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The Temptation of St. Baz (2016)

In my work, The Temptation of St. Baz, I delve into the intricate intersection of sexual liberation and the struggle against internalized homophobia.


As my identity as a gay man developed, I observed how physical strength and body image evolved into forms of armor, mechanisms of self-protection against both mental and physical harm. In this process, I began to remove myself from the role of the victim. However, the sensation of confinement remains, tethered as I am to the trauma of my past as a wounded gay child and to the once self-imposed Christian doctrines that held sway over my belief system.


Using religious iconography that resonated with me during childhood, I am probing its impact on the psychology of a young gay individual. In particular, I examine the dichotomy between the empathetic behaviors exhibited by these religious figures and the oppressive limitations imposed upon a gay child, cultivating an environment where suicidal thoughts became an all-too-frequent visitor.


My relationship with my father mirrored my relationship with God, the latter being an overarching patriarch meting out retribution for perceived transgressions. The figure of Jesus emerged as a friend, while God took on the role of a tormentor.


Elements such as the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), aureolas, feet washing, a wrathful God, and my childhood's imaginative portrayals of God as a phantom-like entity shrouded in terror and doom, all feature prominently in this exploration. The outcome of this intricate interplay of themes is a paradigm shift, where the demon evolves into the savior. Ultimately, it was through my sexuality that I found salvation.

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