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Calgary church blends drag show with Easter Sunday service

A drag performer can be seen at the 'DRAG ME to Church' event at a Calgary church on March 31, 2024. (Drew Miller/CTV News Edmonton) A drag performer can be seen at the 'DRAG ME to Church' event at a Calgary church on March 31, 2024. (Drew Miller/CTV News Edmonton)
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A Calgary church celebrated Easter with a drag show during its Sunday service.

Calgary Unitarians held the 'DRAG ME to Church' to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, following the UCP governments controversial proposals regarding transgender youth.

"The goal is to let the trans community in Calgary know that faith traditions love and support them and hold them as sacred beings at a time, particularly when hatred is on the rise," says Reverend Samaya Oakley.

In January, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced proposals which include parental approval for sex education, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The province would also clamp down on transgender female athletes competing in women's and girls' sports.

The announcement was met with pushback from hundreds of thousands of students across the province, who hosted school walkouts in protest of these policies.

Smith also faced backlash from Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault at her early February visit to Ottawa to open a new provincial office.

Boissonnault had said he was prepared to fight what he called "the most draconian and harmful policies for young people in the country."

This year, Easter Sunday overlaps with International Transgender Day of Visibility.

The Calgary Unitarian church hopes to celebrate the day but also recognize the contributions of local transgender people and the greater LGBTQ2S+ community, and the challenges they still face.

"We just thought it was a great opportunity to talk about coming and going from your various identities. I mean, nobody stuck in one identity. So it's just, I think a wonderful example of how we can be all aspects of ourselves and be accepted for that," says Pam Rickey, the president of Calgary Unitarians.

The all-ages event featured drag performances, drag queen story-time and multiple speakers.

Collections from the service will go to Skipping Stone, a local non-profit that support trans and gender-diverse Calgarians. 

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