Sexy Jesus III: High Holidays

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As predicted by me, #HotJesus Diogo Morgado has been blowing up since last month’s Son of God. Everybody and their mom is talking about Morgado, how good he looks and why it matters. And that’s cool, but I’ve moved on—to real-life hot Jesuses. More accessible than the Portuguese superstar, these shirtless studs are the Jesuses next door. Because apparently, dressing up like Jesus for organized events is a thing.

Take, for example, San Francisco’s Hunky Jesus contest. “Every Easter Sunday,” writes the Huffington Post, “the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the city’s beloved sect of cross-dressing nuns, host a Hunky Jesus competition in Dolores Park celebrating people who take the look of ‘our lord and savior’ and transform it into ‘our lord and sexy.’” Who are these Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, you ask? They’re a “leading-edge order of queer nuns,” beautiful drag queens who dress up in elaborate costumes to educate the public and raise money for queer causes. Lest you think the Hunky Jesus pageant a little too blasphemous, take the event in the spirit in which it’s intended—as a break from the “bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit,” according to the Sisters, many of whom have been disowned by their families because of religion.

Although the Dolores Park pageant is decidedly queer, it springs from religious traditions. Worshippers in Catholic countries celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week) in part by donning masks and conical hats (which bear an unsettling resemblance to another group’s attire for many Americans) while parading down the streets in solemn “penance processions.” The Sisters also dress in baroque, church-inspired costumes, but exalt joy rather than guilt and shame. For all we know, the Sisters’ unorthodox hosannas would please Jesus, whose sexuality was by no means cut-and-dried. Some maintain Jesus was celibate, while others obsess over his relationship with Mary Magdalene; but at least one chaplain believes Jesus may have been gay.

In about a month as Holy Week festivities come to a close, people around the world will watch a variety of crucifixions, such as the one in Trafalgar Square. In the case of Jesus, after death comes rebirth, and after Lent comes celebration. As it happens, this year the Christian high holiday falls on April 20, known in some circles as “4/20”—a day to celebrate marijuana. This coincidence has made for a few interesting hashtags, such as #BlazeItandPraiseIt. I for one hope you enjoy all your Easter festivities—whether they be egg hunts, church services, pageants, ganja, all or none of the above. As long as you’re following the golden rule, Jesuses of all hotness levels should approve.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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