Proud Jesus blessed people at the Manchester Pride Parade. Photo by Ruthie Sarah Johns (used with permission).
Jesus wore a rainbow sash to bless onlookers as he marched in the LGBT Pride Parade in Manchester, England recently.
The larger-than-life queer Christ puppet was created to express God's love for LGBT people Proud Jesus also appeared this summer at Liverpool Pride, where he made a big impression on gay artist Tony O’Connell.
“I was delighted to see Jesus at Pride this year,” O’Connell said. “Every year a group of aggressive fundamentalists come to stand at the side, heavily guarded by police and raising the expensive policing bill. Usually the march slows down and a deep booing and jeering can be heard. This year the march slowed and we could see this Jesus stop, bless them and blow them kisses. It was the highlight of the day.”
The proud Jesus, measuring 12 feet tall, was created by Liberty Church, an inclusive church that celebrates the diversity of LGBT people in Blackpool, England. He won the award for "best community entry" in the parade. A church news release explains more:
“Where would Jesus be if he was on Earth? Liberty Church in Blackpool believes he would be at Gay Pride dancing, waving and laughing his way through our cities as he embraces the gay community. So that’s exactly what they created with a 4 metre high Jesus this year.
He was inspired by a gay man that Nina Parker from Liberty Church met during Pride 2011. He questioned how it was possible to be gay and Christian when he had experienced such hurtful homophobia from Christians. Nina realised that if Jesus walked our streets today he would be found at Pride, that he was always with people on the edges of society, and usually at the party. So, Big Jesus was created as a symbol of God’s desire, to communicate with, and love the LGBT communities.”
Proud Jesus at Manchester Pride 2013 (MCC Manchester News)
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This post is part of the Queer Christ series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series gathers together visions of the queer Christ as presented by artists, writers, theologians and others. More queer Christ images are compiled in my book Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More.
Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
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