A “Drag Brunch” and “Drag Dinner” event scheduled for June 5 at Hugger Mugger Brewing — benefiting the LGBTQ+ Resource Center in Sanford and health care assistance for members of the LGBTQ+ community — is facing public protest and calls to cancel from some local pastors.
Lindsey Knapp, owner of Sanford Yoga and Community Center in the Jonesboro Heights area and organizer of the drag events, said she and Hugger Mugger owner Tim Emmert were asked by Bruce MacInnes, pastor of Goldston Baptist Church and frequent columnist for The Sanford Herald, to cancel the event during a meeting MacInnes requested in May. Knapp and Emmert declined to cancel, and MacInnes followed up with a letter published a week later in The Herald saying the event “brings darkness into our city and taints our reputation as a place for wholesome entertainment and family friendly events.”
In an interview with The Rant, Knapp called the event anything but “dark.”
“We’re doing this to support a community that benefits from the resources we can provide and allows a ‘safe space’ for those who need a place where they can just be themselves,” said Knapp, who is the mother of a transgendered teen. “If we’re promoting anything, it’s inclusion.”
The “first annual” Drag Brunch will begin at noon on June 5 and will feature performers from Greenville-based Underground Presents, a traveling showcase of entertainers performing live music and burlesque shows while in drag. Demand for brunch tickets was high when the event was announced in April and quickly sold out, causing Knapp to schedule a Drag Dinner for later in the evening (starting at 4 p.m. that same day). Tickets are still available for the second show.
The LGBTQ+ Resource Center, based in Knapp’s yoga studio, was launched to provide resources and support for members of the community “to feel seen, heard and appreciated.” In addition to hosting regular social events, the center has begun a “Health Care Scholarship” fund to help pay for hormone therapy and other expenses often not covered by typical health insurance plans.
Knapp opened Sanford Yoga in 2017 and has worked as an advocate for victims of sexual violence in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg (she is also an Army veteran). She made headlines in late 2021 when she was placed on administrative leave, investigated for two years and ultimately fired after she raised questions about the military’s handling of a Delta Force soldier accused of rape. While at Fort Bragg, she also helped transgendered soldiers navigate the mililtary red tape after a 2021 executive order allowed them to serve openly.
That experience helped educate and prepare her for when her own child came out recently. The resource center is her way of extending that help to others who don’t have that same support.
“She did an awesome job of explaining all of this — basic biology and the misunderstandings people have — to Mr. MacInnes,” said Tim Emmert, owner of Hugger Mugger Brewing, which hosts dozens of events and fundraisers organized by outside groups during a typical year. “Unfortunately, I felt like it fell on deaf ears.”
MacInnes, who has not responded to a request from The Rant to comment for this story, has been a longtime vocal opponent of homosexuality and all things associated with LGBTQ+ lifestyles. In his letter to The Herald, he called Hugger Mugger a business that has been “generally known for hosting concerts and other community enriching events,” but questioned why Emmert (he did not name or address Knapp) would host a drag performance.
“I shared with him that inviting drag queens into his business was wrong on three accounts,” MacInnes wrote. “First, it legitimizes the sin of sexual perversion, and the men coming to perform need psychological and spiritual help, not affirmation of their sinful choices. They need help to get out of their confusion, not encouragement to stay in it.”
He also said the events cause harm to Hugger Mugger by “promoting lewd behavior and charging people to come and see it.” Finally, he suggested Sanford is not “Sodom and Gomorrah,” two biblical cities destroyed by God for their wickedness.
But the letter isn’t his only verbal condemnation on the subject — two previous “Bible Speaks” columns in 2022 have broached the subject, and it’s been brought up regularly for at least the last 15 years.
In February, in a column titled “The Sin of Sodom,” MacInnes suggested homosexuality was a bigger sin than murder and adultery.
“Sodom was not destroyed because there were murderers, adulterers, liars and idolaters within. They can be found in every place men and women inhabit. It had to be something more to merit such a powerful and total judgment.”
