A local gay pride organization recently hosted a drag show at a Methodist church affiliated with the Atlanta-based Emory University, which has long supported the LGBTQ community.
According to Campus Reform, the event was meant to commemorate the end of gay history month, which took place in October.
Tommy Greenler, a senior at Emory University, hosted the event at Glenn Memorial Chapel while dressed in drag. He went by the stage name "Pam."
"There is something very subversive about hosting a drag show at a church, especially a Methodist church like Glenn Memorial," Greenler told Campus Reform.
"The UMC has officially adopted some anti-LGBT stances in recent years," he added. "But I think it says a lot about Glenn Memorial as an individual church that it has continued to welcome the drag show in their space."
Greenler, who previously hosted the drag event in 2018 and 2019, posted clips from the recent show on Instagram.
"I personally think it's kind of punk, to be a queer person hosting an unapologetically queer event in a church like this — I feel like this kind of breaking barriers is what drag is all about," Greenler contended.
In addition to the drag show, hip hop dance performances and a costume contest also took place at Glenn Memorial Chapel. According to Campus Reform, the church podiums were covered in transgender and gay pride flags.
"Drag has provided a space for queer expression when homophobia, transphobia, and racism make the world unsafe," Emory Pride's President Layla Aberman told The Emory Wheel, the school's student newspaper.
Aberman added, "Drag is about family."
The church, which is led by pastor Mark Westmoreland, is known for its history of gay activism. Two years ago, he expressed his disagreement with the United Methodist Church's vote to affirm traditional marriage.
"Glenn Memorial and our many allies continue to stand and work with our LGBTQ siblings for full rights and rites," he wrote to the editor of Emory Wheel at the time. "I know change is coming, and I believe it is coming soon."
As reported by CBN News, the church's website includes over 1,200 words devoted to the discussion of "racial justice" and "LGBTQI+ inclusion." On the website, the church also encouraged congregants to march in the 2021 gay pride parade in Atlanta.
Photo courtesy: Artem Gavrysh/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.