A glitzy private school in New York City has outraged students and parents by instituting a strict new dress code despite inviting a drag queen to perform at the school in a baby-doll dress that broke the code.
Grace Church School in the East Village, a historic Episcopal private school founded in 1894, did not enforce the dress code for the past few years but recently emailed students about again taking it seriously.
Sophomores at the school received the email last Sunday which detailed which clothing would be deemed inappropriate, including ‘tights worn as pants,’ miniskirts, athletic wear, caps, tank tops, and ‘pants that sit below the waist.’
‘If you want to bring something into school to ask me if it’s OK, I’m happy to review your wardrobe choices without penalty or judgment,’ the dean wrote in the memo.
After the outrage, the school responded with another letter that said the new rules were set to ‘foster a particular sense of culture and community.’
The demands of the $58,000 a year school ring hypocritical as last spring the school invited drag queen Brita Filter to perform for their sixth annual Pride Chapel event and forced students to attend.
Grace Church School in New York City has felt the ire of teachers and students alike after instituting a new dress code that some believe is archaic and repressive
The school’s decision to implement it comes off as hypocritical as they frequently invite scantily-clad drag queens to perform at school-sponsored LGBTQ pride events
Brita, whose real name is Jesse Havea, was seen entering the school’s chapel in a short, orange miniskirt and danced up and down the aisle as students and faculty cheered.
The drag queen was a contestant on Season 12 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and posted a video of her performance at the school to Tik Tok with the caption ‘I literally went to church to teach the children today. A Catholic High School here in NYC invited me to their Pride Chapel.’
‘Visibility matters and I’m so honored to have had the chance to talk to you about my work as a LGBTQ+ Drag Queen Activist,’ the caption continued.
The performer said he would ‘never forget this beautiful moment’ and belted out a rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz.
One student who attended and wished to remain anonymous told Canadian magazine the Post Millennial that there was ‘tons of social pressure’ involved in the performance.
‘There was tons of social pressure to dance along and pretend like it was normal for sure,’ said the student.
‘Whether it be people tapping on shoulders and telling them to stand up or just a collective staring contest at whoever wasn’t totally participating,’ they continued.
Another student said: ‘Immediately upon entering, there was a person handing out stickers with Pride flags on them unironically saying “take one or you’re homophobic.”‘
One student even said that as Havea approached the altar, he was joined by other dancing students, some of whom were twerking along with the music.
‘I wondered, “Is this really happening in a chapel?”‘ the student asked.
Video posted online by drag queen Brita Filter shows her strutting down the aisles of the Grace Church chapel in bright orange go-go boots and a high-hemmed blue babydoll dress
She was at the private Episcopal school for its Sixth Annual Pride Chapel event on April 27
The event was sponsored by the school, the reverend as well as students and the faculty advisors for Spectrum, the school’s LGBTQ club
Havea has previously competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race and is the national co-chair of Drag Out the Vote
After the performance, students were encouraged to discuss their sexuality and gender identity with Havea, and one teacher quit during this time as they were repeatedly misgendered by other faculty.
Students said teacher Uyen Nguyen reportedly told the chapel full of students ‘how much they loved the gay kids at school, and how this has been the most inclusive and accepting place they’ve ever been, but it’s the administration she cannot work with.’
Nguyen had complained about the issue in the past, saying colleagues using the wrong pronouns was a ‘stressor’ for them and saying they faced no accountability when they did use the wrong pronouns.
On social media, Havea markets himself with the hashtag #AnythingButPure, playing on the Brita Filter name.
And on his Instagram and YouTube pages, he consistently alludes to various kinks and high risk sexual practices including ‘water sports,’ ‘fisting,’ ‘balls deep,’ ‘turning out,’ ‘glory hole,’ and using the phrase ‘1 in the pink, 2 in the stink.’
In an interview with Get Out Magazine in 2017, Havea said: ‘I love taking things that are very gentle, things that you’re not really supposed to touch and f****** them up. That’s truly what I like to do.’