Wednesday, August 15, 2012

‘To think that we’re banning drag queens is obnoxious and ridiculous’

On August 9, the Bay Area Reporter published an article about a new policy at San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer parish called “Drag is out at Most Holy Redeemer.”

The article quoted the church’s new pastor Father Brian Costello:
“Most Holy Redeemer’s new pastor, the Reverend Brian Costello, confirmed over telephone on Monday, August 6, that drag queen performers and emcees are no longer permitted to participate in events at the church.

“Costello said that during a telephone conversation with a Castro Country Club representative, when the topic of drag queens came up, he told the person, ‘That is not going to work under the present circumstances.’

“‘I said work with me. You can still have the dinner. You can have a regular emcee, but not drag queens on church property,’ Costello said. It seems the directive is the result of several factors. ‘I am the new pastor,’ Costello added. “There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, ‘No drag queens.’”

But apparent dissension about the policy has arisen. Not only that, it seems to be an open question as to who is in charge at the renegade parish. On August 13 the S. F. Examiner published an article called “Faux Pas Puts S.F. Holy Site in Fix” by Carolyn Copeland.

Copeland spoke to Michael Poma, the business manager at Most Holy Redeemer:
“… although church Business Manager Michael Poma acknowledged that Pastor Brian Costello did tell members of the Castro Country Club that they could not hold their event if drag queens were scheduled to attend, Poma said he quickly reversed his decision.

“‘Father Brian wasn’t educated about the importance of drag queens in the gay community,’ Poma said. ‘Once it was explained to him, he said they were welcome to attend as long as their behavior was church-appropriate...’  (continued)


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