Opposing DRAGgieland: A Spiritual Battle for the Soul of Texas A&M

April 27, 2021

Texas A&M University has long held a reputation of being a conservative college. It is a public land grant research university originally established as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. As would be fitting for Texas, it has one of the largest campuses in the United States and boasts the second largest student body. Of the six senior military colleges that offer ROTC courses, it is the largest in the nation. Indeed, many who hear the name A&M would immediately associate it with its sharply dressed corps of cadets.

Its history is filled with unique traditions and great achievements. Countless students were formed to live according to its core values of Respect, Integrity, and Excellence. From 2012 to 2015,  A&M was ranked the #1 college for conservatives to attend by the Princeton Review. However, in 2020, the university did not even make the top 20.

Dragging Down A&M

On the evening of April 18, a group of students gathered by the Rudder Tower plaza on A&M’s campus waving light blue and pink “transgender pride flags” and shouting, “We’re here! We’re queer! We’re fabulous, don’t f— with us!” On the opposite side of the Rudder Tower, some thirty Catholics carrying a statue of Our Lady of Fatima prayed the rosary and belted out hymns. Volunteers with Tradition, Family and Property — Texas, joined students and alumni to oppose an immoral event called “DRAGgieland” being held at Rudder tower that evening. In addition to the rally, TFP Student Action gathered over 19,000 signatures to cancel the event.

Volunteers with TFP—Texas, joined students and alumni to oppose the immoral “DRAGgieland” drag show.

“DRAGgieland” is a play on words which mixes the beloved nickname of A&M (Aggieland) with the perverted cross-dressing expression “drag.” Concerned students contacted members of TFP—Texas to help organize a rosary rally in protest of the drag show event, since it is incompatible with A&M’s core values of Respect, Integrity and Excellence.

A TFP handout at the rosary rally stated,

“The decorum required for higher education is not upheld with the dress and actions of the event. The show encourages the objectification and sexualization of women on the Texas A&M campus, as well as attacks the dignity of Men and Women.

DRAGgieland is pushed by the LGBT movement to normalize homosexual sin and its bisexual and transgender variants. As such, it is an attack on right reason, the natural moral law, divine positive law and undermines the institution of the family, the bedrock of society.

Motivated by our love of God, family and country, we publicly repudiate, peacefully and legally, the immoral DRAGgieland drag show. May God, through Our Lady, accept our public act of reparation.”

The Battalion, the college paper, quoted Student Center special event executive Clarissa Carrasco as saying, “promoting diversity and inclusion on campus was the (event’s) biggest goal.”

“As a programming committee through the MSC, we’re trying to push diversity through programs,” Carrasco said. “DRAGgieland is a great example. We are able to provide a platform for the LGBTQ+ community.”[1]

Taking a Principled Stand with Public Prayer

As the protest was beginning, the campus had a fair amount of students coming and going, posing for graduation pictures and finishing last minute studies for exams. As a beautiful  statue of Our Lady of Fatima appeared processing with the hymn “Immaculate Mary” played on the bagpipes, many students stopped to take pictures and ask what was happening. One student from Georgia was shocked to hear about the drag show and though he wasn’t Catholic, he gave his full support. Even those in cars driving by stopped to listen to the bagpipes and voice their horror for the immoral event.

Students who opposed the Rosary Rally played the satanic song “Montero” by Lil Nas X from a speaker

With the statue in place, TFP volunteer Cesar Franco started the public rosary rally with the following words, “In The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort tells us that public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His Mercy. In opposing DRAGgieland, we are not motivated by personal hatred of any individual. We are taking a principled stand against public sin which scandalizes the student body and leads souls towards perdition.”

Rally participants held two banners which explained the issue to the public. They read in bold clear letters, “Moral Values are Texas Values. Stop Immoral Draggieland Drag Show,” and “Stop the Ravages of Transgender Ideology.”

Other signs stated, “Drags need prayers, not public platforms” and “God created them male and female.”

During the rosary, five students approached the campaign and began to play loud rap music. Two of the students appeared to have upside down crosses drawn on their foreheads in ink and one held a sign that read, “Discount Drag Queen Tickets.”

Two of the students appear to have upside down crosses drawn on their foreheads in ink.

They laughed and posed to take photos of themselves with the rally, but refused to engage in serious discussion with the campaign participants.

This minor confrontation (truly a micro-aggression!) only energized those reciting the rosary to pray with  greater resolution. The volunteer leading the rosary would periodically cry slogans such as, “Aggies, why are you here?” To which the crowd would reply, “To defend the dignity of men and women against Draggieland!” Or other slogans such as, “Perversity!… is not diversity! Moral degradation!…. will bring about the downfall of our nation!”

Toward the end of the rally, the students waving transgender pride flags on the opposite side of the building left their plaza and marched towards the rosary rally. Seeing the students advance with unclear intentions, several campaign participants stepped forward to form a wall on both sides of the statue. However, just as the pink and blue group reached the crosswalk, they made an immediate right turn and continued around the block shouting and waving their flags.

After praying the rosary, the group moved across the street for a final photo. The pro-transgender group suddenly reappeared. They shouted slogans and insults, but the sound of the bagpipes drowned them out. Finishing the group photo, the Aggie Catholics solemnly chanted the beautiful Salve Regina in Latin and  moved in procession to escort the statue of Our Lady of Fatima off the street.

Participants of the rosary rally pose for a final group photo with a crowd of counter-protestors standing 15 yards away on the steps behind them.

With the official close of the rosary rally, a palpable atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm radiated from the group. Lively conversations erupted.

What Was Accomplished

What did the rosary rally accomplish? “We are simply here to exercise our liberty as children of God and our constitutional rights to free speech in a candid, unapologetic and unashamed display of our Catholic faith,” explained TFP volunteer John Tomba. “In the words of Pope Saint Felix III, ‘Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it.’ Even if the event wasn’t cancelled, we are opposing the blatant errors of the transgender movement and standing up for truth. God created them male and female. There are no others. Biology is not bigotry.”

by Evan Olwell

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