Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Noah’s gay wedding cruise pictured

Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” by Paul Richmond, 2009
Oil on canvas, 24” x 30”

Happy gay and lesbian animal couples mingle with today’s GLBT celebrities in “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” by Ohio artist Paul Richmond.

His gay version of Noah’s ark even has drowning sinners -- opponents of gay rights such as Ann Coulter, Ken Starr, Pat Boone, Fred Phelps, and even Larry Craig with his toilet! Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie come out of the closet to watch from a porthole as a “God hates fags” sign sinks beneath the waves. Elsewhere on the cruise ship, human couples include Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Elton John and David Furnish, and Rosie O’Donnell and Kelli Carpenter. Even the fictional cowboys of “Brokeback Mountain” get another chance at love.

“I chose to symbolize our inevitable victory in the fight for marriage equality by painting my own adaptation of the biblical flood,” Richmond says.

He was moved to create the work after California’s Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage last fall. Demonstrations across the United States in support of marriage equality inspired Richmond to paint a wickedly funny satire on the classic Bible story.

In Genesis 6-9, God commands Noah to gather his family and heterosexual pairs of animals into a boat to rescue them from the global flood sent to destroy human evil and the violence of nature. After the flood, a rainbow appears as a symbol of God’s promise never again to destroy all life on earth.

How appropriate that the rainbow has become a symbol of GLBT pride! Richmond puts a fresh twist on the Biblical epic with his sweeping vision of a gay-positive new world. A rainbow flag flies high on the mast of Noah’s gay cruise ship. “As the clouds begin to part, a heavenly rainbow appears in the sky to remind hopeful voyagers that full legal recognition and acknowledgement of same-sex love is just over the horizon,” Richmond explains.

His vision is artistically beautiful, politically meaningful -- and packed with visual jokes and pop-culture references that are great fun to find.

One of my favorite scenes is Larry Craig clinging to a toilet for dear life (detail below). The former Idaho Senator voted against gay-rights laws… and then got arrested for soliciting gay sex in a men’s restroom.

“Larry Craig was the first part I painted because I just couldn’t wait to throw that toilet at him!” Richmond told me.

The painting also satisfies my longing for GLBT-positive images of animals. Richmond painted wonderful same-sex pairings of cuddling elephants, giraffes, penguins, chimps, and, of course, flamingos. (Another detail below.)

The painting was well received (except by religious conservatives) and was named “the gayest painting of our time” by

Richmond, now 29, came out as gay after graduating from Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. “My work is an exploration of sexuality and identity through narrative painting,” he says. “I draw inspiration from my own experiences as a young gay man from a conservative environment to break down the social constructs that exist around sexual orientation and gender roles. Through colorful, illustrative, and sometimes humorous paintings, I expose the grey areas that become overshadowed by black and white moral codes.”

“Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” is available as a limited-edition giclee print from the artist’s online shop at I bought one for our collection and am delighted with its quality, artistry and message.

P.S. “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise” has been selected for inclusion in this year’s OUTAuction benefiting GLAAD and celebrating their Top 100 Artists of the Year on Nov. 15. The artist says, “I’m so excited to have been chosen, and especially to be able to contribute that particular painting. Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise is getting ready to set sail for it’s last voyage! :)”

Update on Sept. 16, 2011: BW16 of the Objective Queer Bible Scholar blog offers another queer interpretation of the Noah’s Arc story: “This classic Sunday school tale includes a number of LGBT motifs, my favorite being the command from God to Noah to ‘take two of every kind’ on the ark (6:20), presumably this would include couplings of heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and pan-sexuals.” For more info, see BW16’s post “Two of Every Kind” Intercourse Texture in Noah’s Ark.

Larry Craig hangs on to his toilet while other homophobes drown.

Ellen and Portia lead the way as lesbian elephants and gay flamingos snuggle.

Brokeback cowboys, Rosie and Kelli and gay giraffes all have a chance at love under the rainbow flag.

Ann Coulter sinks with a “God hates fags” sign.

The following links may be used to place an order:

12” x 15” giclee prints of “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise”:

16” x 20” giclee prints of “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise”:


Terence said...

Thanks for this - just what we need to compensate for the disappointment in Maine.

Let's remember the successes elsewhere, too: in Washington,in Kalamazoo, and in at least 50 down-ballot legislative elections. Progress is clear, even amidst the high-profile losses.

ArtDyke said...

