Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saints of Stonewall inspire LGBT justice -- and artists, authors and film makers

“It was Beautiful” by Douglas Blanchard shows the Stonewall Rebellion
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36," 1999.

Queer people fought back against police harassment at New York City’s Stonewall Inn launching the modern LGBT liberation movement on June 28, 1969.

Their bold rebellion against government persecution of homosexuality is commemorated around the world during June as LGBT Pride Month. The Stonewall Uprising continues to inspire a variety of art that is featured here today.

This year the site of the Stonewall Uprising was designated a national monument by President Obama. “I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights,” he said.

The White House also released a video about the Stonewall Uprising and how it sparked a movement for LGBT equality. The monument includes the Stonewall Inn and nearly eight acres around it in New York's Greenwich Village.

The LGBT people who resisted police at the Stonewall Rebellion (also known as the Stonewall Riots) are not saints in the traditional sense. But they are honored here as “saints of Stonewall” because they dared to battle an unjust system. They do not represent religious faith -- they stand for faith in ourselves as LGBT people. They performed the miracle of transforming self-hatred into pride. These “saints” began a process in which self-hating individuals were galvanized into a cohesive community. Their saintly courage inspired a justice movement that is still growing stronger after four decades.

Before Stonewall, homosexuality was illegal and police regularly raided gay bars, where customers submitted willingly to arrest. A couple of dozen acts of resistance pre-dated and paved the way for Stonewall, such as the 1967 demonstration at the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles.

A new but controversial effort to tell the story of the uprising is the 2015 film “Stonewall.” It is directed by Roland Emmerich, better known for directing the action movie “Independence Day.” The film is a drama, not a documentary, told through the eyes of a fictional young white man from Indiana. Many in the LGBT community objected that the film downplayed the importance of drag performers, trans and bi women, butch lesbians and people of color in the Stonewall rebellion. Boycotts were organized to protest the way the erasure of these real-life activists in favor of a fictional white man.

The Stonewall Inn catered to the poorest and most marginalized queer people: drag queens, transgender folk, hustlers and homeless youth. Witnesses disagree about who was the first to defy the police raid in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. It was either a drag queen or a butch lesbian. Soon the crowd was pelting the officers with coins, bottles, bricks and the like. The police, caught by surprise, used nightsticks to beat some people before taking refuge in the bar itself. News of the uprising spread quickly. Hundreds gathered on the street and a riot-control police unit arrived. Violence continued as some chanted, “Gay power!”

Drag queens started spontaneous kick lines facing the police with clubs and helmets. That dramatic moment is captured in the painting “It was Beautiful” by Douglas Blanchard. The drag queens met violence with defiant humor by singing,

We are the Stonewall girls
We wear our hair in curls
We wear no underwear
We show our pubic hair
We wear our dungarees
Above our nelly knees!

That night 13 people were arrested and some hospitalized. The streets were mostly cleared by 4 a.m., but a major confrontation with police happened again the next night, and protests continued on a smaller scale for a week.

A month later the Gay Liberation Front was formed, one of many LGBT rights organizations sparked by the saints of Stonewall. LGBT religious groups are indebted to the saints of Stonewall for our very existence.

“Gay Liberation” by George Segal commemorates the Stonewall rebellion (Photo by Wally Gobetz)

One of the most significant Stonewall artworks is also the world’s first piece of public art honoring the struggle for LGBTQ equality. “Gay Liberation” was created in 1979 by famed pop sculptor George Segal. It consists of four statues, a gay couple and a lesbian couple, cast in bronze and painted white in Segal’s typical style. The figures are arranged realistically in casual poses, evoking the power of love with their ghostly presence.

The idea for a public sculpture honoring the 10th anniversary of Stonewall came from LGBT activist Bruce Voeller. His vision inspired the Mildred Andrews Fund of Cleveland to commission Segal to create the sculpture. After much controversy, vandalism and alternate locations, the sculpture was installed permanently across the street from the Stonewall Inn at Christopher Park, which also holds two monuments to Civil War heroes.

Artists usually choose between two approaches when addressing the Stonewall Uprising. Some focus on the action in the past while others highlight the present-day Stonewall Inn, which is still in operation as a bar for the LGBT community.

Artists who recreate the past include Doug Blanchard, a gay New York artist who teaches art at City University of New York and is active in the Episcopal Church. “It was Beautiful” and other Stonewall paintings by Blanchard were shown at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center of New York in 1999. His series “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” has been featured here at the Jesus in Love Blog and in a 2014 book with text by Kittredge Cherry.

