A Texas teacher said the Christian school where she worked fired her after she went to a drag show.
Kristi Maris said news of her termination “spread like wildfire” before she knew about it.
A teacher in Houston said she was fired from a Christian school after 20 years for attending a drag show at Hamburger Mary’s.
Kristi Maris said in a Facebook post that she was fired from First Baptist Academy in Baytown, Texas, after attending a “sing along show” at the venue.
Hamburger Mary’s is a popular drag venue and restaurant with 14 franchise locations across the country, according to its website.
“They told me because I went to this show and posted a picture I wasn’t walking in a Godly manner, so that being said please remove yourself from my page if this offends you, if you think this is UnGodly, makes me a pedaphile, or causes you to feel uncomfortable,” Maris wrote in her Facebook post on Monday.
The school’s senior pastor told ABC13 that school policy said: “I will act in a godly and moral fashion at work, on Facebook, and in my community.” First Baptist Christian Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Maris said news of her termination “spread like wildfire” through the school and its connected church before she was informed that she was fired.
Hamburger Mary’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, but the Houston location announced it was planning to host a benefit on August 3 for Maris and another teacher who also said she was fired for attending the drag show.
“Kristi and Nanci are the teachers, not only children, but the whole world deserves!” Hamburger Mary’s Houston posted on its Facebook page. “Unfortunately, they are no longer employed due to attending our show, but that won’t stop us from showing our love and passion for the art form of drag!”
Maris told ABC 13 that the school treated her and the other teacher “like criminals.”
“They’re entertainers,” Maris told the outlet. “I would’ve never thought in a million years that this would happen. Never. We were in disbelief. We still are. We were heartbroken. We had relationships with parents and the kids, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye to a lot of the kids.”
Drag shows and trans people were targeted through legislation across the country in states such as Tennessee, which banned gender-affirming care for minors and put strict limits on drag shows that a federal judge later found “unconstitutionally vague.”
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill on June 22 that bans “sexual performances” in front of minors, which the bill defined as the use of “accessories or prosthetics that exaggerate male or female sexual characteristics,” The Texas Tribune reported. Critics said that the law was intended to target drag shows and members of LGBTQ+ communities.