Heklina
S.F. Church Bans Drag Queens From Benefit Event

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com August 14 2012 3:30 PM ET

The new pastor of a church in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood is enforcing a policy barring drag queens from performing in the church.

The Castro Country Club, a local gay recovery organization, has held two of its previous annual fundraising events at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, according to the Bay Area Reporter. However, when coordinating this year's Harvest Feast, Rev. Brian Costello said that he was following directives from the local Catholic diocese, which has a strict "no drag queen" rule.

Costello told the Bay Area Reporter that the church would be amenable to hosting the dinner, without drag performers like Ivy Drip and Heklina, who have performed for the Harvest Feast in the past. However, the Castro Country Club's organizers are not willing to compromise.

"It is our organization's policy to be inclusive and welcoming to all," the group said in a statement. "Drag queens are no exception. We are currently seeking an alternative venue for the Harvest Feast, which provides an important source of revenue for our annual budget."

Zachary Davenport, who performs as Laybelline, has done several performances to benefit sobriety-related events, many of which have been held at the church.

"What constitutes drag?" he said. "If we want to get funny, let's talk about the priests. Hello."