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A Brooklyn Poet Wants Your Help Rewriting The Bible — Minus The Perceived Homophobia

by Rob Smith March 09, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.58.12 PM

If you really want to get around to reading the Bible, but all that pesky homophobic language is in the way, a man just took to Kickstarter to create a more gay-friendly version.

Brooklyn-based translator and poet Robert Whitehead is taking on the project he christens The Queer Bible, and we’ll let him tell you all about it in his own words:

The Queer Bible is my reclamation, through translation, of the queer mythic potential of Biblical stories. I want to make an inclusive, celebratory space within the text that undoes the implicit sexism, misogyny, heterosexism, hierarchical oppression, slut-shaming, etc. and reconstitutes the feminine, the queer, the outcast, the strange.

He claims that he’s writing The Queer Bible to take a stand against the homophobia that is so often exercised under the guise of “religious freedom”:

Unfortunately, the Bible has been misused by religious, political, or cultural leaders and institutions to negatively influence the lives of queer people. Recently in the US, a county clerk in Kentucky started a national conversation when she refused marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Biblical grounds. In Omaha, NE, religious affiliation and Biblical teachings are being used as arguments to keep young people from receiving comprehensive sexual education that includes information on gender identity and sexual orientation. A religious university in Portland, OR, wants to ban transgender students from their campus and is using the Bible to back it up.

And, he hopes that the whole thing is empowering for LGBT people:

I see the radical act of this project as having the potential to assert the power of queerness against the brutal conservative, literalist reading of this religious text. I see this project as telling my own story and the story of countless queers who have been told they are wrong because it is written in the Bible. I see this project as using Biblical idiom as the material for representation of a queer mythic and psychological existence. It is a project of queer liberation, queer representation, and queer celebration.

Check out the video below. It looks like this is something that will actually happen, since the Kickstarter surpassed its initial $2k goal with 20 more days to go. Here’s to gaying up Genesis…we suppose.




Rob Smith
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