This is the cutest cleverest little gay painting that I've ever seen. You have to be awfully jaded not to be charmed!

I look at it as a very colorful gay political cartoon as well. Sure beats Doonesbury :-)

AmandaBear said...

Haha, I love it. I'm definitely savin' this one to my computer. =D I really needed a gay-friendly pick-me-up after the big epic fail that was Maine's recent ban on same-sex marriage.

Oh, and btw, Kit: I love love LOVE your Jesus In Love books. I bought them just this year when I first realized that I was a lesbian and I enjoyed them both immensely. You used such beautiful, affectionate imagery when it came to describing God and I was so inspired when I read your life story at the beginning of each novel. I can definitely relate to you falling for the Jesus portrayed in musicals like Godspell and Jesus Christ: Superstar. So...I know that God can't be put into a box at all, but at the moment, your image of Jesus as a bisexual transgendered man is my absolute favorite. <3

I even let one of my good friends borrow your books so she can feel God's comfort amidst her newfound same-sex attractions while having been raised by two very conservative parents. She even goes to Asbury college in Wilmore, Kentucky and that's one of the 200 colleges that won't hesitate to expel a student for being gay.

I thank you every so much for causing the small spark in my soul to grow and take flight during my moment of spiritual desolation. :)
God bless. <3

Judith said...

I don't know which is better Craig w/ his pants still down or Coulter, all washed up. This is great!

Anonymous said...

Loved the little guitar with "Pat Bone" written on it. This is one of THE cutest gay paintings of all time!

Kittredge Cherry said...

I’m glad to hear from others who share my enthusiasm for this painting. And getting insulted by someone who disapproves is also a kind of affirmation -- it means that our message of marriage equality is still timely and needed.

AmandaBear, many thanks for letting me know of the positive impact that my Jesus in Love novels had on you. Like you, I experience moments of spiritual desolation, so I printed out your comment to reread when my soul needs uplifting. I’d love to stay in touch with you. If you’re willing, please email me and let me know how I can connect with you in the future.

AmandaBear said...

You really printed off my comment, Kit? Wow, I must say that I'm flattered. ^^ I think I added you as a friend on Facebook, so you can get in touch with me on there if ya want. My full name is Amanda Brown. =) I never in my wildest dreams would think that I could actually TALK to an author of one of my favorite books. O.O You won't believe how excited this makes me. =D

Hope you have a lovely week, my fellow Sister in Christ. <3

gay cruise said...

Really artistic. I feel you painted all the paintings really beautifully and seems like have the color of real love..

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this picture - It's clever and unique and beautiful. Thank you for showing this to me, and thanks for having this blog in general, it's amazing!!!

maria said...
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Iron Chef Kosher! said...

I realize I'm a day late & a dollar short, but I do need to make one comment. I, too, feel hate towards those who hate GLBT - and Jews and women & all sorts of other disenfranchised groups. Visceral hatred. Yes, I find myself not only wishing they would die, but that I, personally, could pull the trigger. But I would never do it. Not so much that they don't deserve it, but that I don't want to sink to their level. And neither should the painter of this picture. The top half of the painting is lovely - I wish it could have been left like that.

Kittredge Cherry said...

You raise an excellent point, Iron Chef. I loved the "Noah's Wedding Cruise" painting as soon as I saw it, but I also had reservations about the drowning of the conservative “sinners.” It does accurately follow the story of Noah’s Ark, which says God got angry and drowned all the sinners. This has been the all-time most popular image on this blog, and sometimes I wonder if it’s partly because it does fulfill the desire for revenge. (Other reasons are that many people love animals and celebrities.)

In my own mind, I imagine that the conservatives don’t actually drown. Instead the gay and lesbian couples aboard the cruise ship throw out some life preservers and rescue them. Then they get on board and join the party with gratitude.

Kittredge Cherry said...

BW16 of the Objective Queer Bible Scholar blog offers another queer interpretation of the Noah’s Arc story: “This classic Sunday school tale includes a number of LGBT motifs, my favorite being the command from God to Noah to ‘take two of every kind’ on the ark (6:20), presumably this would include couplings of heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and pan-sexuals.” For more info, see BW16’s post “Two of Every Kind” Intercourse Texture in Noah’s Ark.

Panda Rosa said...

It's a lovely picture but there's one problem.
I just notice that with all the gay & lesbian couples on the Ark, esp of the animals, is that it's going to get rather awkward when it's time to "get fruitful and replenish the earth."
I am something of a literalist.