Duncan Teague’s parents met at choir rehearsal at his local Baptist church, and his father was a retired Baptist minister. Duncan was born on January 8th 1961 in Kansas City, Missouri. He and his younger brother went to public school in Kansas City, which was turbulent for young Black boys at the time. He was seven years old during the 1968 Race Riots in Kansas City, which was one of the most segregated parts of the US. Duncan focused on his education and passion for singing, while attending a Lutheran elementary and middle school and a Catholic high school. In his spare time, he was the lead vocalist in his family church choir.
Duncan came out to his friends in high school, shortly after realizing his attraction to men. He felt inspired by the newly-released David Kopay story, the story of the first professional athlete to come out publicly as gay. His deeply religious parents struggled to accept his sexuality. Duncan had ministry aspirations, but as it was difficult for an out gay man to be a Baptist minister, Duncan focused on gospel music, which he saw then as a calling.
Duncan began his higher education at Ottawa University in Kansas and finished his studies in Atchison, Kansas, graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1984. Following graduation, Duncan moved to Atlanta, where he threw himself into a thriving Black LGBTQ+ community and took on various jobs.
In the early ’80s, Duncan became involved with the Atlanta chapter of Black and White Men Together (BWMT). By 1985, as the AIDS epidemic grew in Atlanta, he joined AID Atlanta as an outreach worker, focusing on the Black gay community. At the time, he was one of the first out Black men doing outreach about HIV/AIDS in the Atlanta area. A few years later, Duncan started working for the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention (NTFAP), where he led workshops educating the community. Here, he took his first steps back towards religion, attending a local Unitarian church.
In the early ’90s, Duncan cofounded ADODI Muse: A Gay Negro Ensemble, performing gay poetry rooted in Black traditions. In 1993, Duncan also met his future husband David through a mutual friend. Duncan continued his work in AIDS research, contributing to various projects until 1999. He was also invited to join the ministerial staff at First Existentialist Congregation, which rekindled his conviction that ministerial work was his calling, despite the challenges he faced as a Black gay man.
In 2014, Duncan was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation of Atlanta and felt called to establish the first UU church in Atlanta’s West End.
In 2017, the now-Reverend Duncan E. Teague received a commendation from the governor of Georgia recognizing his “superlative advocacy for research on HIV preventions” and “efficient, effective, unselfish, and dedicated public service to the State of Georgia.” Duncan is believed to be the first Black gay man to receive such an honor in Georgia.