The Temptation of St. Baz (2016)

Inside all of us is a monster. As a young person, my monster was lust for men. It delighted and destroyed me daily. Every time I turned on my computer and looked at two men having sex – looking for the next fetish to get me off – jockstraps to domination roleplay – I felt hideous. Each time I masturbated, I felt more alienated and more ashamed. It was even painful to make eye contact with my mother. I felt I was a nasty creature, and not even Jesus Christ would forgive me - even though, I led an afterschool bible study. 

 

I am exploring what it means to be liberated as a sexual being but also struggling with the acceptance of my gayness. 

 

As I evolved as a gay man, my physical strength and body image became armor, protection from violence mental and physical — Devictimizing myself — But I am still trapped. I am bound by my gay wounded child. I am bound by my one time self-instilled Christian beliefs.

 

Using the religious iconography I was drawn to as a child, I am questioning its effects on the young gay person’s psyche, specifically surveying the compassionate behaviors of these totems in contrast to the oppressive restrictions inflicted upon a gay boy. Creating an environment where suicide was very much a frequent contemplation

 

The relationship with my father paralleled my relationship with God as extended patriarch and sought punishment for bad behavior. Jesus was friend, God was tormentor.

 

The holy trinity (father, son, holy ghost), aureolas, feet washing, angry god, my childhood imaginative renderings of God - a ghost-like shrouded figure reigning terror and doom. The result is the demon becomes the savior. Eventually, my sex saved me.