Friday, December 16, 2011

Queer Nativity 2: Adam and Steve, the gay shepherd couple

“Adam and Steve, the Gay Shepherd Couple” by Archbishop Mark Shirilau

Adam and Steve, the gay shepherd couple, are part of an outdoor manger scene at the home of Mark Shirilau. Now they are also part of the LGBT Nativity series at the Jesus in Love Blog.

A variety of queer manger scenes will be posted here between now and Christmas to reimagine the Holy Family in liberating, loving new ways.

Archbishop Mark Shirilau is the founder of the Ecumenical Catholic Church. He reports that the gay shepherd couple in his photo have been part of his family’s Nativity set since before he even knew what a gay couple was. Over the years he gained an extra shepherd and a gay consciousness. The results are reflected in his Christmas lawn ornaments.

The three-foot-high lighted plastic Nativity statues were common in the 1960s, but over the years they have become rare and weathered, giving them a more solemn quality. Their inner light now comes from state-of-the-art energy-efficient bulbs. In Shirilau’s photo, the grotto-like natural setting enhances the sense of mystery. Joseph’s face is completely hidden, allowing the viewer to consider the divine parentage of the baby Jesus and even imagine the possibility that Jesus had two mothers.

Some of the shepherds in Bethlehem on the first Christmas must have felt same-sex attractions. The identical shepherds in Shirilau’s photo really do look like a gay couple. Can we say “Castro clones”?

Click here to view the whole 2011 Queer Nativity series.

To share your queer Nativity scene on the Jesus in Love Blog, please email JPEG images to info@jesusinlove. Click here for details.

For more about the lesbian and gay Nativity scenes, see our previous posts:

Gay and lesbian nativity scenes show love makes a family
(My reflection on how and why I started doing queer manger scenes)

Conservatives attack our lesbian and gay Nativity scenes

Video: Gay and lesbian manger scenes show love makes a family

Gay and lesbian Nativity cards

Keep coming back for more queer Nativity scenes now through Christmas at the Jesus in Love Blog !
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