Click here for a video recording of this online CLGS event!
Many queer folk, especially those with expansive or marginalized gender presentation, face religious and spiritual trauma in their faith communities. In this CLGS Lavender Lunch we engaged with drag ministers, chaplains, and grassroots spiritual practitioners as they share about their ministries of healing and liberation in Christian & post-Christian contexts.
Our Host for this Lavender Lunch
John Brett (he/hym/hys), aka the IrReverend, aka Ms. Bené Diction, has been called the High Priest of Fabulous & a poetry fool. A street chaplain, he directs Faithful&Fabulous, the LGBTQ+ program of the San Francisco Night Ministry. He is a candidate for ministry with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a seminarian through Luther Seminary. In addition to recently coordinating the first Drag Street Eucharist in the Castro, his favorite ministry experience entails offering dive bar pastoral care while in drag at a taco truck.
Ms. Penny Cost (She/Her/Hers) is not your average church-lady! She (as her real life counterpart Isaac Simmons) is the first Drag Queen in the world to become a Certified Candidate for Ordained Ministry within the United Methodist Church. Her drag is rooted in a unique reclamation and reconstruction of faith which aims to show all people as whole-ly and holy made. She has preached to congregations in nearly 20 states and 3 countries and is a regular contributor to Whosoever. Ms. Penny’s story and ministry has been featured by major media outlets such as NPR, Sojourners Magazine and the Religion News Service. While not working to reform the oppressive and harmful aspects of the Church, Ms. Penny can be found in Bloomington, IL at Illinois Wesleyan University where she is completing her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies and Business Management.
Flamy Grant is a sassy, soulful drag performer based in San Diego, CA, who sings, inspires, and entertains. When she’s not blessing TikTok with her signature 60-second sermons or belting out her latest cover of an Amy Grant classic, this polygender preacher is taking on toxic religion by turning looks and tearing down shame. Find her here at the Heathen podcast.
Bonnie Violet is a trans femme genderqueer spiritual drag artist and digital chaplain. YouTuber, Twitcher & Host of a queer chaplain podcast with such series as Drag & Spirituality, TranSpirit & Faith Leaders. Co-host of Splintered Grace with her conservative Christian aunt & At the CCC recovery podcast. Bonnie shares her experience of strength and hope with HIV, recovering from drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault among other things in classrooms, community centers, churches, online and pretty much anywhere they’ll let her. As, a queer chaplain, she is present with people in death and dying to self by helping to lace one’s narrative with a spiritual thread to remind one of their resilience, strengthen faith in self and create serenity in the now. Connect with her on Instagram @aqueerchaplain.
This CLGS Lavender Lunch was recorded on 23 September 2021.