Saturday, October 31, 2015

LGBTQ saints and martyrs added at Jesus in Love

Altar Cross of LGBTQ Martyrs from Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco

Eight new profiles have been added to the LGBTQ Saints page at in preparation for All Saints Day on Nov. 1.

They include both traditional saints and alternative figures not recognized by the institutional church.

In addition the website was updated with 14 new articles in the Queer Christ series, six new entries in the Artists series, five holidays added to the LGBT calendar, and nine new  Spanish translations.

LGBT Saints page
With these new saints, the LGBT Saints series has grown to more than 70 profiles.  Along with official saints, there are martyrs, mystics, prophets, witnesses, heroes, holy people, humanitarians, deities and religious figures of special interest to LGBTQ people and our allies.

Here is a list of new saints who are welcomed to the LGBT Saints page today.

Traditional Christian

Malachy of Armagh

Blessed John of La Verna: Kissed by Jesus

Madre Juana de la Cruz: Transgender saint of 16th-century Spain?

Malachy of Armagh: Same-sex soulmate to Bernard of Clairvaux

Uganda Martyrs raise questions on homosexuality, religion and LGBT rights

New and alternative

Radclyffe Hall
Jeremy Bentham: Homosexuality of Jesus explored by 18th-century philosopher

Malcolm Boyd: Pioneering gay Episcopal priest

Radclyffe Hall: Queer Christian themes mark banned book "Well of Loneliness"

Alan Turing: Codebreaker honored in queer spiritual art

Queer and LGBT saints are important because people are searching for alternative ways to lead loving lives. Churches have tried to control people by burying queer history. The LGBTQ saints show us not only their place in history, but also our own place -- because we are all saints who are meant to embody love. We can tap into the energy of our ancestors in faith. For some they become friends, helpers and miracle-workers. I created the LGBT Saints page to give people an easy way to find the spiritual resources that they seek. For more info, see my essay Why we need LGBT saints.

This article is illustrated with the Altar Cross of LGBTQ Martyrs. It was constructed by a congregant at Metropolitan Community Church of San Franscico for All Saints Day (All Hallows) worship services there. The cross features newspaper photos of Matthew Shepard and Harvey Milk. In the center of the cross is the fence where Shepard was tortured and murdered in Laramie, Wyoming.  He died on 10/12/88.

Other LGBTQ martyr named on the cross are:
Brian Wilmes – Hate Crimes Slaying 09/08/99 in San Francisco
Lawrence King – Hate Crimes Murder 02/12/08 in Oxnard, Ca.
Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill – Murdered 12-04-95 in Medford, Oregon
Harvey Milk – Assassinated - 11/27/78
Tyra Hunter – Medical Care Denied – 08/07/95 in Washington D.C.
Gwen Araujo – Hate Crimes Murder – 10/03/02 in Newark, Calif.
Thank you to Lynn Jordan for the photo and information about the Altar Cross of LGBTQ Martyrs.

Let us be inspired by the LGBT saints who surround us as a “great cloud of witnesses.”  May we commit ourselves to our own queer spiritual journeys.
Related links:

Why we need LGBT saints by Kittredge Cherry

An All Hallows' Eve Vigil to Begin Transgender Awareness Month by H. Adam Ackley (Huff Post)

A queer theology of sainthood emerges (99 Brattle blog of Episcopal Divinity School)

Feminism leads to a queer theology of sainthood (Feminism and Religion Blog)

Who are the "Queer Saints and Martyrs"? by Terence Weldon (Queering the Church)

LGBT-friendly memorial for All Saints, All Souls and Day of the Dead

LGBT litany of the saints: Harvey Milk, pray for us; Joan of Arc, pray for us... by Rachel Waltz

A Litany of All the Saints by James Kiefer

Sanctity And Male Desire: A Gay Reading Of Saints by Donald Boisvert

Passionate Holiness: Marginalized Christian Devotions for Distinctive People by Dennis O’Neill

Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

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