Click here for a video recording of this Lavender Lunch!

The music! The wine! The headdresses!

No, we’re not just talking about Midnight Mass at the Vatican.  We’re talking about drag! From ancient shamans to Purim celebrations, drag performance has always had a place in spiritual traditions. And for many queer people, drag and nightlife culture is an important way of accessing the kinds of rituals and practices that are central to any sacred community.

Mama Celeste, a Unitarian Universalist-raised preacher’s kid turned glamorous drag impresario, speaks on the history of queer performance as a method of manifesting the divine, as well as the many roles that performance plays within religious cultures.

Mama Celeste  (they/them) is the cofounder of Oaklash: The Bay Area’s Drag and Queer Performance Festival.  Celeste is the drag alter ego of Grey Tartaglione, a filmmaker and queer advocate who currently works as the Sr. Communications Officer at MPact, a gay men’s sexual health and human rights organization based in Oakland. Often irreverent and (hopefully) humorous, Mama Celeste has been seen at venues throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Texas, Miami and New York.

VIDEO BIBLIOGRAPHY: We invite you to view Mama Celeste’s Rules of Drag before taking part in this Lavender Lunch!


This Lavender Lunch was recorded on 13 April 2021.