the bible is getting an lgbt remake

Poet Robert Whitehead is making the world's most famous book a lot more inclusive.

by i-D Staff and Hannah Ongley
02 March 2016, 5:25pm

Nearly anything can be used as a weapon in the wrong hands, and the Bible is filled with plenty of ammo to use on things incongruous with its most strict interpretation. Hence Brooklyn poet and translator Robert Whitehead's plans to give the hugely influential text a radical, queer-friendly makeover. "The Queer Bible is my reclamation, through translation, of the queer mythic potential of Biblical stories," he wrote on Kickstarter. "I want to make an inclusive, celebratory space within the text that undoes the implicit sexism, misogyny, heterosexism, hierarchical oppression, slut-shaming, etc. and reconstitutes the feminine, the queer, the outcast, the strange.

Whitehead stresses that the Bible is a "remarkable text" and that his project is not "an argument against one religion or another." He is working rather "in the poetry, the language, the narrative technique, the myth, and the mystery of the Bible to determine how it can work in the context of queer theory, progressive politics, and contemporary poetry aesthetic." Nor will he change the meaning of the text, simply show it in a queer and magical way.

So why now? As Whitehead hits home, the Bible is still frequently used as a tool of queer oppression. He cites Kim Davis' opposition to same-sex marriage licenses, Omaha's use of Biblical teachings as arguments against sexual education, and Portland's desire to ban transgender students from campuses — and this is only in the United States. 

The Queer Bible is already proving far more popular than those musty tomes found in hotel bedside tables. After Kickstarting his project just a few days ago, Whitehead has already passed his funding goal of $2,000 with 27 days to go. It's $250 for the actual manuscript, though the other prizes — including tote bags and "The Bible Is a Queer Text" T-shirts — are pretty awesome and slated to arrive just in time for Christmas. And the video's splicing together of queer sex scenes with sensual verse readings is really a gift in itself. 


Text Hannah Ongley 
Image via Kickstarter

The Bible
robert whitehead
lgbt bible