“God is gay” was a spoken slam poem by 20-year-old University of North Carolina drama student Elliot Darrow. It was performed during the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational finals. Elliot Darrow identifies as a straight, male Christian despite the fact that he does not currently attend church due to the time constraints of college life.
Most of Darrow’s poetry portfolio is made up of social issues, but “God is gay” was one of his first pieces that directly addressed his faith. Darrow started wondering if God were gay about a year and a half before writing “God is gay”. Though he doesn’t believe that God is a sexual being, his goal was to show that even God could have human traits such as sexuality.
When starting the piece, Darrow studied the bible to see how the church should view homosexuality. He wanted to break out of the idea that God hates gays and instead show that God loves all. Darrow challenges conventional views using bible passages in his poetry.
I chose to include this piece in our archive because it gives a fresh and interesting view on homosexuality. Many Christians view homosexuality as being wrong, so it is refreshing to see someone challenge that. Darrow directly opposes the view of most Christians, specifically when he suggests that Mary is a lesbian and Jesus’s two fathers could have been gay.
One thing that we discussed in class and read about was the straight mind. I feel that this poem essentially “calls out” how the church lives in a straight mindset and believes that anybody who is not that way is doing life wrong.
“What if I told you God is gay? Do you think belligerent bible-belters would still holler hate speech to the hilltops in His name?” When Darrow says this, he’s implying that the church is so straight-minded that even if God was gay, they might still condemn homosexuality.
“And although it has been accepted in recent years that there is no such thing as nature, that everything is culture, there remains within that culture a core of nature which resists examination, a relationship excluded from the social in the analysis — a relationship whose characteristic is ineluctability in culture, as well as in nature, and which is the heterosexual relationship.” This is a quote from The Straight Mind and blatantly displays the idea and logic behind the straight mind. Those that possess the straight mind believe that heterosexuality is the “natural” way to go, but Darrow is challenging that.
In “God is gay”, Darrow poses interesting points such as the fact that the Garden of Eden seems to have been designed by a queer and that God created the rainbow, the symbol of the queer community.
Darrow quotes two important bible verses in his poem: “Judge too and you shall be judged” (Matthew 7:1) and “Condemn not and you shall not be condemned” (Luke 6:37). These both show what Darrow believes to be God’s true message. He then contrasts these verses with a quote by the head of the Westboro Bapstist church, “You’re going to Hell. God hates fags.”