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Header image by Mieszko Gorski

« Obama's gay problem | Main | First Blog »

October 25, 2007


Huw Richardson

Thanks! I hadn't made the sex-toy/body connexion.

Once I saw the poster IRL, at the street fair, I noticed: Da Vinci's painting is supposed to represent the moment Jesus said, "One of you is about to betray me" and the person, in the Folsom image, that is sitting in the "Judas Seat" is the Drag Queen/Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. The image seems to play up the division between leather and drag - both of which, along with the rest of the fetish community, are traditionally seen as betraying the gay rights movement by those who more easily "blend in" (ie, white, middle class males). This message is furthered by the portrayal of the Jesus figure as a black man - an artistic action usually guaranteed to annoy white Christians.

joe perez

Amen. They should have left the bread and wine alone. And something about the beer company logos detracts from the aesthetic... ;-)


It's the advertising that bothers me most, it seems to cheapen the original image.
With that being said though I certainly believe in freedom of speech and this image is a pretty powerful statement.
In my mind the leather community has tapped into "God helps those who help themselves", She is the great CEO in the sky and doesn't interfere with our
earthly lives so we have to depend on each other to become closer to Her.
Leather is like fire though, it feels half a step away from fascism, having to be kept in check before going out of control and eating up everything in its path.
Seems to me that God wants us to dare her, to push the edges, and not become homogenized into society to repeat the same old, same old. The queer banner has many colors and this one is black.
Great piece of art.

Steve H.

I found the poster extremely moving, and I have a very low tolerance for blasphemy. But I can understand how those who have never experienced queer sexuality as a transcendent experience might well find it offensive, especially those coming to it with well-engrained anti-gay animus.

As for the sex toys, here's a thought. Wine is a material substance that traditionally was used to promote an ecstatic experience (The Bachae) but which, through Christ's sacrifice, became sacramental in a Christian sense. Sex tools are a medium for ecstatic/transcendent experience. Might they, symbolically, become sacramental, too, if we are aiming to approach queer sexuality in a way that elevates it as a spiritual/sexual experience that can take us out of our bodies and help us approach the ecstatic oneness of creation?

Again, this is not going to fly with orthodox (small "o") Christians, but it does seem, to me, to resonate with the deep meaning of Christ's gospel.

Huw Richardson

On the advertising... that's going to happen to any event poster. Far from cheapening, that's what paid for it in the first place.

Maybe the artist will make the image available in another form?


I agree that this art and/or advertisement (however it's framed) is a great discussion piece. I find it useful to reflect on the piece itself and then go deeper and reflect on my reflection. Why do I experience it the way I do? Deeper then: Who is experiencing it?

Steve, loved this:
"Sex tools are a medium for ecstatic/transcendent experience. Might they, symbolically, become sacramental, too, if we are aiming to approach queer sexuality in a way that elevates it as a spiritual/sexual experience that can take us out of our bodies and help us approach the ecstatic oneness of creation?"

As a transman, I periodically find tremendous value in the use of "sex toys." Where do I end and they begin, though? For that matter, where do I and my partner begin/end? Implicit in the idea put forth by the author that sex tools are separate from us is the belief that we are separate from anything. And, while I used to seek blissed out states during which I felt like I was blasted out of my body in "ecstatic union," my perspective now is that it is directly and unequivically THROUGH my body, rather than out of my body, that I experience those states.

Just some thoughts...

Kittredge Cherry

Thanks for your comments, which are all valuable and thought-provoking. You’ve given me a lot to think about, especially regarding sex toys, advertising, and leather vs. drag.

Menachem Wecker of the Iconia blog on art and religion has just posted his interview with me about the Folsom Street Fair poster. He posed some great questions. Here’s an excerpt:

MW: You critique the sex toys as "a step away from the body, like inserting an artificial device between the direct contact of flesh on flesh." But aren't sex toys about celebrating the body? Why is this not making seemingly mundane things holy, as opposed to the opposite?

