A play in Glasgow, Scotland, has sparked an angry protest by local Christians. Jesus Queen of Heaven depicts Jesus as a transsexual woman and is part of the Glasgay! Festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered culture.
The festival, which runs through November 8, features plays, music, dance, comedy, and many other events and has drawn artists from around the world. The annual festival has been held since 1993, attracts more than 20,000 visitors, and receives partial funding from national and municipal arts councils.
While gay arts festivals and the inevitable protests against them are nothing new, Jesus Queen of Heaven has drawn special ire. The play, written and performed by leading transgendered artist Jo Clifford, looks at her personal path to faith as a transgendered person.
The description of the play begins, “Jesus is a transsexual woman. And it is now she walks the earth. This is a play with music that presents her sayings, her miracles, and her testimony. And she does not condemn the gays or the queers or the trans women or the trans men, and no, not the straight women nor the straight men neither. Because she is the Daughter of God, most certainly, and almost as certainly the son also. And God’s child condemns nobody. She can only love…”
About 300 Christians, on the other hand, felt differently. They held a candlelight vigil outside the Tron Theatre last night, holding signs protesting the use of public funds for the festival and Clifford’s depiction of Jesus. One read “God: My Son Is Not A Pervert.” It is not clear if the sign was written by the protester or was a direct quote from the Almighty.
If November sounds like a bad time to go to Scotland, there’s always Pride Scotia in June, a ten-day national LGBT event that culminates in a massive parade in Edinburgh. If you really want make sure you’ll be partying in the sun, head south to Madrid, where the Orgullo (“Pride”) festival is held in the toasty months of late June and early July.