He went on to call it a “poison that infects whole populations and brings God’s judgment. … What was once kept in a closet for shame is now out loud and proud. Point out what the Bible says about it, and you run the risk of being hated, canceled or worse.”
In a January column, he mentioned transgenderism specifically: “The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that there were sins which, if not intentionally turned away from, would keep a soul from the eternal bliss of heaven. He mentions specifically, not exclusively, the sins of fornication, adultery, homosexuality and being effeminate (transgenderism) as being among those sins.”
In that same column, he criticized a Canadian law prohibiting conversion therapy — attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression — calling it the only hope those “caught up in these types of sin.”
Knapp said in the meeting with MacInnes, she referred to God as “all inclusive,” to which he responded, “God is not inclusive; he is exclusive.”
She told The Rant that language like this worries her, especially when it comes to a community of people who already battle depression and thoughts of suicide more than others.
“Eighty-two percent of transgendered people have considered killing themsevles, and about 40 percent of them have attempted it,” Knapp said. “Those are horrifying statistics, and when people like Bruce MacInnes make these public declarations coming out against them and events like this, it only increases that risk. It’s very real and very documented, and as a parent, I want to ensure that my human lives.”
Emmert said a different pastor in the community offered to pay Hugger Mugger the venue costs if he canceled the event (to cover business potential business losses). Again, Emmert declined. He said he’s received about seven or eight emails from people in the community asking him to reconsider hosting.
“Their behavior is exclusionary,” he said. “Trying to reprogram somebody can be hurtful in a permanent way. With this attitude, there are people who look at you as a hate monger. They’re afraid of you. That’s the last thing you want in a community.”
Emmert said he will hire security for the June 5 event.
If the event happens, they might as well close the doors. I will never spend another dime in there.
Awesome! I’ve only been there once but will become a regular just to replace you. 🙂
Wait, so they will close their doors because you will stop spending money there?! Big spender over here!
Your dime will not be missed!!!
Kudos to Tim Emmert for declining requests to cancel these events! One’s opinion or religious beliefs does not make one ‘right!’ And those opinions or beliefs cannot be allowed to dictate the behavior of others. There is much research and science that counters the opinions expressed by those requesting cancellation. To that point, the most simple solution is to go to the event if you wish and don’t go if you don’t agree with it.
I I hope they don’t cancel I start drinking at 4:00 a.m. hard liquor baby I love this. This is beautiful to see and experience don’t cancel this true
If you don’t like it, don’t go. It’s that simple. I don’t attend MacInnes’s church or agree with the teachings of his church but I don’t think it should be cancelled. Differing viewpoints are what this country is all about. Stay out of my drag brunches and drag dinners and I will stay out of your church.
I thought Goldston Baptist Church was in Goldston, Chatham County? am I wrong?
Who care what a crazy zealot from Chatham County thinks about anything in Jonesboro?
I purchased a ticket early on, just to SUPPORT the Center…now I might actually attend to show some support for the performers.
Thanks MacInnes for speaking up. You’ve done your part. If they don’t listen, woe to them. If more of us had spoken up sooner we may not have been in the situation we’re in now where perversion is embraced and gender confusion is rampant. We’ve tolerated the intolerable for too long.
I’m so proud that Sanford offers events for a diverse citizenry. I love living in a town filled with interesting, vibrant people of all races, sexual orientation and perspective. Thank you Sanford Yoga and Hugger Mugger for your community spirit.
Is this you Mr. Dravitt?
I looked at this thank u for sharing!!! Now I’m all about doin yr own thing… however to judge others wow… This person is flat out laughable … why just a rear view??? Ha Ha if there r tickets to the event I will for sure be there well not his event!!! I am so glad that there r those in my hometown who r supportive to all !!!
It’s only woe if it comes from the Woe region of ancient Mesopotamia, otherwise you’re just spraying sparkling stupidity, Daniel.
Ask yourself what Jesus would do- or does that go against your “Christian ” morals? If you put your fears aside and took a chance to listen with an open heart and mind to someone of the LGBTQ community, you would be surprised.
