ENFIELD, CT- Enfield, Connecticut, is a medium-sized town in Connecticut, some 18 miles north of the capital city of Hartford. Whether it wanted to be or not, the community of around 42,000 residents has become ground zero in the culture wars currently occurring in our country.
Many of the issues in town started to come about when a new pastor took over the United Church of Christ, located in the town’s iconic landmark, the Enfield Congregational Church, which is on the main thoroughfare of Rte 5 (Enfield Street). When the pastor, Greg Gray, took over the church, he apparently decided that he was going to make the church the focal point of the alphabet community in Enfield.
Enfield is a somewhat conservative community, a bit of an irony in a state like Connecticut, which is solid blue. Until 2021, the Town Council had been run by Republicans for 14 years. The Board of Education was likewise primarily run by Republicans, except for a few years. In the 1970s, Enfield won an award as an All-American City.
Issues with Pastor Gray began during Democrat rule on the Board of Education. As happened in many towns across the United States, parents grew increasingly concerned about issues such as Critical Race Theory (now rebranded as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) as well as radical gender ideology.
Parents complained about the content of certain books in school libraries that depicted graphic gay sexual activities. Parents would have felt the same way had these books depicted heterosexual sexual activities–it has no place in public school libraries, elementary school libraries in particular.
When certain titles were removed from schools, Pastor Gray took it upon himself to have a “pop-up” library placed outside the church, complete with video surveillance, that contained many such books. Gray, who is not an Enfield resident (that can be proven), took it upon himself to speak out at several Board of Education meetings and push these titles.
Fast forward to last year during “Pride Month.” An iconic statue in the front of the church, which is not church property, was desecrated with a trans flag adorned upon the statue of Thomas Abbe, a favorite son of Enfield who served during the Revolutionary War. Many residents were rightly outraged by this. Complaints to the Town of Enfield went nowhere. However, the flag was eventually removed. The church, however, was adorned with the colors of the trans flag.
The church has been the scene, as well as the sponsor, of several drag queen events over the past few years. One of the “stars” of the shows was a man named “Felicity V. Lay.” More on him in a moment.
Gray is also president of Enfield PRIDE, a gay activist group in Enfield. In January, the Enfield Town Council implemented a new flag policy for the town whereby the only flags allowed to be flown on town buildings and flagpoles were the American flag, the State of Connecticut flag, the MIA flag, and flags of the military branches. Period.
This was seen as an “attack” on the alphabet community since, as a self-proclaimed “special interest” group, they believe they are entitled to everything. As the town’s mayor, Ken Nelson, explained, the flag policy was implemented since if the town allowed the PRIDE flag on town buildings and flagpoles, they would have to honor any request from any other group. The Nazi flag, Confederate flag, or any flag representing any group would have to be allowed. The majority Republicans rightly decided that some policy needed to be implemented.
Lo and behold, less than one month later, Enfield PRIDE announced they would hold a “drag queen story hour” at the Enfield Public Library. For anyone with a modicum of common sense, it was clear this was done to tweak Enfield residents and mock the town council, knowing that it wasn’t possible to prevent the group from hosting the event at the public library’s community room without risking a lawsuit.
When community segments found out about it since the group made sure to post it all over social media, town residents became outraged. Gray claimed the event had “nothing to do” with the church. However, as pastor of the church and president of Enfield PRIDE, Gray couldn't distance the church from the event.
The next thing that happened was Gray announced the event was canceled due to “threats” received against the event online. Gray made sure to reach out to any media outlet that would listen and tell them the event had been “threatened.” However, the level of “threats” leveled against the event consisted of people with pictures on social media of them allegedly holding guns.
As an example, Gray told the Hartford Courant the following:
“I pulled the plug on this before it was time to go to the police,” he said. “These events tell kids that they can be whatever they want to be,” while touting the since-canceled event as “very family friendly.”
In speaking to the perceived “threats” against the event, Gray said that “at no point did anyone say they have a gun and are coming to do harm. But the comments were somewhat disturbing. There were comments that said things like ‘I will be there,’ and you look at the person’s profile photo, and they’re holding a gun. I felt intimidated enough to call it off.”
We’ll take “things that never happened for $1,000, Alex.”
Thanks to Yeoman’s work by the Connecticut Centinal, the real “disturbing comments” were located on social media (since made private) of the proposed “star” of the drag queen story hour, Felicity V. Lay. Here are some highlights:
“I love weed,” posted on Oct. 8, 2023.
“Fisting in the catacombs,” posted on Jan. 20, 2024
“Just met my favorite pornstar!!! P****g GAGGED,” posted on May 13, 2023
“Showing hole in the local Panera,” posted on Dec. 12, 2023.
Felicity V. Lay, who has “performed” at other drag shows for the church, also reposted a posting on X on Dec. 12, 2023, in an account by someone named “Satan,” responding, “You’ll do what to God???” That was in response to a post by someone named “whorchata,” who wrote, “I’m suckin dick tonight idc.”
What do you suppose “Reverend” Gray thinks about that? Do you suppose his congregants appreciate someone who shares posts like that is appropriate to “perform” on behalf of the United Church of Christ?
As Connecticut Centinal highlighted, Gray insinuated threats of violence at the drag queen story hour, however, what do his X posts insinuate? “Tweeting about porn stars, performing sex acts, and randomly hooking up for sex in bars?”
Gray, however, got the publicity he was looking for. Every news channel within probably 100 miles of Enfield picked up the story, and it was put across the AP wires and reported as far away as Los Angeles. Every news story by Hartford-area media used Gray’s talking points nearly verbatim.
Gray was able to gain the sympathy he wanted and while doing so, painted his town as a bunch of intolerant hayseeds. “Intolerant hayseeds” who are using their First Amendment rights to express opposition to an event that they feel is detrimental to the welfare of children.
Yet despite insinuating that the event was “threatened,” Gray could not produce a single screenshot of a post in which the event or any participants were threatened. Why is that? If, as he said, there were social media threats, where is his evidence? There isn’t any, that’s why.
Some supporters of Gray claim there is “no evidence” that drag queens pose any type of threat to children. However, there are innumerable stories about drag queens who have been arrested for crimes such as sexual assault and pedophilia. Why would anyone want to risk that? Are most of them sexual deviants? Who knows? But is that a risk we should be taking as a society?
We believe the answer is a resounding NO!