Friday, December 23, 2011

Queer Nativity 6: A lesbian look at the virgin birth

“We Were All Set to Go with the Artificial Insemination Option” by Madpriest and Kittredge Cherry

A humorous lesbian look at the virgin birth is presented in a fun picture of two Madonnas by Madpriest and Kittredge Cherry as part of the LGBT Nativity series here at the Jesus in Love Blog.

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

What did the lesbian Madonna say to the dog in the gingerbread house? “We were all set to go with the artificial insemination option. But then Mary popped into a praise service at one of those charismatic churches.”

Madpriest (also known as Jonathan Hagger) is a Church of England priest who blogs at Of Course, I Could Be Wrong (revjph.blogspot.com/). He added this witty text in a balloon to my photo of two Marys in my “Love Makes a Holy Family” series. His words highlight the power of God to work miracles in the lives of those who pray and praise.

I put Mary with Mary and Joseph with Joseph -- like putting two brides or two grooms on top of a wedding cake! Obviously this is not about historical accuracy, but I believe that they are true to the spirit of the Christmas story in the Bible: God’s child conceived in an extraordinary way and born into disreputable circumstances. Love makes a family -- including the Holy Family. Everyone should be able to see themselves in the Christmas story. My original image is posted below.

The connection between lesbians and virgin birth has been addressed seriously by other artists. For example, the Madonna and her female lover are portrayed by a real lesbian couple, seven months’ pregnant through artificial insemination in “Annunciation” from the famous “Ecce Homo” series by Swedish photographer Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin. Two lesbian mothers cuddle the Christ child in “Madonna, Lover and Son,” an oil painting by Atlanta artist Becki Jayne Harrelson.

Lesbians can relate to the story of Mary’s virgin birth because they use artificial insemination to have babies without heterosexual sex. Pro-woman views of the virgin birth go back at least as far as the famous 1851 speech by abolitionist Sojourner Truth who had been born into slavery. “Where did your Christ come from?” Truth asked. “From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.”

“Lesbian Nativity Scene with Dog” (Love Makes a Holy Family series) by Kittredge Cherry

Click here to view the whole 2011 Queer Nativity series.

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

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“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.

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

“Nativity Bouncer” by Jon Trouten

There was no room at the inn for the Holy Family, and there is no room in many churches today for LGBT people who want to get closer to Jesus.
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LGBTQ Nativity 4: Queer Magi visit Mary, Josephine and Jesus

“Queer Nativity” by Marie-Louise Thurton

Three queer Magi bring gifts to Mary, Josephine and baby Jesus in a Nativity scene sculpted by Marie-Louise Thurton. Instead of the traditional three kings, her Magi are a drag king, a drag nun and a LGBTQ-rights activist.
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Queer Nativity 5: Matthew and Joseph are pregnant

“Matthew and Joseph are Pregnant” by Andrew Craig Williams

Christmas is about a miraculous pregnancy: a baby born to a virgin. If God can do that, then why not make a man pregnant? Andrew Craig Williams envisions a man carrying the Christ child in his womb.
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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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