“The Battle of Stonewall - 1969” by Sandow Birk

California artist Sandow Birk put Stonewall history into heroic context in a big way. The oil paintings in his Stonewall series measure up to 10 feet wide. The crown jewel of the series is “The Battle of Stonewall - 1969.” It updates the classic painting “The Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle - 1304” by 19th-century French artist Charles Philippe Lariviere. In both cases, the physically superior side attacked those who were considered weaker, but the underdogs won and gained their freedom. Birk replaces swords with police batons and turns national flags into “Gay Power” banners. The knight in shining armor is replaced by a drag queen in mascara and high heels. For more about Birk’s Stonewall series, see my previous post: Sandow Birk: Stonewall's LGBT history painted.

The actual Stonewall riots weren’t as white as Birk's paintings make it appear: “On the first night of the Stonewall riots, African Americans and Latinos likely were the largest percentage of the protestors, because we heavily frequented the bar,” scholar-activist Irene Monroe writes in  Dis-membering Stonewall, her chapter in the book Love, Christopher Street. “For homeless black and Latino LGBTQ youth and young adults who slept in nearby Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn was their stable domicile.”

“Stonewall Inn” by Trudie Barreras (Collection of Kittredge Cherry)

The location where history happened is emphasized in the colorful painting of the Stonewall Inn by Trudie Barreras, a long-time member of Metropolitan Community Churches. Her art and writing on queer religious themes have appeared frequently here at the Jesus in Love Blog. She also does personalized pet portraits as “donation incentives” for Jesus in Love.

“Prostrations at the Holy Places and Veneration to Our Martyrs (Stonewall Pilgrimage)” by Tony O’Connell

British artist Tony O’Connell paid homage to the power of Stonewall by photographing his own personal pilgrimage to the historic bar in New York City in 2013. He prayed with incense at the Stonewall Inn as part of his series on LGBT pilgrimages, which he does as performances recorded in photos. He travels to places of importance in LGBT history, treating the trip as a pilgrimage to the shrine of a saint. For more about O’Connell’s pilgrimages and other art, see my previous post Tony O’Connell reclaims sainthood: Gay artist finds holiness in LGBT people and places.

Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem and the Stonewall Riots happen in Station 8 from “Stations of the Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality” by Mary Button

Tennessee artist Mary Button weaves together the LGBT uprising at Stonewall with Christ’s journey to Calvary in Station 8 of her LGBT Stations of the Cross. She shows that a chain of oppression that stretches from the crucifixion of Christ to police harassment of LGBT people today, offering hope for resurrection. For more about Button’s Stations, see my previous post LGBT Stations of the Cross shows struggle for equality.

Despite the progress made, police raids of gay bars have continued in recent years, such as the notorious 2009 Rainbow Lounge raid in Forth Worth, Texas. June 28 is also the anniversary of the 2009 raid on the Rainbow Lounge, a newly opened gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas. Five customers were zip-tied and taken to jail, multiple others were arrested or detained, and one got a severe brain injury while in custody. The raid sparked an unprecedented public outcry that led to reforms.

The history of the Rainbow Lounge raid and reaction is told in the 2012 film “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge,” directed by Robert Camina. He says it has “haunting parallels” to Stonewall. Emmy-nominated actress Meredith Baxter narrates the documentary. A video trailer is posted online.

May the saints of Stonewall continue to inspire all who seek justice and equality!

Related links:

2015 book for teens: “Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights” by Ann Bausum

Book: “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution” by David Carter

Book: “Stonewall” by Martin Bauml Duberman

Video: “American Experience: Stonewall Uprising

This post is part of the GLBT Saints series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. Saints, martyrs, mystics, heroes and holy people of special interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and our allies are covered on appropriate dates throughout the year.

Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

Friday, June 24, 2016

UpStairs Lounge fire: 32 killed in deadliest attack on LGBT people (until Orlando)

“See You at the UpStairs Lounge” by Skylar Fein

Before the Orlando massacre this month, the deadliest attack on LGBT people in U.S. history was an arson fire at the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans. The fire killed 32 people on June 24, 1973, exactly 43 years ago today.

It is enlightening the re-examine the UpStairs Lounge fire in the wake of the Orlando shooting that killed 49 people at the Pulse gay bar in Florida on June 12.

