School administrators and school boards are canceling school plays that include LGBT characters. When this happened in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the students started a GoFundMe and raised the money to stage the play on their own. A professional stage director came back to Fort Wayne to help the students. This generation of young people is our hope for the future.

Students at an Indiana high school are moving ahead with an LGBTQ+ inclusive play after administrators canceled the production earlier this year.

Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana is just one of many schools across the country where student plays and musicals have been canceled or censored this year due to concerns over content. Howard Sherman, the managing director of the performing arts center at New York’s Baruch College, recently noted that the wave of opposition has been focused largely on productions with LGBTQ+ content.

As The Washington Post and other outlets have reported, students at Carroll High were informed two days into auditions for Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood that the play had been canceled due to complaints from parents about its LGBTQ+ characters. A re-telling of the Robin Hood story, the play features a nonbinary character and a same-sex couple.

“I know there were people who were upset that the play was being considered to be put on, I think there was worry about protests and things like that,” Northwest Allen County Schools superintendent Wayne Barker said at a school board meeting.

Almost immediately, students began talking about putting the play on themselves. They soon connected with Fort Wayne Pride, which organizes Pride events in the community, and launched a GoFundMe campaign on May 4.

As of this week, the campaign has raised over $79,000, well exceeding its $50,000 goal. The funds will go toward renting a venue, insurance, costumes, and set construction.

Fort Wayne native Blane Pressler, the artistic director of Ozark Actors Theatre, has returned to his hometown to help put on the play, which will run for one night only at the Foellinger Outdoor Theater on May 20.

The students are thrilled. The show is likely to be a huge success. The students demonstrated their independence and courage. Those who object to the play can stay home. The GoFundMe has already exceeded its goal and may produce enough money to fund future shows.