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Every 10th Jesus Is a Queer
Maker: Eric Handel
Date Made: Circa 1990
Place Made: North America: United States; California, Los Angeles
Measurements: 88 cm x 59 cm; 34 3/4 in x 23 1/4 in
Main Subject: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ); Art and Culture
Materials: paper (fiber product)
Every 10th Jesus Is A Queer
Acquisition Number: 1995-053
Under copyright; used by CSPG for educational and research purposes only. Distribution or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Based on: Sainte Famille (The Holy Family) William-Adolphe Bouguereau Oil on canvas, 1863 France With the 1948 release of his ground-breaking study on sexuality, Alfred Kinsey shocked the world with his findings that ten percent of men in the U.S. were homosexual. Although later studies have shown a wide range of alternative estimates, Kinsey's initial calculation has become commonly accepted in society and even embraced by many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as evident by groups such as the The Ten Percent Society, a North Dakota gay rights organization, and Ten Percent, a San Francisco magazine. By incorporating this statistic into Bouguereau’s traditional religious portrait, Handel challenges the understanding of Christian views on homosexuality. Bouguereau’s idyllic depiction of the affectionate infants Jesus and John the Baptist in the loving embrace of the Virgin Mary evoke Christ's and Mary's love and compassion for all humanity, including the ten percent who may be gay or lesbian. The peacefulness of the scene emphasizes the stark contrast between the great benevolence and love expressed by Christ in the Bible and the hatred and violence directed towards the LGBT community that some attempt to justify with Christian ideology.