Few people cared about the UpStairs Lounge fire at the time. The crime was never solved, churches refused to do funerals for the dead, and four bodies went unclaimed. Now there is a resurgence of interest in the martyrs of New Orleans.

The fire is being remembered in powerful new ways, including the 2016 book “Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” by Harvard history professor Jim Downs. The fire is covered in the first chapter, titled “The Largest Massacre of Gay People in American History.”

Upstairs Inferno,” a documentary directed by Robert Camina and narrated by Christopher Rice, is currently playing at film festivals around the United States before its release on DVD. The film brings humanity to the headlines by interviewing more than 20 people, including several survivors who have kept silent for decades.

Other recent works about the fire include an award-winning online exhibit at the LGBT Religious Archives Network; the 2014 book “The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-two Dead in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973” by Clayton Delery-Edwards; and the musical drama “Upstairs” by Louisiana playwright Wayne Self. In 2013 the New Orleans Museum of Art acquired Louisiana artist Skylar Fein’s major installation “Remember the UpStairs Lounge.” The tragedy is also recounted in a short documentary by award-winning film maker Royd Anderson released on June 24, 2013, and in the 2011 book “Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire” by Johnny Townsend.

For queer people, the UpStairs Lounge served as a sanctuary in every sense of the world. It was a seemingly safe place where LGBT people met behind boarded-up windows that hid them from a hostile world. Worship services were held there by the LGBT-affirming Metropolitan Community Church of New Orleans. The pastor, Rev. William R. Larson, died along with a third of congregation. Half the victims were MCC members. Those who died included people from all walks of life: preachers, hustlers, soldiers, musicians, parents, professionals and a mother with her two sons.

The horror of the fire was compounded by the homophobic reactions. Churches refused to hold funerals for the victims. Finally MCC founder Rev. Troy Perry flew to New Orleans to conduct a group memorial service. Families of four victims were apparently so ashamed of their gay relatives that they would not identify or claim their remains. The City refused to release their bodies to MCC for burial, and instead laid them to rest in a mass grave at a potter’s field.

UPSTAIRS INFERNO - Teaser Trailer [HD] from Camina Entertainment on Vimeo.

The full-length feature documentary “Upstairs Inferno” was produced and directed by Camina, whose previous film was the widely praised “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge” about a police raid at a Texas gay bar. Now he has created the most comprehensive and authoritative film on America's biggest gay mass murder. Survivors interviewed in the film include Ricky Everett and Francis Dufrene and a survivor who lost her lover Reggie Adams in the blaze.

Narrator Chrisopher Rice is an openly gay New York Times bestselling author whose hometown is New Orleans. His debut novel "A Density of Souls" got a landslide of media attention, mostly because he is the son of famed vampire author Anne Rice.

Two videos trailers for the film have been released. The first trailer provides an overview while the second trailer present additional interviews about the personal impact of the fire.

UPSTAIRS INFERNO - Trailer 2 [HD] from Camina Entertainment on Vimeo.

Meanwhile a different film crew working on “Tracking Fire” discovered vandalism on the memorial plaque while filming an interview there in May 2015. Someone through a paint bomb at the plaque, leaving it discolored even after the paint was cleaned off.

A sidewalk memorial plaque outside the UpStairs Lounge building in New Orleans was dedicated in 2003 and vandalized in 2015 (photo courtesy of "Tracking Fire")

Another documentary still in production is “Tracking Fire” with director Sheri Wright. A video trailer is posted. “My focus is to tell the story of what happened, honor the victims, including the mother who died with her two sons, the survivors, their friends and family. It is also my intention to present a way for healing to replace the pain of tragedy and to offer a healthy resolution for personal and social conflict,” the film’s website explains.

Announcing the full-length trailer for Tracking Fire, a documentary which chronicles an unsolved case of arson that claimed 32 lives - one of the worst tragedies in LGBT history in America.
Posted by Tracking Fire on Monday, March 24, 2014

LGBT Religious Archives created an online exhibit about the UpStairs Lounge Fire with more than 120 artifacts that weave together stories about the fire and its aftermath, early gay activism, and the beginnings of Metropolitan Community Church in New Orleans. Original artifacts include newspaper and journal articles, photographs, correspondence, government reports and recordings from the time. The exhibit went online in September 2013 and received the 2014 Allan Bérubé Prize for “outstanding work in public or community-based LGBT and/or queer history.”

