Sunday, December 18, 2011

My "Nativity Bouncer" Appears on the Jesus In Love Blog this Weekend

"Nativity Bouncer"
"Gay and Lesbian Nativity Scene"
Back in December 2009, one of the blogs that I follow, Jesus In Love, featured a "Gay and Lesbian Nativity Scene".  JIL's creator, Kittredge Cherry, found a nativity set and mixed and matched Marys and Josephs and created Nativity scenes featuring gay or lesbian parents.  Earlier this year, some conservative bloggers discovered and attacked Kitt's Gay and Lesbian Nativity blog.  More recently, Kitt solicited LGBT Nativity images that would reimagine the Holy Family in liberating new ways.

Kitt's earlier posts had already sparked my interest so I decided to come up with something for this project when she solicited ideas last month.  Unfortunately, I really struggled at translating the concept into a finished project.  I wanted to come up with a respectful project that wasn't a complete rip-off of Kitt's original scene.  After a couple mishaps, I finally came up with "Nativity Bouncer".  I forwarded the pic and a bit of information to Kitt and managed to get my project published earlier today!  Check it out:
(Jon's) image shows a gay contemporary couple holding hands as they walk toward a typical manger scene far in the distance. But their path is blocked by two “Nativity bouncers” -- tough guys with their arms crossed. Their sign warns, “Limited seating in the manger. VIPs only.

Trouten dares to use the symbolism of the manger scene for social commentary, pointing out the hypocrisy of conservative Christians who stop LGBT people from full participation in the church. There was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph 2,000 years ago, so Jesus was born in a lowly stable. Likewise there is no room in many churches today for LGBT people who want to get closer to Jesus. “Nativity Bouncer” is a metaphor of the ongoing struggles for same-sex marriage, ordination of LGBT clergy and full religious rights for queer people. The image suggests that the journey is far from over. The gay couple is moving forward, surrounded by a halo of white light. It looks like they have a good chance of breaking through the red-rope barrier to reach the manger, Jesus, and love incarnate.
My biggest concern with "Nativity Bouncer" is that it's not very liberating.  The gay couple is being blocked from Christ by the church bouncers.  Too many GLBT people AND Christians assume that this is true and it infuriates me that others would block GLBT people from Christ's salvation.  It's not true.  Unfortunately, too many Christians also assume that they are separated from Christ. 

That said, I like Kitt's expansion of my original idea.  She took the image of the bouncers barring the gay couple from Christ and anticipated the coming moment when the two men break through the barrier and witness Christ's miracles in person.

Check out the Jesus In Love blog as well as the other great Queer Native scenes that have been posted on Kitt's website this month.

1 comment:

KittKatt said...

Thanks, Jon, for creating your “Nativity Bouncer” and for this great write-up of the whole Queer Nativity project at Jesus in Love. I’ve been amazed by how each individual comes up with a unique way to make a LGBT-affirming statement using the manger scene symbolism. Merry Christmas to all!