Bangor High School paid drag queen $1,000 to speak with students


The Maine First Project reported that Bangor High School hired a drag queen who goes by the stage name “Priscilla Poppycocks” for $1,000 to “speak at a workshop for invited LGBTQ youth in which the students were incentivized with catered food and allowed to skip regular class instruction time.” The organization reported that the drag queen performer is an employee of the University of Maine and shared a flyer that showed the event took place on May 4, 2023. The flyer states:

Spend time with actor, teacher, and drag performer Dom Varney from UMaine as he goes through his life growing up gay in Maine! During our conversations together you will have opportunities to experience some acting techniques and gain some first hand knowledge of how being different is the biggest advantage we all have to be successful in our lives…and most likely, you’ll hear him sing!

This flyer promoted a drag queen speaking to students.

The school received the funding for the drag queen event “from a $15,000 Nellie Mae grant.” The Maine First Project also shared emails regarding the school bringing the drag queen in to speak with students. In one email, an employee of the school with the title “Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator” discussed paying the drag queen $1,000 to appear at the event.

In another email, this same school employee discussed how the drag queen did not like the criticism that his upcoming appearance received. This school employee stated:

In light of the publicity around Dominick Varney’s event, I felt it made sense to put all of us in communication. Dom just called me–He has never been in public scrutiny like this and said he was nervous about getting embroiled in litigation. I told him this event has been carefully planned for and is fully funded and aligned with the exact purpose of the grant. I told him I did not want him to feel uncomfortable, so if he would rather we postpone or cancel, to let me know. He said he would think about it and email later today or, at latest, first thing tomorrow morning.

This school staff member discussed paying the drag queen $1,000.
The school staff member discussed the drag queen having second thoughts.