BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Female impersonator Jamie Grace has gone from divine to divinity.
Grace and friends have launched WIG, a nonprofit gay spirituality ministry that has its first public meeting 8 p.m. Wednesday at The Manor in Wilton Manors.
"They can expect a huge, exciting, theatrical, spiritual, empowering gay revival," Grace said. "We don't make people gay. We just inspire them to love being gay. Love their gay neighbors and respect their gay neighbors."
Grace grew up Jewish in North Miami Beach and worked for years in gay resorts such as Provincetown, Mass., as Trinity, the Next Lady of Jazz.
Fifteen years ago, Grace graduated from the Unitarian Universalist seminary with a masters in divinity.
"They’re very philosophical and forward thinking," Grace says of the Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Grace moved to Wilton Manors about 3 1/2 years ago. At brunch last year, he and friend conceived WIG -- Wild Inspirational Gatherings.
"A bunch of us had brunch one day and we got sick of gay kids committing suicide. We decided to do something about it," he said.
Grace, 49, took money he had saved for a planned 50th birthday party in October and used it to start WIG.
"Forget the cake. I’ll just have the candle," he said.
"The main goal of WIG is to get young adults and regular adults to come together for spiritual purposes,' Grace said. "At WIG, gay means inner fabulous."
Martha Sternberg, a founding member of WIG said its purpose is prove that an LGBT person can live "a happy life."
"WIG will show people that it’s a lifelong celebration and there’s no reason to be depressed over it," Sternberg said.
Grace says "transgender people, massage therapists and nice Jewish guys can all make a big difference."
WIG will meet every Wednesday night at The Manor and each week a female impersonator will attend. This week, "Joan Rivers, followed by Cher and Whitney. ... Rev. Trinity will come on the sixth week."
Grace hopes everything goes well:
"It’s opening night and anything that can go wrong will," he said. "So please be kind."
UPDATE (July 8, 2012):
WIG has moved to Thursdays at Boom Nightclub, 2234 Wilton Dr. in Wilton Manors, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. $10 donation at door.