Skillet frontman John Cooper recently addressed the controversy surrounding last week’s Dove Awards, a controversy that centered on the appearance of Derek Webb in a dress, accompanied by openly queer Christian artist Semler and drag queen Flamy Grant.
The Dove Awards ceremony, which was held at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, was open to the public.
A couple of days after the event, Webb, who holds more than one Dove Award of his own, posted an explanation as to why he wore a dress to the awards ceremony.
“As a cis, straight, white man, I walk into a room like that (and any room) with an incredible amount of advantage and privilege,” Webb said in a video. “If I’m attending as an ally of friends and colleagues, I should do everything possible to surrender that privilege at the door.”
Webb added, “If the way you look at my loved ones isn’t the way you’re looking at me, I’m not truly standing with them.”
Webb proceeded to quote progressive Christian pastor Stan Mitchell, who has said, “If you claim to be someone’s ally but aren’t getting hit by the stones thrown at them, you aren’t standing close enough.” Webb then concluded his video, which now has more than 2.4 million views, by saying, “Plus, I have amazing legs.”
Earlier this year, Webb released what he described as his “first Christian and gospel album in 10 years,” which featured a song with Flamy Grant, titled “Boys Will Be Girls.” In the lyrics of the song, Webb sings, “I heard Jesus loved and spent his life with those who were abandoned by proud and fearful men / So if a church won’t celebrate and love you, they’re believing lies that can’t save you or them / ‘Cause you’re so beautiful by any name.”
The song’s video shows Webb dressing in drag and performing alongside Flamy Grant.
Both Semler and Flamy Grant have topped the iTunes Christian Music chart within the last couple of years and have expressed their desire to be recognized by the Gospel Music Association (GMA).
Last year, Semler campaigned on social media to be nominated for the GMA’s New Artist of the Year award and described her disappointment when she didn’t make the list.