KC: You’re quoting the line from my essay that has generated the most debate. I’ve been forced to think more about sex toys by the many responses that were posted by various gay, lesbian, bi and trans (GLBT) people….

MW: You question "whether it is ever appropriate to use Christ's image for secular sales. "Aren't you then saying that you have some degree of ownership or copyright on Christ's image? Why can't it be available to everyone, even say the money changers?

KC: … I often say that Christian conservatives don’t own the copyright on Jesus. You raise a valid point. Jesus doesn’t belong exclusively to Christian progressives like myself, either. He doesn’t even belong only to religious people. Jesus is available to everyone, and that was part of his message during his lifetime….

To read the full interview, visit:

You can also find it by clicking on my name below to go to the Jesus in Love blog.

I first encountered Menachem Wecker earlier this year when he contacted me about my book Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More. His book review appears in New York Arts Magazine.

Elisha Valles

this is crap! this is wrong! Jesus wasnt gay! false teaching! I got something for you all
Lev. 18:22,
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"

1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."

romans 10:13. whoever calls upon the name of the Lord,shall be saved.


im not sorry to say,this is sooooo wrong! read more of THE HOLY BIBLE! Jesus still loves you,...repent now,before its too late!


hi elisha. i wish you wouldn't try to justify your own predjudices through scripture. it's an exercise in futility. there are as many interpretations of scripture as there are people who read it seriously. when you judge others, as you do, you are both acting according to and acting against scripture. admonition against judging others is so pervasive in scripture that i could write all day and not get them all. only the Lord Jesus Christ has that authority.

the Word says that any who call on the Lord will be saved. it doesn't get all that precise about what is calling on God, so i don't think you can just insert your thoughts on the subject. if we are to accept the bible as the devinely inspired Word of God, then we can neither add to nor subtract from it.

also, we as christians, are not subject to the laws given to moses. those were fulfilled by Jesus Christ by His own Words. so when you quote from those laws with judgement in your heart you are acting against the Lord, not in His Name.

i believe that God is big enough to accept any and all who call on Him, just as scripture says. by limiting what He will or will not do based on your own personal feelings is in fact a classic form of idolatry.
just a bit of scripture for you to ponder:
colossians 3:8-11, (from the good news version) "but now you must get rid of these things: anger, passion and hateful feelings. no insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with it's habits and have put on the new self. this is the new being which God, it's creator, IS CONSTANTLY RENEWING IN HIS OWN IMAGE, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of Himself. as a result there is no longer any distinction between gentiles and jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves and free, but Christ is in all, Christ is all."

judging homosexuality is judging sin. picking homosexuality as representative of sin is a human choice, not divine. God judges all sin, and we are ALL sinners. the good news is what paul stated previously, we are constantly being renewed, revamped, upgraded and updated and brought closer to an understanding of Him, our creator. we don't know everything and we certainly don't know what in the end will be the final image of God we will become. the overriding message of the bible, and of christianity itself is love. love, tolerance and acceptance. we cannot love our neighbors as ourselves as long as we sit in judgement of them, our earthy judgement doesn't allow for that. we need to do the loving down here and leave the judging to Jesus up there.

much love and hope, pj

Kittredge Cherry

Well put, Penny Jane! Thank you for your thoughtful and well written comment on the misuse of scripture, the dangers of judging, and the vastness of God’s love.


thank you kittredge. just to add a note...a question from the pulpit this morning, "how wide do the doors of a chruch need to be opened for Jesus to walk in?"

much love and hope, pj

sex toys

“The bread and wine representing Christ’s broken body and lifegiving blood are replaced with sadomasochistic sex toys.” In my view, Jesus was God-made-flesh, a total affirmation of the human body, sexuality included. But sex toys seem like a step away from the body, like inserting an artificial device between the direct contact of flesh on flesh.

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