The crime received little attention from police, elected officials and news media.  The only national TV news coverage at the time was these video clips from CBS and NBC:

Louisiana playwright and composer Wayne Self spent five years weaving together the stories of the UpStairs Lounge fire victims and survivors. The result was the dramatic musical "Upstairs," which has been performed in various cities in Louisiana, New York and California after opening in New Orleans and Los Angeles in June 2013. He says his work takes the form “of tribute, of memorial, even of hagiography.”

The musical "Upstairs" brings back to life people such as MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell, who managed to escape the fire, but ran back into the burning building to save his boyfriend, Louis Broussard. Both men died in the fire. Their bodies were found clinging to one another in the ashes. In the musical, Mitchell sings a song called “I’ll Always Return”:
…Modern age,
Life to wage.
To get ahead, must turn the page.
I can't promise I'll never leave,
But I'll always,
I'll always return….

“I’ll Always Return” is one of five songs from the musical that are available online as workshop selection at http://upstairsmusical.bandcamp.com/.

Self raised funds so that Mitchell’s son and the son’s wife and could travel from Alabama to attend the play. Many victims of the UpStairs Lounge fire were survived by children who are still alive today.

The musical also explores the unsettled and unsettling question of who set the fire. Rodger Dale Nunez, a hustler and UpStairs Lounge customer, was arrested for the crime, but escaped and was never sentenced. He was thrown out of the UpStairs Lounge shortly before the fire for starting a fight with a fellow hustler. He committed suicide a year later. Self says that other theories arose to blame the KKK and the police, but he implicates Nunez -- with room for doubt -- in the musical.

A gay man may have lit the fire, but the real culprit is still society’s homophobia that set the fuse inside him. Hatred for LGBT people was also responsible for the high death toll in another way. The fire was especially deadly because the windows were covered with iron bars and boards so nobody could see who was inside. But they also prevented many people from getting outside in an emergency.

The UpStairs Lounge is recreated with haunting detail in Skylar Fein’s 90-piece art installation. He builds an environment with artifacts, photos, video, and a reproduction of the bar’s swinging-door entrance, evoking memories of how the place looked before and after the fire. “Remember the UpStairs Lounge” debuted in New Orleans in 2008 and was shown in New York in 2010. In January 2013 the New Orleans Museum of Art announced that it had acquired the installation. Fein donated it to the museum, saying that he did not want to dismantle the work or profit from its sale. He discusses the fire and shows objects from his installation in this video.

The victims of the UpStairs Lounge fire are part of LGBT history now, along with the queer martyrs who were burned at the stake for sodomy in medieval times. Their history is told in my previous post Ash Wednesday: Queer martyrs rise from the ashes.

The UpStairs Lounge fire gives new meaning to the Upper Room where Jesus and his disciples shared a Last Supper. It was also the place where they hid after his crucifixion, but the locked doors did not prevent the risen Christ from joining them and empowering them with the Holy Spirit.

The shared journey of LGBT people includes much loss -- from hate crimes, suicide, AIDS, and government persecution. But the LGBT community has also found ways to keep going. Reginald, one of the survivors of the UpStairs Lounge fire, expresses this strength in the song "Carry On" from the "Upstairs" musical:
I can speak.
I can teach.
I can give of the compassion I've received.
I can build.
I can sing!
I can honor all the loves,
That have passed away from me,
By sharing all the good that they have ever shown to me.
I can live my life.
I can carry on.
Carry on.
Carry on!

New Orleans film maker Royd Anderson's “The UpStairs Lounge Fire” documentary lasts 27 minutes (longer than the fire itself) and includes interviews with an eyewitness, a son who lost his father, a rookie firefighter called to the scene, author Johnny Townsend, and artist Skylar Fein, whose art exhibit about the tragedy gained national prominence. Here is a video trailer for the documentary.

The value of remembering the UpStairs Lounge fire was summed up by Lynn Jordan in the LGBT Religious Archives online exhibit that he co-curated. Jordan, founding member of MCC San Francisco, visited New Orleans shortly before and after the fire. In his introduction to the UpStairs exhibit, he explains:

“I left New Orleans with the promise to each of the 32 who would become immortal, that I would remember their sacrifice and carry them with me in all that would unfold in my life. The research and documentation that is an integral part of this Upstairs exhibit is “my” living into completion the promise to these “32 martyrs of the flames” that they “would not” be forgotten.

