Family Coitus Act at Drag Ball Angers First-year
entered the night of April 6 filled with built-up anticipation for
a fun-filled night that I had heard about numerous times since having
enrolled at Oberlin College this past fall. However, I feel it is
my duty as a concerned student with ties to both the LGBT community
and the religious community not only here at Oberlin but also in
my home city of Atlanta, to comment on a disturbing aspect of Drag
I know that I am not alone in my struggle as a gay Catholic even
though at times, I feel as if I am the only one in the world. This
hyperawareness of these two seemingly mutually conflicting identities
has always been with me, but it has particularly been heightened
while attending Oberlin. What took place on the stage of Wilder
Main at Drag Ball is a travesty! Of which one, I do not in the least
bit find either humorous or tasteful.
One of the acts featured two Oberlin students dressed
up very obviously to look like Joseph and Mary of the New Testament
of the Bible. Very early on in this scene, the baby Jesus was chucked
into the crowd. Gee, I thought to myself, there goes the core of
my faith being tossed out like a piece of garbage. I know I am bold
in saying this, but I cannot help but thinking that this solitary
act echoes to the mass lack of concern for human infants (born and
pre-born) on this campus.
These two actors then preceded to strip off their first century
garb and dance sensuously in what was virtually mock-sex on stage.
Now, I have had many discussion about whether or not Jesus had brothers
and sisters, and I conclude that it is still a very much debated
issue within Christianity. But at least out of respect for the Catholic
tradition which holds that Mary was EVER virgin and that Joseph
was her celibate spouse, these two students did not need to make
this kind of statement that the parents of Jesus engaged in coitus.
I am well aware that many view the history of Christianity as very
patriarchal, but is this really the method that you want to take
to effect change? I can point out very easily a more positive, less
offensive alternative. Just last Thursday, Queers and Allies of
Faith (QUAF) of which I am the Secretary, brought a speaker, Daniel
Helminiak, to campus who eloquently lectured on the topic of what
the Bible really says about homosexuality. Looking through a historical-critical
lens, Mr. Helminiak systematically delved through the various passages
in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament which have been
inaccurately utilized in the subjugation of the LGBT communities.
His methods were very academic and pointed strongly to the conclusion
that nowhere in the Bible is there strong evidence to condemn homosexuality,
but to myself and many others, his talk was also thought-provoking,
life-affirming, and even spiritually uplifting. His lecture left
me with a renewed sense of passion to go back to my Catholic community
and work for change within the system. On the flip side, after seeing
the gross display of a paucity of respect for the Christian communities
on campus at Drag Ball, I left hurt and angered enough to where
I felt that I had to write this letter.