Saturday, March 16, 2013

Station 14: Jesus in tomb / LGBT youth suicides

Jesus is laid in his tomb as LGBT youths commit suicide in Station 14 from “Stations of the Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality” by Mary Button, courtesy of Believe Out Loud

2010: A string of high profile suicides of gay teenagers makes national news, sparking debate on the high rates of suicide among LGBT youth and the culture of bullying that exists in many American schools. Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller found the It Gets Better Project.

Mini-commentary by Kittredge Cherry:

LGBT people who were driven to suicide watch as Jesus is laid in his tomb. Jesus is not separate from humanity, but with us even in death. These queer martyrs join the “great cloud of witnesses” who surround us and encourage us to run the race ahead (Hebrews 12:1).

Names of LGBT youth who killed themselves include Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Cody J. Barker, Harrison Chase Brown, Caleb Nolt; Billy Lucas, Jeanine Blanchette, and Chantal Dube.

LGBT Stations of the Cross come together like a patchwork quilt in this image from Believe Out Loud

The LGBT Stations of the Cross ends here -- but only temporarily! After Easter artist Mary Button plans to paint Station 15 showing the resurrection. “I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule DOMA unconstitutional and I'll be able to create a Resurrection piece about the ruling!” she told the Jesus in Love Blog.

“Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality” is a new set of 14 paintings that link the crucifixion of Jesus with the history of LGBT people.

Artist Mary Button painted the LGBT Stations series for Believe Out Loud, an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBT equality. The entire series is available now for free download from Believe Out Loud's Flickr site.

Here is a complete list of Button’s LGBT Stations of the Cross with mini-commentaries by Kittredge Cherry, lesbian Christian author and art historian. Click the titles below to view individual paintings and text.

Introduction to the LGBT Stations of the Cross

Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death
1913: The word "faggot" first appears in print

Station 2: Jesus carries his cross
1924: America's first homosexual rights group forms

Station 3: Jesus falls the first time
1933: Nazis ban homosexual groups

Station 4: Jesus meets his mother
1945: LGBT prisoners are kept in concentration camps after Allied liberation

Station 5: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
1950: LGBT people fired from US government during Lavender Scare

Station 6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
1954: Gay computer scientist Alan Turing commits suicide

Station 7: Jesus falls the second time
1967: LGBT people protest police raid on Black Cat gay bar

Station 8: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
1969: Stonewall Rebellion

Station 9: Jesus falls the third time
1978: Gay politician Harvey Milk assassinated

Station 10: Jesus is stripped of his garments
1981: First official report on AIDS

Station 11: Crucifixion
1992: NARTH founded to promote ex-gay conversion therapy

Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross
1998: Transgender woman Rita Hester murdered

Station 13: Jesus is taken down from the cross
2004: Same-sex marriage banned in 15 states

Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb
2010: Suicides by LGBT youth make news

LGBT Stations: Click to see whole series in order

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