Pastor Craig Duke at the start of his drag performance in an episode of the unscripted HBO show “We’re Here.” The show’s second season premiered in October.
When Pastor Craig Duke stepped onstage in a small town in southern Indiana, wearing a cotton-candy-pink wig and a sparkly dress under his white robe, he knew his performance would rile some members of his congregation.
He did not, however, expect his drag debut to bring an end to his role leading Newburgh United Methodist Church in a suburb of Evansville.
Mr. Duke’s performance was part of the unscripted HBO show “We’re Here,” which documents L.G.B.T.Q. people and their allies in small towns who put together a drag show, led by three drag all-stars.
The episode that featured the pastor premiered in early November and in it, he explained that he appeared on the show so he could be “empathetic, not just sympathetic” to the community’s gay members. Three weeks later, the church announced that he had been “relieved from pastoral duties.”
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