Bill Clinton was right “don’t ask don’t tell” Keep your sexual preferences and kinks in the bedroom where it belongs.
Keep your kinks and fetishes in the bedroom where they belong and not in the public.
This event is disgraceful.
Thank you for self identifying Pastor Chappell of Unity Baptist Church.
Right on Ricky, it’s more than the event, it’s showing children and young adults that this behavior is acceptable, indoctrination at it’s best
Trying to get this event cancelled will not change people’s opinions , if it offends you stay home, if you want to go, you should go , it’s that simple !
tolerance is how the world is in the state it is in….
The word is intolerance. Intolerance is how the world is in the state it is in!
tolerance is exactly what i meant….tolerate this, tolerate ANYTHING
tolerance is exactly what i meant….tolerate this, tolerate ANYTHING.
These fundamentalist worshipers of Paul and Wealth have nearly ruined normal Christianity with their hypocrisy.
I love this they call me eagle man. Stay home I’ll go..
I fully agree with Pastor MacInnes. Anything and anyone promoting that perverted lifestyle should be ashamed. You really wonder why suicide and depression is high in that community…because deep down they know it is wrong and do not like themselves. Only repenting and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior will help free them from that bondage. The sin nature is powerful, but Jesus Christ defeated it on the cross. If you support this sin, please repent yourself. All sin vices should be put out of town on a rail…..but blatant promotion of perversion is dangerous to our community.
When the fundamentalist cult followers are run out of town, town is a better place. It’s time for the Paul worshipers to leave.
Said the Sodomites as Lot and his family walked out of the city gate.
We have larger problems in our community than a drag show. If you don’t agree with the venue, then don’t go. There is nothing illegal occuring. However, indulge me for a moment on the religious aspect, please. As a Christian, I enjoy spreading the Word of God. I’m not quite sure what led the pastor to state or suggest that God is “exclusive.” John 6:37 states, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” That sounds quite inclusive to me. As for matters of eternal judgement, Matthew 7:1-3 states “1] Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye”? We all fall short of the kingdom of God because we are sinners, all of us. I feel that Pastor MacInnes was speaking from his heart and the venue owners listened. I am grateful that a dialogue took place. If you perceive a sin is occuring, then hate the sin but love the sinner.
What about freemasonary these churches with the devil Satan and God that is Jesus Christ; you cant worship to masters you must have one. Your choice Tree of life or the Tree of knowledge of Good and evil. The devil is transgender and Jesus is hetersexual in meaning God is the husband and the church is Gods Glory his wife.
Perfect love caste out fear which are demons.
Oh me r u God ???Look at yr self… Does God condone yr judgment??? When we r all waiting to enter Gods kingdom who will enter???Think about that…
Well what do you expect when Sanford has a liberal mayor and two liberal candidates fight it out for mayor, you get exactly this, I knew this yoga studio would be a problem, not only the gay flag in the window but BLM sign, meaning if you understand the BLM doctrine you know it’s a Domestic Terrorist Marxist Hate Group and the owner agrees with that, it has nothing to do with Blacks and now this owner is pushing Drag, the alphabet mafia won’t end there, as for the Brewery … it’s a joke business, now Sanford needs to Wake Up! or risk a flood of owners coming into the downtown area and creating a new Carrboro of the Sandhills,
So sad typical of so many in Sanford where I’m afraid of or ashamed to admit I am from there…sad but true…so closed minded and judgmental people Am i wrong that some where in the Bible it says do not judge…!God is the only one who has that right….am I wrong or did God appoint Sanfords God fearing to do that…God hopefully has pity on yr pitiful souls🙏🙏🙏
Google Uhaul and you can fix all your problems, move on already if Sanford hurts your feelings 😭
Tommy, if you were so concerned that the republicans weren’t fielding a candidate for mayor, why didn’t you run? Clearly they didn’t think they could be the democratic candidate.
And that was an awful lot of buzzwords there. You sure you understand everything you said?