For those who would say that this event was so yesterday, i.e., we have achieved so many advances in our civil rights and in our acceptance for this to happen again, I would remind them that hate and intolerance are not constrained to finding shelter in any one moment, any one location in our “queer” history. To focus only on how far our LGBTQI communities may have progressed in 40 years; to fail to remember the sacrifice of all the lives lost or shattered in this journey; to lapse into complacency about our personal security: places us at risk of reviving the tragedy of our past in the present.”
Related links:

UpStairs Lounge online exhibit (LGBT Religious Archives)

The Horror Upstairs (Time.com - June 21, 2013)

UpStairs Lounge arson attack (Wikipedia)

The Tragedy of the UpStairs Lounge (Jimani.com - website of the bar now at the same location)

32 Died, and I Wrote a Musical About It: Why I Did It and Would Do It Again by Wayne Self (HuffingtonPost)

NOMA acquires evocative major artwork by Skylar Fein: 'Remember the Upstairs Lounge' (nola.com)

‘Upstairs Inferno’ Recounts The Gay Mass Murder You Didn’t Know About (2015 interview with Robert Camina)

Poem: “Faggots We May Be” by S. Alan Fann

This post is part of the GLBT Saints series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. Saints, martyrs, mystics, prophets, witnesses, heroes, holy people, humanitarians, deities and religious figures of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and queer people and our allies are covered on appropriate dates throughout the year.

Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

Молитва Радужному Христу (Rainbow Christ Prayer in Russian)

Радужный Христос, Ты объединяешь все краски мира. Радуги служат мостами между различными сферами: небом и землей, востоком и западом, квиром и не-квиром. Вдохновляй нас помнить ценности, выраженные в радужном флаге лесбиянок, геев, бисексуалов, трансгендеров и квир сообщества.

Красный цвет символизирует жизнь, источник духа. Живущий и любящий себя Христос, Ты есть наш Источник. Освободи нас от стыда и даруй нам благодать разумной гордости, чтоб мы могли следовать нашему собственному внутреннему свету. Красной полоской радуги мы благодарим Бога за то, что он сотворил нас такими, какие мы есть.

Оранжевый цвет символизирует сексуальность, огонь духа. Эротический Христос, Ты есть наш Огонь, Слово, ставшее плотью. Освободи нас от эксплуатации и даруй нам благодать взаимных отношений. Оранжевой полоской радуги разожги в нас огонь страсти.

Желтый цвет символизирует самоуважение, стержень духа. Открывшийся Христос, Ты есть наш Стержень. Освободи нас от наших чуланов тайн и дай нам мужество и благодать открыться. Желтой полоской радуги укрепи нашу веру.

Зеленый цвет символизирует любовь, сердце духа. Преодолевший невозможные запреты Христос, Ты есть наше Сердце, нарушающее правила из любви. Преследуемый в мире в непорочности, Ты прикасаешься к больным и ешь вместе с отверженными. Освободи нас от подчинения и даруй нам благодать несоответствия нормам. Зеленой полоской радуги наполни наши сердца неукротимым состраданием ко всем живым существам.

Синий цвет символизирует самовыражение, голос духа. Освободитель Христос, Ты есть наш Голос, выступающий против всех форм угнетения. Освободи нас от апатии и даруй благодать активизма. Синий полоской радуги побуждай нас призывать к справедливости.

Фиолетовый цвет символизирует проницательность, мудрость духа. Объединяющий Христос, Ты есть наша Мудрость, создавшая и поддерживающая вселенную. Освободи нас от изоляции и даруй нам благодать взаимозависимости. Фиолетовой полоской радуги объедини нас с другими и всем творением.

Радуга объединяет спектр цветов творить свет, венец универсального сознания. Разнородный и всеохватывающий Христос, Ты есть наш Венец, человеческий и божественный. Освободи нас от жестких категорий и даруй благодать переплетающихся идентичностей. Радугой веди нас за пределы черно-белого мышления к опыту всего спектра жизни.

Радужный Христос, Ты освещаешь мир. Ты создаешь радугу как обещание поддержки всей жизни на земле. В радужном пространстве мы можем видеть все скрытые связи между сексуальностями, гендерами и расами. Подобно радуге, сделай возможным, чтоб мы объединили все цвета мира. Аминь.

Rainbow Christ Prayer: Перевод Елены Преображенской (Москва, Россия) и братства Cкорбященской Пустыни (Оксфорд, Мичиган).


