Riffing on a reading program premise that has been banned in some places in recent months, a San Francisco church hosted a Drag Queen Bible Story Hour earlier this summer.
Calvary Presbyterian Church hosted the program, which was inspired in part by the attention that Drag Queen Story Hours at public libraries across the country have gotten. Approximately 80 people attended the program featuring drag performers Flamy Grant and Joanne Fabrixxx. Presbyterian News Service reports:
“We hoped to balance the hateful rhetoric that’s floating around and the laws that target drag queens and LGBTQ people,” said the Rev. Victor Floyd, who was ordained by the United Church of Christ and is minister of spiritual care at Calvary Presbyterian Church. “It was a fabulous experience” that received thoughtful news coverage despite hate mail sent to Floyd and others, enough to spur security precautions. “When the devil gets angry with us,” Floyd said, “we’re on the right track.”
Video of the performance is available online.
The June 18 gathering featured singing of traditional and contemporary hymns, and Fabrixxx read the story of Moses encountering God at the burning bush from the “Growing in God’s Love” story Bible.
Grant is Matthew Blake-Lovegood, and Fabrixxx is the Rev. Sam Lundquist, the associate pastor at St. John’s Presbyterian Church. The event served as a fundraiser for Trans HeartLine, raising $1,500 for the non-profit that works to build “bridges between Faith, Spirituality, and Gender through safe post-op housing and community education.”
The mission’s Website says:
We have created safe, affordable, post-op housing in the Bay Area. We are focused on creating a healing environment in which Gender conformation surgery clients can focus on healing and not survival. Recovering in a safe environment contributes to faster healing with fewer complications.
We are educating and advocating in the Faith communities and beyond by having the hard conversations about what it means to be transgender and the challenges we face.
A Trans HeartLine representative, the Rev. Janie Spahr, was at the event and told those present that the organization receives food and services for its guests from faith communities. PNS continues:
“Do you know what it means for trans people, many of whom have been thrown out by their faith communities, to be fed by people and loved by people?” Spahr said. Those delivering food to Trans HeartLine “ask nothing else but for them to eat well and be well.”
As Drag Queen Bible Story Hour was coming to an end, Floyd offered a benediction. “I hope you have received a blessing in this hour,” Floyd said. “I have, and I have enough to share with you if you didn’t.”
Quoting John 14:27, Floyd added, “the blessings of God — Creator, Christ, Holy Spirit, these three — they go with you this day on every step of your pilgrim journey. Let the church say, ‘Amen.’”
“If you can’t love yourself,” Floyd reasoned, “how in the heck can you love someone else?”