Oklahoma School Principal Defends His Drag Queen Alter Ego
Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.
A star education administrator is being forced to defend his favorite pastime.
As reported by NonDoc, Shane Murnan has worked in Oklahoma public education for 26 years and is a respected member of the community. His colorful alter ego Shantel Mandalay is also a respected member of the community as a performer on the weekends.
Murnan describes his love of drag as a mix of therapy and performance art, but he has recently had to nationally defend his name and favorite pastime in the ongoing national culture wars against drag queens.
Oklahoma's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters appeared on Fox News twice last week to criticize the Murnan's job at Western Heights Public Schools.
However, leaders of the southwest Oklahoma City school district defended hiring Murnan and have "fielded questions from parents about Murnan, who said he has received death threats and vile messages from people around the country," NonDoc reports.
Now Murnan has broken his silence about the whole ordeal.
"Lots of hate, considering I've been the same person for 26 years doing the same thing," Murnan told NonDoc. "And it's not like I'm quiet about it. I'm very open with who I am. I don't hide who I am."
The Western Heights Public Schools Board of Education plans to meet this week for public comment and other agenda items, but nothing on the agenda seems to relate to Murnan's employment.
Murnan said he was unsure whether he would attend the meeting, but "social media posts indicate there could be a rally showing him support, something he says Western Heights Superintendent Brayden Savage has done so far," NonDoc reports.
"I have had no negative comeback from any of my administration," said Murnan. "They've been nothing but supportive of me."
Since controversy over his pastime has bubbled up, Murnan said he has decided to pause performing as his drag persona.
"I've stepped back because, like I said, my first priority is my school and my job," said Murnan. "I just thought I probably needed to take a break and evaluate how life is right now and take a break for myself, because I can't keep living like I am right now with all the threats."