Библия и гомосексуальность, Мэтью Вайнс (Matthew Vines)

В Великобритании вышел художественный альбом, где Иисус изображен геем (Gay.ru)

http://www.jesusinlove.blogspot.com/Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

Gebet zum Christus des Regenbogens (Rainbow Christ Prayer in German)

Regenbogen-Christus, du verkörperst alle Farben dieser Welt. Regenbögen sind Brücken zwischen den verschiedenen Welten: Himmel und Erde, Ost und West, Queer und Nicht-queer. Begeistere uns, damit wir uns an die Werte zu erinnern, die in der Regenbogenfahne der lesbisch, schwulen, bisexuellen, transgender und queeren Gemeinschaft zum Ausdruck kommen.

Rot steht für Liebe, die Wurzel des Geistes. Lebender Christus, der du sagst, dass wir uns selber lieben dürfen, du bist unsere Wurzel. Befreie uns von Scham und schenke uns die Gnade eines gesunden Stolzes, so dass wir unserem eigenen, inneren Licht folgen können. Mit dem roten Streifen im Regenbogen danken wir, dass uns Gott genauso erschaffen hat, wie wir sind.

Orange steht für Sexualität, das Feuer des Geistes. Erotischer Christus, du bist unser Feuer, das Wort das Fleisch geworden ist. Befreie uns von Ausbeutung und gib uns die Gnade gleichberechtigter Beziehungen. Mit dem orangen Streifen des Regenbogens entzünde ein Feuer der Leidenschaft in uns.

Gelb steht für Selbstachtung, das Zentrum des Geistes. Offen lebender Christus, du bist unser Zentrum, Befreie uns aus den Gefängnissen der Heimlichkeit, und schenke uns den Mut und die Gnade, unser Coming out zu haben. Mit dem gelben Streifen des Regenbogens baue unser Selbstvertrauen auf.

Grün steht für die Liebe, das Herz des Geistes. Gesetze übertretender Christus, du bist unser Herz, das die Regeln der Liebe sprengt. In einer Welt die besessen ist mit Reinheit, berührst du die Kranken und isst mit den Ausgestoßen. Befreie uns von der Eintönigkeit und schenke uns die Gnade des Widerstandes. Mit dem grünen Streifen des Regenbogens erfülle unsere Herzen mit ungezähmten Mitgefühl für alles Sein.

Blau steht für Selbst-darstellung, die Stimme des Geistes. Befreiender Christus, du bist unsere Stimme, die gegen alle Formen der Unterdrückung spricht. Befreie uns von Müdigkeit und schenke uns die Gnade des aktiv seins. Mit dem blauen Streifen des Regenbogens motiviere uns, nach Gerechtigkeit zu rufen.

Violett steht für die Vision, die Weisheit des Geistes. Christus, der du mit allem verbunden bist, du bist unsere Weisheit, du schaffst und erhältst das Universum. Befreie uns von Isolation und schenke uns die Gnade der Abhängigkeit von einander. Mit dem violetten Streifen des Regenbogens verbinde uns mit anderen und mit der der ganzen Schöpfung.

Regenbogenfarben kommen zusammen und ergeben ein Licht, die Krone des universellen Bewusstseins. Vermischter und alles umfassender Christus, du bist unsere Krone, menschlich und göttlich. Befreie uns von starren Kategorien und schenke und die Gnade von Identitäten, die miteinander verwoben sind. Mit dem Regenbogen führe uns über das Schwarz-weiß Denken hinaus und lass uns das ganze Spektrum des Lebens erfahren.

Regenbogen-Christus, du erhellst die Welt. Du machst Regenbögen als Versprechen, alles Leben auf Erden zu unterstützen. Im Regenbogen-Raum können wir all die verborgenen Beziehungen von Sexualitäten, Geschlechter und Rassen sehen. Wie der Regenbogen mögen auch wir alle Farben in der der Welt verkörpern. Amen.

Rainbow Christ Prayer: Übersetzt von Axel Schwaigert, MCC Gemeinde Stuttgart.


Die Homo-Debatte: Die Bibel und Homosexualität (Matthew Vines)

Der schwule Jesus (Queer.de)

http://www.jesusinlove.blogspot.com/Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

Thursday, June 23, 2016

“I first saw the rainbow flag in a church” posted by Believe Out Loud

I first saw the rainbow flag of LGBTQ Pride in a church.

It was 1985, back when same-sex marriage was so taboo that pollsters didn’t even ask about it.

At last I was free to be fully myself, both lesbian and Christian, on my first day at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco.

Click here to read the whole story in a new reflection that I wrote for Believe Out Loud, a group promoting LGBTQ equality in the church.