Why I wrote "Jesus was a Fag"
Hello. My name is Jaimie. I live in East Van. I’m formerly religious, and presently queer, and I wrote a song about it. The Vancouver Observer very graciously offered me a chance to write a response to the blog post about Jesus Was a Fag, and I would love to do just that.
I’ll start with a confession: I have, actually, no opinion one way or the other concerning the sexual leanings of Jesus. As I mentioned, I’m formerly religious, so at the risk of pressing more buttons than I assume my song will have already pressed, I admit that I’m not sure I believe Jesus, as we know him, even existed at all.
But I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who do believe, because I used to be one of them, and that those who teach his word teach, primarily, the emphasis he put on love. So the reason I present the idea that he was gay is to express a belief, or more of a hope I guess, that I do strongly hold: that it wouldn’t really matter if he were.
If there was a God, and that God created Jesus, both human and holy, to act as a link between himself and humanity, I strongly hope that he would accept those parts of Jesus that were human, that he himself created, just as I hope he would accept the parts that are human in all of us.
Also, if we want to practice what we preach, and model ourselves after the higher powers we believe in, I believe that we should acknowledge that an all-powerful God wouldn’t default to other sources when faced with a problem concerning the people he loved. No, that notion would be ridiculous.
Just as ridiculous, I feel, as the number of times I’ve been told, “It’s not my decision, it’s God’s decision,” no matter how desperately I plead for the personal opinion of the person I’m talking to.
Let’s be honest. The bible is a very complicated book. The number of conflicting Christian denominations proves this, and proves, I feel, that no matter what your opinion is, you could probably argue that it’s God’s opinion, too, and there would be text to support it.
Morris’ statement, in his article, about the controversy surrounding the notion of any kind of human urges in Jesus, be they homo or hetero, I feel relates to this notion as well. I can understand why we want to hold Jesus up as a God, why we want to leave him untarnished; it cements our reasoning for defaulting our decisions to him, we being lowly, and corruptible, and capable of being wrong.
But there is a danger in not owning our own beliefs, and in being sure that we’re imperfect, because it allows us to do terribly imperfect things, on behalf of an untarnishable savior. Like those who threatened the actors of Corpus Christi, for example; I assume if you asked them, that their justification would be sound, and biblical.
I feel that if everyone was forced to admit, “I have a problem with homosexuality not because of any rules or higher power, but because it personally makes me uncomfortable about mine, and other peoples' bodies,” then the conversation regarding homosexuality would be monumentally different.
I’m 24 years old, and I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 21, (23 if you count coming out to my family, and then my mother). That is not to say that I wasn’t queer before that, just that I hadn’t admitted it to them. I hadn’t admitted it to myself, for that matter, because until I lost the religion I was raised with, I believed whole-heartedly that my homosexual thoughts were simply the influence of an un-Godly world, and that they were wrong, and that I could overcome them.
The hardest part of my story is that I know for a fact that it’s not unique, not in the least, and I find that fact tragic.
Which brings us back to the song: I wrote Jesus Was a Fag over a year and a half ago. It’s one of a collection of songs that I’m currently recording onto my very first album, and because it showcases an intimate conversation between my mother and I, I called her a few days ago, because I wanted to be considerate, and tell her that it existed, before I recorded, then released it.
The conversation didn’t go well.
Which is to say that, upon hanging up I had the overwhelming impression that my very existence, as genuinely myself, was outright offensive.
So I, being only human, figured that if I was unacceptable anyway, there was nothing I could do about it but accept that fact, and exist, and I put the song on the internet.
I’ll mention here that I agree with Morris when he dislikes my use of the word “Fag.” I don’t like the word, either. But more so I dislike the notion that keeping ourselves to ourselves, in order not to offend, is acceptable, when one portion of the population still decides the rights of the other portion. Not wanting to offend keeps us from honest expression, which keeps us from finding each other, which allows people to not come out until they’re older, and sometimes married, and sometimes never, and allows others to never have to think about what they don’t want to think about.
I don’t like being offensive, but it’s far, far better than the alternative, and since I posted the video I’ve received an overwhelming display of support and affection.
And that makes me feel strong, and brave, and absolutely acceptable, and above all, loved.