Sunday, February 5, 2017

Church of England Apologizes After Trainee Priest Uses Polari (AKA Gay Slang) in LGBT Church Service

I learned today about "Polari," a form of antiquated gay slang used during the 19th century through the 1960s. Not only that, but there was a "Polari Bible" created by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence back in 2003. That's the source of controversy right now in the Church of England after a trainee priest used Polari during a church service at a theological college:
A Church of England theological college has expressed regret after trainee priests held a service in the antiquated gay slang language Polari. The service at the chapel of Westcott House in Cambridge was to commemorate LGBT history month. The congregation was told the use of the lexicon was an attempt to "queer the liturgy of evening prayer". But officials said it had not been authorised and was at variance with the doctrine and teaching of the church... 
One person present at the service told BBC News it was led by an ordinand - a trainee priest - rather than a licensed minister. The congregation was also made up of trainees. While they had been given permission to hold a service to commemorate LGBT history month, a Church of England source said the college chaplain had not seen the wording of the service. The translation was based on the Polari bible, a work compiled as a project in 2003 by the self-styled Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The scripture and liturgy were printed on to an order of service.
Here is an example of Genesis 1, the creation story, as translated into Polari:
Genesis 1: In the beginning Gloria created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was nanti form, and void; and munge was upon the eke of the deep. And the Fairy of Gloria trolled upon the eke of the aquas. And Gloria cackled, Let there be sparkle: and there was sparkle. And Gloria vardad the sparkle, that it was bona: and Gloria medzered the sparkle from the munge. And Gloria screeched the sparkle journo, and the munge she screeched nochy. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the first journo. And Gloria cackled, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the aquas, and let it divide the aquas from the aquas. And Gloria made the firmament, and medzered the aquas which were under the firmament from the aquas which were above the firmament: and it was so. And Gloria screeched the firmament Heaven. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the second journo. And Gloria cackled, Let the aquas under the heaven be gathered together unto una place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And Gloria screeched the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the aquas screeched she Seas: and Gloria vardad that it was bona. And Gloria cackled, Let the earth parker forth grass, the herb yielding maria, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after her kind, whose maria is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding maria after her kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose maria was in itself, after her kind: and Gloria vardad that it was bona. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the third journo. And Gloria cackled, Let there be sparkles in the firmament of the heaven to divide the journo from the nochy; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for sparkles in the firmament of the heaven to parker sparkle upon the earth: and it was so. And Gloria made dewey dowry sparkles; the dowrier sparkle to rule the journo, and the nanti dowrier sparkle to rule the nochy: she made the twinkling fakements also. And Gloria set them in the firmament of the heaven to parker sparkle upon the earth, And to rule over the journo and over the nochy, and to divide the sparkle from the munge: and Gloria vardad that it was bona. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the quarter journo. And Gloria cackled, Let the aquas parker forth dowrily the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And Gloria created dowry whales, and every living creature that trolleth, which the aquas brought forth dowrily, after their kind, and every winged fowl after her kind: and Gloria vardad that it was bona. And Gloria fabed them, cackling, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the aquas in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the fifth journo. And Gloria cackled, Let the earth parker forth the living creature after her kind, cattle, and creeping fakement, and beast of the earth after her kind: and it was so. And Gloria made the beast of the earth after her kind, and cattle after their kind, and every fakement that creepeth upon the earth after her kind: and Gloria vardad that it was bona. And Gloria cackled, Let us make homie in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping fakement that creepeth upon the earth. So Gloria created homie in her own image, in the image of Gloria created she her; omee and palone created she them. And Gloria fabed them, and Gloria cackled unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living fakement that trolleth upon the earth. And Gloria cackled, varda, I have parkered you every herb bearing maria, which is upon the eke of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding maria; to you it shall be for carnish. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every fakement that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have parkered every green herb for carnish: and it was so. And Gloria vardad every fakement that she had made, and, varda, it was dowry bona. And the bijou nochy and the morning were the seyth journo
Use of Polari evidently fell into disuse in the 1960s, as homosexuality began to become decriminalized and the need for code because less necessary.

Here is a short film from 2005 showcasing two gay men speaking in Polari:


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