Just in time for Easter, website uproots homophobia from Christian tradition
With the movie version of “The DaVinci Code” approaching, challenging the Bible and what we know about Jesus and Mary Magdalene has evangelicals shaking in their boots. And now gay artists are uniting to portray the Messiah in a queer light.
Los Angeles-based author and website creator Kittredge Cherry recently launched JesusInLove.org, a website that takes visitors through a GLBT-themed version of the Easter story. Why Easter?
“The Easter story tells us that God suffers with us, and it offers the promise of rebirth and redemption,” Cherry explained in a press release.
The site features work by six American artists. One of the more powerful works is “The Crucifixion of Christ,” by New York painter Becki Jayne
Harrelson. With a perspective that resembles Salvador Dali’s iconic “Christ of St. John of the Cross,” Harrelson emblazons the crucifix with the inscription “Faggot.” In an artist’s note, Harrelson explains that she’s trying to draw the connection between Christ’s persecution and hatred against gays “even though [Jesus'] words and position defied the religious establishment.”
Other images include Sandra Yagi’s “Crucifixion,” where a female Christ who dies on the cross while her purse is looted by the Pope, a businessman and a terrorist; and F. Douglas Blanchard’s “Jesus Rises,” featuring the risen Christ walking hand-in-hand with his male lover.
There’s also a links page that connects other artists across the globe who depict Christ as gay, transgender or female.
If you’ve been praying to the Easter Bunny to leave a new Amanda Lepore action-figure doll in your basket, you might want to ask for something else. The initial run, carried by the retail boutique Jeffrey New York, sold out in less than two days. Designed by fashion creator Jason Wu, pictured with Lepore, the dolls were on many wish lists, but Elton John, Hugh Heffner and Pamela Anderson were among the lucky ones who got first dibs. A second run is being planned for a fundraiser for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.
Daniel A. Kusner
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 07, 2006.