Thought about it but I live in the county, Fortunately I’m not a Democrat or Republican, running as one of those parties is a no go for me, buzz words hmmm, not very clever and juvenile, guess your just one of those BLM GAY TRANS whatever sympathizers, march on fool
Many of these sick fundamentalists will hound anyone who is different into bankruptcy, death, or despair. They are blasphemers using the name of Jesus to push hate, keep certain people down, and to obtain money from scared people. They tend to be poorly educated and easily led by a slick talkers in a polyester suit. These are the people Jesus warns about – they hypocrites.
You said it, and the majority of those “fundamentalist” in Sanford are leftist liberals that try a hide undercover as a moderate democrat, lol … we all see it.
As for those Republicans or so called Conservatives tossing out God in this thread I don’t buy the sincerity.
This show is dead wrong, if you don’t see that you have bigger issues and are part of the problem, #grooming Sanford Children and young adults, SMMFH
Tommy – seek mental health counseling for you and your family. There is no telling the damage you have done to them.
Mental Health? Pretty weak comeback, obviously you don’t have the education to debate …
Spoken like a closeted abuser or pedophile.
First of all, I have something in common with everyone one of you. We are Americans. America was founded on liberty to pursue what one wishes….
Most of us are Christians. Would you attend this event if JESUS was watching you there? You will find that where people spend their time and money are where you find their values. That is interesting, when you realize that people are going to sponsor an event that men have spent hours and hundreds of dollars in makeup and clothing only to take it off and still be a man.
Thanks for reading ! 🙂
Mate, Jesus hung out with Prostitutes and lepers. He walked with the common folk regardless of who they were. Jesus would absolutely be at this event and would be enjoying the festivities. I’d buy him a beer, he’d turn it to wine, and we’d have a fabulous chat about the queens and their remarkable ability to do makeup and stylize.
Drag is about being comfortable in your own skin. And being able to be yourself. And supporting people to be able to follow their dreams and be comfortable in their identities is a very noble and worthwhile endeavor that more should follow.
If you don’t like it, don’t go. No one is Going to force you go. No one is gonna strap you to a chair and put you in drag. Either go enjoy the show, or don’t. It isn’t that deep.
Jesus would say to them, as He does to ALL of us, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He hung around sinners for one purpose and it was not to approve of their sin, but through love, point them in the right direction.
If you were a true follower of Christ, according to the bible I assume you swear by, you’d know better. If, as Americans, we have the right to pursue happiness, why are you so bothered by another’s pursuit of their happiness? It doesn’t affect you. It has no bearing on your life. That’s an honest question.
This is what I think McInnes and others support – the ability for them to abuse others and sweep under the rug. https://www.aol.com/news/report-top-southern-baptists-stonewalled-205219683-174051857.html
OK, Reality check from a Conservative…. This is a “Pay For” event. That means everyone that attends is a paid ticket holder, this isn’t an event that is being forced on anyone. No it is not grooming children, in fact if you read the event specifics, the second show is being held specifically for adults, no children allowed. The children that may or may not be at the first even will be their with their parents that bought tickets and if they deem it appropriate for their children, that is their decision “NOT YOURS”. Hugger Muggers is a private business and has been the venue for many events. This event is not being forced on anyone, PERIOD! Like many have said, if you don’t approve, then don’t go. If you frequent Hugger Muggers and are so offended by their decision to let a business rent their facility for a fundraiser, then don’t go their anymore. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Hugger Muggers owners know how to run their business and make decisions based on what they think is best for their company. Let not your hearts be troubled.
Well said D Roberts! I usually disagree with you about most things, but I truly appreciate your comments!! That’s the bottom line – if you don’t like it, don’t go!! Well spoken and articulate!!
