MIDDLETON, Wis. (WKRC/WKOW/CNN Newsource) - A teacher's drag performance at a Wisconsin school is drawing both support and criticism after going viral.
The performance happened in front of students during a staff talent show at a high school in Middleton. Teacher Matt Kashdan told WKOW when he heard the talent show was returning, he knew what he wanted to do:
"I'm like, this opportunity could be cool to show my art, my version of art. But it's also a cool opportunity for me to show students, like, who cares? Just go be yourself," Kashdan said.
Kashdan received the green light for the performance ahead of time. And while the performance was fun and the crowd enjoyed it, it wasn't long after that a concerned parent emailed the school and shared it on social media and with a conservative media outlet. The criticism started coming in from across the country.
"People were calling me a groomer; people were calling me a pedophile; people are calling me a narcissist. It was homophobic," Kashdan said.
But he says the support he was also getting was beyond anything he could have imagined. Kashdan said when he returned to school after the media attention, there were signs posted in support of him. He also says the experience just made him want to do drag more, and he'll continue performing at local venues.
"All this has done has, like I said before, just showed me the power of drag and how important it is for our community," he said.
Kashdan won't be teaching at the high school next year for unrelated reasons.