Sunday, December 18, 2011

Queer Nativity 3: No room at the manger for LGBT people

“Nativity Bouncer” by Jon Trouten

Exclusion of LGBT people by the church is critiqued in “Nativity Bouncer” by Jon Trouten. His photo is the newest installment in the LGBT Nativity series at the Jesus in Love Blog.

A variety of queer manger scenes are being posted here before Christmas to reimagine the Holy Family in liberating, loving new ways.

Jon Trouten writes Jon’s Blog ( and lives in Iowa with his husband and their two sons. His 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.

Trouten assembled his queer manger scene in his own bedroom using cut-out photos and a classic Nativity set. Then he took a photo of his creation to share with the world through the LGBT Nativity project at the Jesus in Love Blog.

Click here to view the whole 2011 Queer Nativity series.

Click the following headlines to see other images in the Queer Nativity series:

Queer Nativity 1: Manger scene as gay adoption party

“Blaine and Patrick's Adoption Party 1” by Baub Alred

The image highlights the radical nature of Christ’s birth in two ways -- by presenting his parents as an inter-racial couple as well as a same-sex couple.


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

Some of the shepherds in Bethlehem on the first Christmas must have felt same-sex attractions... An outdoor light-up Nativity scene.


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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