When The Drag Queens Performed At Church

First it was drag queens marching in gay pride parades. Then it was drag queens becoming pop stars on TV. Next it was drag queens advocating for changes in gender categories on Facebook. After that it was drag queens reading to pre-K children in libraries. Now it is drag queens performing in churches. Is anyone surprised?

The headlines are certainly shocking and disturbing:

“Florida church hosting event for kids featuring drag show and ‘forbidden queer literature.’”

But, to repeat my question: Is anyone surprised?

This is just the next logical step in the progression of LGBTQ+ activism and in the apostasy of compromised churches. Of course drag queens are performing in (so-called) church buildings. What else should we expect?

Having been on the front lines of the culture wars for the last 20 years, I remember hearing arguments like: This has nothing to do with drag queens or some of the bizarre things you see at gay pride parades. This is about love and equality. This is about the legitimacy of our personal relationships. That other stuff is fringe.

Then, once marriage was redefined and transgender activism rose to the forefront, once again, I heard the same thing: No, this is not about drag queens, who are normally gay men who enjoy dressing up like women in the most exaggerated ways. They are not transgender. We’re talking about people who are legitimately trapped in the wrong bodies, not these drag queens.

And then, once transgender activism became normalized, it was time for the drag queens to shine. Even in churches!

Again, it was fairly obvious from the start that there was always a larger agenda. In short, gay is good, and everything that follows in its train is also good.

The activists simply knew that the only way to gain acceptance was to advance the agenda little by little. They knew they couldn’t bring the elephant into the room first.

As Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen wrote in their watershed 1989 book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Dread of Gays in the 90’s,

“The gay revolution has failed. Not completely, and not finally, but it’s a failure just the same. The 1969 Stonewall riot – in which a handful of long-suffering New York drag queens, tired of homophobic police harassment, picked up rocks and bottles and fought back – marked the birth of ‘gay liberation.’ As we write these lines, twenty years have passed. In those years, the combined efforts of the gay community have won a handful of concessions in a handful of localities. Some of those concessions have been revoked; others may be. We should have done far better. What has gone wrong? And what can we do about it?”

Their answer was simple: there must be a change in strategy.

As they argued in a 1987 article titled “The Overhauling of Straight America” (with Madsen writing under the name Erastes Pill), 

“In order to make a Gay Victim sympathetic to straights you have to portray him as Everyman. But an additional theme of the campaign…should paint gays as superior pillars of society. Yes, yes, we know–this trick is so old it creaks.

“The honor roll of prominent gay or bisexual men and women is truly eye-popping. From Socrates to Shakespeare, from Alexander the Great to Alexander Hamilton, from Michelangelo to Walt Whitman, from Sappho to Gertrude Stein, the list is old hat to us but shocking news to heterosexual America. In no time, a skillful and clever media campaign could have the gay community looking like the veritable fairy godmother to Western Civilization.”

And so, by normalizing homosexuality they could then normalize almost everything that came in its wake. Is it any wonder the celebration of drag comes next? On with the gay revolution!

As for the attitude of “progressive” churches, in my 2011 book A Queer Thing Happened to America I devoted a lengthy chapter to the subject, “Queer Theology, a Translesbigay Bible, and a Homoerotic Christ.” The contents are enough to make you literally sick to your stomach or move you to tears.

Another book, titled Queer God, claimed, 

“The Queer God is a call to ‘disaffiliation’ processes in theology. To be unfaithful to sexual ideological constructions of God in order to liberate God – a Queer God who also needs to come out of the closet of theologians of the status quo.”

So am I surprised that drag queens are performing in churches? Not in the least. I am only surprised that others are surprised.

What I am looking forward to is drag queens flocking to our churches to hear the transformational message of the gospel. That will be a sight to see.

Dr. Michael Brown ( is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries and is the author of 40 books. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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