Leah Hendrix's satircal play "How To Become A Lesbian In 10 Days Or Less" has been canceled at the University Of South Carolina Upstate's LGBT symposium following complaints from several South Carolina lawmakers.
South Carolina state Sen. Mike Fair condemned the university for its upcoming symposium during an interview on Monday.
The two-day (April 10-11) "Bodies of Knowledge Symposium and Conference" is set to feature several speakers and performers "focusing on various ways of being LGBTQ."
The cancelled production is a one woman show featuring writer-performer Leigh Hendrix in the character of Butchy McDyke:
How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less is a hilarious coming out story for queers and non-queers alike. Motivational speaker and expert lesbian Butchy McDyke deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song as they learn to confidently shout, "I'm a big 'ol dyke!" Writer and performer Leigh Hendrix weaves a story that is one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art. At turns funny and poignant, silly and earnest, [the show] is the perfect guide to gay for budding lesbians, no matter their sexual orientation!
Tammy E. Whaley, the assistant vice chancellor of University Communications, explains the show was canceled for "disrupting the school's educational mission."
Hendrix responded to the censorship of her show, in character as Butchy McDyke, with a recorded video.
Hendrix shared her personal response with BuzzFeed:
"The director of the women's and gender studies program Dr. Lisa Johnson invited me early this year to be a part of the symposium and let me know last Wednesday that because of this pressure from the state legislature they were going to cancel my performance. I'm from South Carolina and I have done the show in my hometown with a great reception so somehow I was surprised that this happened. I've done the show all over, from New Orleans to New York, but mostly at theaters and performance festivals and with a wide variety of folks in audiences.
The show is so fun and funny and accessible that I forget the idea of a queer person speaking can seem so scary to some folks. I don't just make solo work or queer work necessarily but I am always thinking about what it is to tell stories in performance as a queer person. I suppose I am a dangerous lesbian and that feels pretty exciting."