Kittredge Cherry, age 4, (right) and her friend play with manger scene in Iowa City, 1962
I dug out an old photo of me as a child playing around with a Nativity scene for the LGBT Nativity project at the Jesus in Love Blog.
A series of queer manger scenes are being posted here before Christmas to reimagine the Holy Family in liberating, loving new ways.
We girls look like little cherubs as we add elephants and other animals to the Nativity set. I was a lesbian-to-be putting yellow and green elephants atop the stable above the angel. I’ve been playing around with manger scenes for a lifetime! We also added hippos, lions, frogs, ducks and even skunks. How queer! Who would have guessed that this childhood game would lead to the Queer Nativity project at the Jesus in Love Blog about 50 years later?!
Note: I played with the cast of characters, but baby Jesus is still at the center.
I hunted through old photo albums for this picture after artist Andrew Craig Williams sent me some queer Nativity photos that he purposely “aged” to make them look like they were taken in the 50s or 60s. He wanted to show that gay Nativity scenes are nothing new.
I still have some of these same rubber animal erasers that were in the old photo. I want to add them to my current Nativity scene and shoot some new photos!
As you can tell, I’ve always loved the animals at the manger scene. I also imagined it in a scene from my novel “Jesus in Love.” It is reprinted in my previous post Animals make peace at Christmas.
Click here to view the whole 2011 Queer Nativity series.
Click the following headlines to see other images in the Queer Nativity series:
Queer Nativity 1: Manger scene as gay adoption party
“Blaine and Patrick's Adoption Party 1” by Baub Alred
The image highlights the radical nature of Christ’s birth in two ways -- by presenting his parents as an inter-racial couple as well as a same-sex couple.
“Adam and Steve, the Gay Shepherd Couple” by Archbishop Mark Shirilau
Some of the shepherds in Bethlehem on the first Christmas must have felt same-sex attractions... An outdoor light-up Nativity scene.
Queer Nativity 3: No room at the manger for LGBT people
“Nativity Bouncer” by Jon Trouten
There was no room at the inn for the Holy Family, and there is no room in many churches today for LGBT people who want to get closer to Jesus.
LGBTQ Nativity 4: Queer Magi visit Mary, Josephine and Jesus
“Queer Nativity” by Marie-Louise Thurton
Three queer Magi bring gifts to Mary, Josephine and baby Jesus in a Nativity scene sculpted by Marie-Louise Thurton. Instead of the traditional three kings, her Magi are a drag king, a drag nun and a LGBTQ-rights activist.
Queer Nativity 5: Matthew and Joseph are pregnant
“Matthew and Joseph are Pregnant” by Andrew Craig Williams
Christmas is about a miraculous pregnancy: a baby born to a virgin. If God can do that, then why not make a man pregnant? Andrew Craig Williams envisions a man carrying the Christ child in his womb.
Queer Nativity 6: A lesbian look at the virgin birth
“We Were All Set to Go with the Artificial Insemination Option” by Madpriest and Kittredge Cherry
A humorous lesbian look at the virgin birth is presented in a fun picture of two Madonnas
For more about the lesbian and gay Nativity scenes, see our previous posts:
Gay and lesbian nativity scenes show love makes a family
(My reflection on how and why I started doing queer manger scenes)
Conservatives attack our lesbian and gay Nativity scenes
Video: Gay and lesbian manger scenes show love makes a family
Gay and lesbian Nativity cards
Keep coming back for more queer Nativity scenes now through Christmas at the Jesus in Love Blog !