George Mason Crowns Male Homecoming Queen

Some have embraced the novelty, but others aren't too pleased.

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George Mason University has crowned a new kind of homecoming queen: She is actually a he, but in drag. Ryan Allen was named queen at GMU's Saturday basketball game, beating two female contestants. The selection has, not surprisingly, caused some controversy, the Washington Post writes.

Mason was recently named the No. 1 national university to watch by U.S.News & World Report, said one student—it should act like it.

"It's really annoying," said [the student], who works as an ambassador for the admissions office. "The game was on TV. Everyone was there. All eyes were on us. And we do something like this? It's just stupid."

But enough about that controversial stuff. How'd Allen do it?

Allen said he decided to enter the Ms. Mason contest this year as a joke, a last hurrah for his senior year. Soon he had donned a silver bra and zebra-print pants and was lip-syncing to Britney Spears's "Womanizer" at the qualifying pageant Feb. 9, overseen by Miss Virginia 2009. Competitors included a government and politics major from Chesapeake and a Chi Omega sorority member. . . .

Allen. . . endured years of taunts from classmates after coming out during his freshman year in high school. When Allen came to Mason in 2005, his world grew wider. His drag alter ego, Reann [Ballslee], began performing at nightclubs. . . His fame grew as each year he emceed Mason's drag show, held during Pride Week. And with fame, acceptance.

Then came Saturday.

"When they said 'Ms. Mason 2009 is Reann Ballslee,' the crowd went wild," Allen said. "It was one of the best feelings I've felt in a long time. I had so many friends supporting me."