Spoken like a true Rino, simply don’t get it
Tommy, I have sworn to uphold the Constitution for over 35 years and will continue to defend it until the day I die. Maybe you should read it, then you should read the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers, also try reading Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”. Then may I suggest you read the Philosophy of Ayn Rand and the concepts of capitalism and objectivism. Maybe you should understand what liberty and freedom mean. I find it amazing that people that argue against government intervention and cancel culture then support those very things and call someone that truly understands these concepts a RINO. Yes sometimes your core values force you to uphold those very concepts for issues you don’t agree with, but if you violate that which you say you stand for then you are a hypocrite and I know I read somewhere that Jesus takes issue with such people. Just sayin…. BTW I said I am a Conservative, that does not equate to Republican the two things are not synonymous with each other. The US is a Republic not a Democracy learn the difference between the two.
That is rich. D. Roberts is a RINO now for saying private businesses should be able to host whatever event they want to and people should go if they want or not go if they don’t. Sounds like D. Roberts is all about freedom and now that makes in a RINO. Speaks volumes as to where the Republican party is nowadays. In my opinion D. Roberts is a true Republican. He is the one sticking to the decades long principles of the party before Trump got to it and made it a cult.
B Mac sounds like a raging libtard, I can hear that Karen voice in that rant 😭
You sound like a proud boy who was at the insurrection.
B Mac, There is a saying that has been going around for a while, “If a Conservative is a vegetarian, they don’t eat meat. If a Liberal is a vegetarian they force everyone else not to eat meat.” The irony of these so called Conservatives is, they are acting like what they accuse liberals of acting. Apparently now, If a Liberal doesn’t like a show that is being presented at a place they don’t go. If a Conservative doesn’t like a show that is being presented at a place they force everyone else not to go. True Conservatives will support peoples liberty and freedom no matter what their religion, color, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other demographic they may fall into. Liberty and Freedom are for all Americans not just certain groups that agree with us. There was a time in this country that Liberals and Conservatives wanted the same America but were rowing different boats, sadly I don’t think we are even in the same river anymore.
Wow, lol … triggered 🤯
“There was a time in this country that Liberals and Conservatives wanted the same America…” It was agreed by both sides that this kind of “show” was not productive, but a slippery slope and destructive to America.
As mentioned before, I hope you get the help you need. When you have no argument to counter the facts, you simply spew hate and insults to make yourself feel superior. That’s just sad. If you have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation, please keep your mouth shut and move on!! You are pitiful!
Buddy, if you want to meet up and discuss some facts I’m game, we are more alike than we are different, we agree to disagree and it looks like many here in this thread hate that, that’s a you problem not a me problem, what say you?
This event is an abomination.
Unity Baptist Church’s own website indicates you are nutty:
“We believe that creation was completed in six, twenty-four hour literal days (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31; 2:2; Exodus 20:11). We believe that man was created in God’s own image and after His own likeness (Genesis 1:26,27). ”
People who actually think and reason do not need people like you ruining our community with your crazy masquerading as Religion.
While I disagree with D. Roberts on a lot of issues, I agree on this one. As a former moderate Republican (called RINO’s these days), I do find myself at odds with the more conservative views. There was a time when being a conservative meant that you wanted the status quo. A conservative would not typically be in favor of most public safety nets. They were against almost any type of change.
Conservatives used to defend a person’s right to do what they desired, and keep the government out of our lives.
I disagree that Republicans and conservatives are different. They are now synonymous. The Republican/Conservative party is now a cult. When conservative cult members started using the term RINO, they pushed away many members to become independents. It has become a far right wing group that uses Christianity as a tool to fool many of it’s members into doing their bidding, but that is a much deeper conversation.
I would say the D. Roberts is a “classic” conservative and a RINO. That is a compliment in today’s political world. And Tommy, well, he’s just a sad cult member who will never grow as a person.
Party affiliation is just that. What matters is how you vote, what you support and the vision you have for the country. That’s what shows the community where you stand regardless of the party banner that’s claimed. Unfortunately, too many politicians do not think their positions through or weigh out the consequences of what will happen to the country. The most important thing for these politicians is getting elected and staying elected, that’s all. We’re headed the way of Rome.
Smh, weak as hell 🤔