ditch the idea that someone can express their identity without wanting other people to conform to it, that would be a great first step.