Friday, December 30, 2011

Gay Nativity Project Defaced in California

Earlier this month, I wrote about Kittredge Cherry's Queer Nativity project, one of which was my "Nativity Bouncer".  The concept behind this particular Gay and Lesbian Nativity project was pretty simple.  Folks were simply encouraged to create a GLBT-themed Nativity image that would reimagine the Holy Family in liberating new ways.  Some of these Queer Nativities simply mixed-and-matched existing Nativity scenes so that there were two moms or two dads.  Others were totally original artistic creations.  All were really interesting and I'd definitely encourage you to check them out.

Earlier today, I came across a story about another Queer Nativity image.  This one is in Claremont, CA.  It belongs to Claremont United Methodist Church.  It consisted of three separate lightboxes surrounding some sort of manger.  Each lightbox features a silhouette of a human couple.  One is a male couple.  One is a female couple.  And the third is a male and female couple.  On Christmas morning, somebody decided to vandalize the gay and lesbian lightboxes.  The male/female lightbox was untouched.

According to Towleroad:
(Nativity creator John) Zachary has designed the church's nativity scenes for years. One year, the nativity pictured a homeless couple, which "prompted an impromptu outpouring of giving, with congregation members leaving donations of food, clothing and money," according to The Los Angeles Times. On other occasions, the nativity pictured "a scene of war in the Middle East; a mother and baby in prison and an installation representing the U.S./Mexico border fence with 'No Room at the Inn?' spray-painted above a depiction of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus." None of these were defaced.
Last fall, conservatives discovered and belittled Kitt's original Queer Nativity image.  Now this particular Nativity scene is attacked.  Most importantly, the gay and lesbian portions of this particular Nativity scene was attacked.  The rest was left untouched.

Why is it that GLBT-inclusive art is attacked?  Why can't our religious images be honored, or at least tolerated?


Vin said...

good entry! i enjoyed reading it.... have a great weekend and a safe wonderful new year!!!

Jon said...

Thanks Vin! You have a fun and safe weekend, too. :)

KittKatt said...

I'm working on a piece about this ugly incident. It just goes to prove the importance of queer Nativities in conveying the message of Christ's love for the outcasts.