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The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision

Art by Douglas Blanchard

The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision Buy Now from Amazon

Meet Jesus as a young gay man of today in a contemporary city with The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision by Kittredge Cherry (author) and Douglas Blanchard (artist). In stunning new paintings, the modern Christ figure is jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marine look-alikes, and rises again to enjoy homoerotic moments with God. He stands up to priests, bankers, politicians, soldiers, and police—all of whom look eerily similar to the people holding those jobs today. His surprisingly diverse friends join him on a journey from suffering to freedom. If Jesus came back today, would he be crucified all over again? Would we even recognize him? See for yourself in the gay vision of the Passion.

The illustrated book brings together a gifted gay artist and an established lesbian author who specializes in LGBT Christian art. Both are at the forefront of a trend towards envisioning Christ as queer. Douglas Blanchard, a self-proclaimed “very agnostic believer,” used the series to grapple with his own faith struggles as a gay New Yorker who witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Kittredge Cherry, an art historian and minister in Los Angeles, reveals the LGBT significance of the Passion. Each image is accompanied by an essay on its meaning and history, plus a short meditation with a brief Bible passage and a one-line prayer.

Kitt with portrait by Angela Yarber Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard got together with all the Passion paintings at JHS Gallery of Taos, New Mexico in May 2007. (Photo by Audrey Lockwood)

The paintings take the most important narrative in Western culture and rescue it from fundamentalists and also from over-familiarity. The purpose of reflecting on the Passion is not necessarily to worship Christ, but to remember the ongoing cycle of human violence, and to seek a way to move from suffering to freedom. The book breaks the lethal illusion that Jesus belongs exclusively to a particular time or group.

Publisher: Apocryphile Press
Paperback with color images
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
Price: $38.95
Publication date: Fall 2014

Passion book website

Read sample chapters

The 24 paintings in the gay Passion series cover Jesus’ final days, including the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. Click the images to view larger:

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What others are saying

The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision by Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard is transformative in the most profound sense of the word. Reimagining Jesus as a contemporary gay man, these images shock us with their deep familiarity and emotional dissidence forcing us to rethink ingrained ideas about goodness, suffering, fear, loathing and transcendence. Whether you are religious or not, it is impossible to read The Passion of Christ without having your basic beliefs shaken and expanded.”

—Michael Bronski, professor of gender and sexuality at Harvard University and author of A Queer History of the United States

“Author Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard, whose paintings grace this book, knock it out of the ball park. I was deeply moved by this retelling of the Easter story.”

—Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches

“What an amazing read. Together Douglas Blanchard’s paintings and Kittredge Cherry’s text forced me to see Jesus again not frozen in time by a Renaissance sculptor or idolized in gold on a Byzantine icon but as a living, breathing, sensual son of man whom I want to know more intimately not just as ‘Savior and Lord’ but as a close friend and confidant.”

— Rev. Dr. Mel White, founder of Soulforce and author of Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America

“I have come to expect to be moved, challenged and enlightened by the work of Kittredge Cherry and this latest offering has not disappointed. The combination of the contemporary images along with pertinent theological insight is deeply effective and brings to life the Passion not only for the LGBT community but for all people struggling to find themselves in the narrative and make sense of their faith.”

—Rev. Sharon Ferguson, M.A., chief executive of the
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (United Kingdom)

The Passion of Christ is a beautiful work of contextual theology. Cherry and Blanchard respond powerfully to Jesus’ question of ‘Who do you say that I am?’ from a contemporary queer perspective. This marvelous book will speak not only to LGBTIQ Christians, but also to anyone who is passionate about creating a more just world for the marginalized and excluded.”

—Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., theology professor at Episcopal Divinity School and author of From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ

“The ancient story of Jesus acquires new layers of meaning when read through queer eyes. Suffering is more pronounced when depicted in real time. The divine leaps from these pages into open hearts. Few will view this art and read these commentaries without weeping for injustice and committing to love.”

—Mary Hunt, Ph.D., co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

“What a joy it is to hold, read and contemplate a book such as this! For centuries, the Passion of Jesus Christ has been a favorite topic for artists. Douglas Blanchard’s inspired and powerful contemporary reworking of this theme, with its brilliant and touching echoes of so much that is sadly true in our world, shares in this long heritage. Kittredge Cherry’s prayerful commentary on the twenty-four panels helps move us to a place of profound theological reflection. Not only is this a compellingly gay and much-needed re-visioning of the central Christian mystery. It also defiantly reaffirms our common humanity.”

—Donald L. Boisvert, Ph.D., religion professor at Concordia University, priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, and author of Sanctity and Male Desire: A Gay Reading of Saints

“The great theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer once famously noted that each new epoch has sought and found a new Jesus. This is ‘the only way in which it could make Him live.’ Here Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard make Jesus live. For new trials and times, new faces and places, challenging our conceptions, preconceptions, and misconceptions.”

—S. Brent Plate, Ph.D., religion professor at Hamilton College and author of Blasphemy: Art that Offends00

*“The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision gives new meaning to Christ’s Passion, and also new feeling—feelings that connect the story of Christ’s mission, suffering, and new life to our own, not just as LGBT people, but for all thought ‘queer’ by ‘the powers that be.’ Not only did it stretch my spirit, but I also learned much about Christian art, scripture, theology, and history that challenges prevalent church assumptions. This is a great contribution to art about Jesus. Paintings, interpretations, and afterword are all quite profound.”

—Rev. Chris Glaser, author of Coming Out as Sacrament and weekly blogger of Progressive Christian Reflections (

“Peopled with figures recognizable from today’s cityscapes, including protestors, lawmakers, and the nameless abjected, Blanchard’s vivid images highlight the beauty and pain of contemporary LGBT experience. In this world, resurrection is communal, and divine and human loves transgress boundaries. Cherry’s rich, resonant commentary provides fertile resources for reflection, meditation, study and prayer.”

—Susannah Cornwall, Ph.D., advanced research fellow in theology and religion at the University of Exeter, UK, and author of Controversies in Queer Theology

The Passion of Christ is a wonderful book that should have great appeal not only to the LGBTQ community but to all for whom the passion of Christ is spiritually significant. The introductions by Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard provide invaluable background to the history of depictions of the passion. The paintings are provocative and powerful, the reflections that accompany them are sensitive interweavings of scripture and contemporary experience. As a Christian theologian I am deeply grateful for this fine work.”

—Theodore W. Jennings, Ph.D., Bible professor at Chicago Theological Seminary and author of The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New Testament

From the media

“Artist Doug Blanchard’s haunting contemporary paintings of the Passion of Christ are an emotional reminder of the courage it takes to resist the powers that be.”


“Facebook u-turns to allow gay Jesus crucifixion ad”

—Gay Star News

“Far from being outraged, you end up being grateful for this new spiritual experience.”

—Impact Magazine, March 28, 2015

Comments from readers

“Accessible but profound!”

Jean Gralley, Washington DC

“I just wish I had experienced this kind of queer-positive Christianity when I was a teen struggling with both my sexuality and my religion as a whole.”

Matt Leary, Dover, PA

“I can’t go through Holy Week without recalling many of these images. They depict the Holy Week that is in my heart.”

Elisa Lucozzi, Saint Johnsbury, VT

As a heretic Christian turned Buddhist, I was moved to tears by your artistic vision.”

John Gish

“I love these paintings not just for how ‘radical’ they are, but for how much I see them as being absolutely in line with traditional Christian understandings of Christ and of Easter.”

CJ Barker, Marin County, CA

“Disturbing, but ultimately glorious... Radically transforming...”

—from the afterword by Toby Johnson, religion scholar and author of Gay Spirituality