Q Spirit
Q Spirit Newsletter
LGBTQ spirituality
and the arts
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From Kittredge Cherry/ Jesus in Love
February 2020
Madonna of Montevergine:
LGBTQ patron since medieval times
The Madonna of Montevergine has a reputation for helping queer people since medieval times -- including the miraculous rescue of a male couple left to die in Italy in 1256. A new icon shows this miracle. Processions to her shine on Candlemas (Feb. 2) have been called “ancestral gay pride” marches with genderbending femminielli. Italian LGBTQ activists see her as a patron saint. More info

Image credit: Montevergine1256.com
Saint Sebastian: History's first gay icon?
Saint Sebastian has been called history's first gay icon and the patron saint of homosexuals. He was an early Christian martyr. Countless artworks show him as a near-naked young man being shot with arrows. Little is known about his love life, but the sheer sensuality of his imagery makes him popular with gay men. More info

Image credit: Saint Sebastian icon by Regan O'Callaghan
St. Brigid loved her female soulmate
St. Brigid and her soulmate Darlughdach were 6th-century nuns who brought art, education and spirituality to early medieval Ireland. They were so close that they slept in the same bed. Brigid shares her name and feast day with a Celtic goddess. Her followers still keep an eternal flame burning for her.  More info
LGBTQ Christian Cartoon:
We welcome you, but you just can't play
A flock of white sheep refuses to play with a rainbow sheep in a new cartoon about LGBTQ experience in the church by David Hayward, also known as nakedpastor.  More info and cartoons
Apollinaria / Dorotheos: Queer saint crossed gender line to become a monk
Saint Apollinaria or Dorotheos has been called a transgender icon or a cross-dressing saint. Assigned female at birth, Apollinaria adopted the name Dorotheos and entered a monastery as a man in fifth-century Egypt. The story of Apollinaria / Dorotheos is similar to more than a dozen queer saints. More info
New LGBTQ Christian books and gifts
Queer Religiosities: An Introduction to Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion” by Melissa Wilcox.

Medal of Saint Aelred and friend: Patron of LGBTQ people

More info on these and other 2020 LGBTQ Christian books
Apostle Paul:
Did his homosexuality shape Christianity?
Struggle against homosexual desire may have led Paul the Apostle to write about God’s all-inclusive love -- and also a few “clobber passages” used by anti-LGBTQ bigots. Some scholars believe that Paul was a celibate homosexual man trying to reconcile faith and same-sex attraction. This may have been the “thorn in the flesh” that God refused to remove despite his prayers. LGBTQ Christians are justifiably reluctant to claim Paul as a “queer saint.” But his ideas are influential and sometimes liberating. More info
Mary Oliver: Lesbian poet, mystic of nature
Lesbian poet Mary Oliver, winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, is a mystic of nature who became an LGBTQ saint by popular acclaim. She died one year ago on Jan. 17, 2019, at age 83. Her poetry expresses intimacy with nature and compassion for humanity, with some subtle references to Christianity and queer sexuality. More info
Holocaust: We all wear the triangle
International Holocaust Remembrance Day honors the victims of the Nazi era, including LGBTQ people. Nazis used the pink triangle as a badge to identify gay prisoners in concentration camps. Later it became a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ rights movement. Nazis imposed the black triangle on those sent to concentration camps for being “anti-social,” including lesbians.  More info
Lesbian nun "kicked the habit"
to become an activist
Jeanne Cordova was a pioneering lesbian feminist activist and ex-nun who revealed her lesbian life in the convent. She died on Jan. 10, 2016 at age 67. Many have written about her as an activist, writer and publisher. Q Spirit focuses on her experiences with the church and how they shaped her into an effective activist for LGBTQ rights. More info
Aelred: Gay saint of friendship
Saint Aelred is one of the most lovable saints, the patron saint of friendship and also, some say, gay. He was the abbott of a Cistercian abbey in 12th-century England. "There can be little question that Aelred was gay and that his erotic attraction to men was a dominant force in his life," wrote Yale historian John Boswell. More info
David Kato: Ugandan LGBTQ martyr
David Kato, Ugandan LGBTQ rights activist, helped launch Uganda's LGBTQ rights movement. He was beaten to death in 2011 in a case that some blame on anti-gay religious rhetoric. More info
Jeanne Manford: PFLAG founder who loved her gay son
Jeanne Manford, founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), died on Jan. 8, 2013, at age 92. Her support for her gay son led her to start PFLAG in 1973. It has grown to 350 chapters with 200,000 members. More info
Thanks to donors in Dec-Jan!
Give now to support LGBTQ spirituality through Q Spirit and Kittredge Cherry.

A warm thank-you to everybody who donated to the Year-End, Christmas and December offerings!
Dear

Let’s give thanks for the life of Nare Mphela, a South African trans activist who was found murdered in a possible hate crime on Jan. 10, 2020. She was 28.

As Saint Valentine's Day approaches, I remember that readers like you are the heart of my blog and newsletter. Thank you.

Blessings,
Kittredge Cherry
Kittredge Cherry
Founder, publisher and editor
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Religious Icons contemporary and traditional, fine art prints and original artwork for sale by artist/priest Regan O’Callaghan.

Regan is also available for art and icon commissions. 

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I am fascinated by Mason’s ability to weave together biblical historical stories with modern concepts of sexuality and gender. — Reader. Gender-fluid characters act on their passions. The story is lifesaving and liberating. Adelaide Books (New York/Lisbon).
By Kittredge Cherry
with art by Douglas Blanchard
Reflect on Jesus as a gay man in a modern city
"Accessible but profound"           
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Q Spirit and Jesus in Love promote spirituality with LGBTQ history, art and books. Founded by Kittredge Cherry, they foster religious and artistic freedom by teaching love for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.