Sex & Gender /

Michigan Unitarian Universalist Church Hosts 'All-Ages' Drag Show

A Twitter user who posted recordings of the event told Timcast News she wanted 'to expose people grooming children'

Unitarian Universal Community Church (UUCC) in Portage, Michigan hosted an “all-ages” drag show on Saturday.

The event, which was free and branded as “suitable for all-ages,” was hosted by Shane Barrera, who performs under the stage name “Miss Moscato” and featured fellow performers “Petty Divine,” “Moana Lotte,” and Tyler Kuiper, who performs under the name “Savannah Hawthorne.”

UUCC‘s event also collected donations for OutFront Kalamazoo programs for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

Olivia Claire, a Michigan resident who posted videos from the event on Twitter, noted roughly 10-15 children were present during the show — some of whom handed money to the performers.

Barrera gave a toast during the show saying, “Cheers to you. Cheers to me. We did it.”

“We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re gonna be free.”

Many of the children present were holding transgender and gay pride flags, Claire reported.

At one point, UUCC’s Reverend Gy Ludvig-McCartney handed money to one of the performers.

“I couldn’t record the entire event, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself,” Claire said. “In the last day I’ve tried to put into words the disgust I feel for this type of behavior.”

Prior to the event, Barrera hosted a “Drag 101 workshop” in the church’s basement, where he allowed attendees to try on clothes and receive tips about performing drag.

“Come to the workshop, stay for the show, and leave feeling FABULOUS!” reads the event’s description.

Minors, who were also invited to the basement event, were given name tags upon which they were instructed to write their preferred pronouns, Claire reported.

Rapper Iggy Azalea’s “I Am the Strip Club” was reportedly playing at the “all-ages” event as people initially entered the venue featuring lyrics including “fat a–, lap dance,” and “I do the lap dance (I ride the pole up).”

“I woke up like a bad— b—, pretty face with some perfect t–s,” the lyrics continue. “Called my job, told ’em to suck my d—”

“”D— magnet, who’s askin’?”

“I knew this event would make me feel absolutely disgusted, but I also knew that this was important to report on,” Claire told Timcast News. “After posting the footage on Twitter, I was inundated with a variety of messages. Some of support, some not so much.”

She continued:

Multiple twitter accounts speculated as to how they can get me arrested, which was a dead end. An account found personal information not easily available through my Twitter. They’ve now contacted my university to attempt to remove me from my program. It’s caused anxiety, but nothing compared to the support of my friends, family, and others online. I plan on doing more work like this in the future to expose people grooming children.

Claire added: “The worst parts weren’t caught on camera.”

Timcast News reached out to Portage, Michigan’s UUCC along with Ludvig-McCartney but did not receive a response.

A Twitter account appearing to belong to Kuiper began responding to users reporting on the event.

“Damn I look good though!” the account responded to Claire’s tweet thread.

The account further alleged Claire tipped and sang along during Kuiper’s performance.

“I sang along to fit in and not appear suspicious while recording, but I did not tip,” Claire confirmed.

The Church’s ministry includes Rev. Ludvig-McCartney, who was born in Transylvania, Romania, Director of Religious Edugation Miriam Epskamp, who also acts as the church’s Office Administrator, along with music director Chris Petersmark.

UUCC teaches without a doctrine stating, “we have a strong faith in the inherent spirituality of children and believe it is our task to nurture, not to indoctrinate.”

Services are held Sundays at 10 a.m.

“We give children the building blocks with which to form their own beliefs,” UUCC’s website states. “Throughout the church year, our classes may include an exploration of Unitarian Universalist (UU) principles, Unitarian Universalist history and identity, Judeo-Christian beliefs, other religious traditions, and peace and social justice issues.”

“Children may engage in lessons from religious education curricula, explore environmental and social issues, work on service projects, take field trips, engage in mindfulness activities, or re-design their classroom space,” the website continues. “Whatever the activity, they have plenty of time for social interaction and fun.”

On Sundays, children are invited to enter the venue’s building using doors leading to the basement while high school age youth meet off-site or via Zoom.

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