Matthew Blake is an openly queer man who dresses in drag and goes by the stage name “Flamy Grant.” “I’m a singing/songwriting drag queen named after arguably the most successful Christian artist of all time,” Grant says.
“A SHAME-SLAYING, HIP-SWAYING, SINGING-SONGWRITING QUEEN,” reads the concert series promotion from Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. “The comedy queen with the blistering voice, Flamy Grant, is a gospel and roots musician from the Bible Belt who will move you, soothe you, help you heal some trauma and always leave you laughing.”
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CFB) church boasted of Flamy Grant’s achievements, saying Grant is the first drag queen to release a “full-length contemporary Christian album.” The church also touted the fact that Grant climbed to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Christian album charts and landed a Top 20 spot on Billboard’s Christian Digital Song Sales for a collaboration with Webb on the single “Good Day.”
The concert was free, but the church asked for donations to be given to Diversity Richmond, a LGBTQ+ organization that describes itself as “the hub for the LGBTQ+ community of Greater Richmond connecting people, partners and programs through our work as a catalyst, a voice, a place and a resource.”
Photos posted by Grant showed two protestors, one of whom was holding a sign that read: “Watching drag queens will drag you to hell – Romans 1:18-32.” The other was speaking though a bullhorn. Another photo showed a handful of the church pews that were filled with concertgoers.
Flamy Grant posted on social media that the protestor holding the sign is named Kaylee and that her husband was the one street preaching.
“She and her husband were my first ever in-person protesters at yesterday’s show in Richmond, VA,” Grant said. “The video is clipped from the livestream from the bodycam she was wearing. She’s responsible for her actions, yes. But I also know the dynamics at play here.”
“I see the effort you put into that sign, girl,” Grant added. “You’ve got a creative spirit and you take pride in your work. I hope one day you get to channel that energy into something that makes you happy and helps others. Rooting for you. .”