For whatever reason, the news media opted not to cover this momentous event. Instead, they talked, talked, talked about earthquakes in Hawai’i or the unending bad news from Iraq. Clearly their priorities remain skewed.
One item that caught my attention in the news feed, though, was
Being raised Catholic, I learned to call upon the saints. Indeed, I am still asking Guadalupe to assist me (and, boy, do I need the help!). Yet, I also came about as a child of Vatican II. You remember Vatican II – When the Church briefly tried to curb some of its excesses. Yeah, that didn’t last long.
In 1969 the Catholic Church actually announced a decision to reduce the number of saints by hundreds because they could not be “historically verified.” Among this list of de-canonized included the quite popular Saint Christopher and Saint Jude (Of course, the truly faithful might see the fact that the patron saint of lost causes losing his status as apropos). In my childhood, therefore, becoming a saint seemed near impossible (though I still had aspirations) and no new saints seemed on the horizon.
The Catholic Church sort of forgot about all of that, though. Since Pope John Paul II, the Church just can’t canonize people fast enough. Benedict XVI continues this trend, but just makes it feel even more evil somehow (being a pope who also happens to have been a member of the Hitler Youth and all). Being a saint these days seems as easy as getting supersized at McDonald’s. Shoot –- I volunteered once at a youth counseling office – Be sure to put me up for canonization after I am dead.
It does make me wonder, though, why should the pope be the one to make these decisions? Who died and elected him pope? Oh – Right – John Paul II and the evil-ass College of Cardinals. Well, fuck the Cardinals – There’s only 190 of them anyway.
I think it’s time that we queer folk start canonizing our own saints. Don’t we deserve figures who we can call on for supernatural intercession during moments of crisis? I think so.
Here are my suggestions for getting us started. Just like the Catholic Church, we need evidence of at least two miracles or martyrdom to qualify for queer sainthood. I am not, however, digging up their corpses to check for decay. That’s just nasty.
Saint Paul of Lynde, Patron Saint of Queenie Bitchdom
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Have you seen Bewitched? He could fly, disappear, and make things out of thin air!
He also made Hollywood Squares watchable, a miracle if ever there was one. I mean, it was tic-tac-toe, people.
Veneration: To call for Paul Lynde’s intercession, the faithful must make five bitchy, but insightful, comments to their guests within a one hour period.
For serious assistance, some of the truly devout have used their face as an ashtray – much as Lynde did with annoying fan-boys who bugged him on the dance floor.
Saint Judith Butler, Patron Saint of Gender
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Destabilized biological concepts of gender; defended queer studies to the point of martyrdom; many suggest that her dense theoretical writings are similar to speaking in tongues.
Veneration: Renounce biological determinism, but recognize that you are a product of cultural power and discourses beyond your control. Dress in drag in order to call attention to how gender is all a culturally-defined performance. Or just wear sensible shoes.
Saint Andy Warhol, Patron Saint of the Avant-Garde
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Prompted Americans to reconsider their cultural values -- for two seconds (MIRACLE!); Survived gun-shot wound to the chest inflicted by S.C.U.M. leader; managed to get laid looking like Andy Warhol.
Veneration: Fill your cabinets with Campbell’s Tomato Soup, but do so with irony. Paint all of your rooms in primary colors. Hang four photos of yourself in sequence.
Saint Liberace, Patron Saint of Closet Cases
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Miraculously, Judy Garland’s purse fell out of his mouth every time he spoke, but nobody seemed to know that he was gay. In a wind storm, his hair would never move an inch.
Veneration: Attach glitter and rhinestones to every item that you own – Seriously, devotees own a Bedazzler ©. Wear many pastels. Buy a candelabra.
Saint Kelly of Charlie’s Angels, Patron Saint of Clothes and Hair
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: She single handedly could flip full grown men over her head without ever having a hair out of place or makeup smudged; she could run at a full sprint in six-inch heels; and she survived two separate gun-shot wounds – to her head!
Martyred by staying on Charlie’s Angels longer than Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, or Tayna Roberts
Veneration: Learn judo; drive a Mustang; shop consistently; wear very tight shoes.
Saint Tennessee of Williams, Patron Saint of Mixology
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Wrote award-winning plays about men tortured by their queer sexuality, yet he seemed to enjoy his own queer life and sexuality with abandon. Indeed, proper iconography of Saint Tennessee should always include a martini glass and cigarette – Optional iconography can show him attached ass-to-penis to Frank Merlo.
Martyrdom: Victim of gay-bashing in 1979.
Veneration: Wear lots of tweed and herringbone sport jackets. Grow a moustache. Drink to excess.
Prepare a small altar and provide a well mixed cocktail for the saint. Be aware, though, that Saint Tennessee will only respond to prayers if his cocktail has top-shelf liquor. This queer saint don’t drink no turpitine.
Saint Montgomery, Patron Saint of Male Beauty
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: His stunning male beauty could stop traffic (literally!). He was physically perfect and exuded beauty. Made being an army guy, priest, and southerner sexy!
Oh, and I guess he could act or something. Whatever.
Martyred by driving his car off a cliff while venerating Saint Tennessee. Losing his astounding beauty, he somehow kept on living – I was never really sure what the point of that was.
Veneration: Post pictures of him everywhere; Contemplate if the left side of his face or the right side of his face is more perfect; ignore rumors of his unfortunate moniker.
Saint GayProf, Queen of Heaven and Earth
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Could deflect bullets with his bracelets; force a liar to tell the truth, make a hawk a dove. Oh, wait, that’s Wonder Woman. Damn! Let me try again.
Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Can suck the joy out of any situation with his astounding gravitas; GayProf is the last person left on earth who still honors UFW boycotts.
Martyred by being banished to Texas, the land of the accursed.
Veneration: Just send cash, checks, or money orders. Make checks payable to GayProf’s Bahama Fund.