Performance artist. Witch Doctor. Cultural engineer.
Michael Dudeck is all of those. And this week, he has come to Regina’s Queer City Cinema Performatorium to talk about, and share, his work–creating a queer religion.
Most queer people have, at best, an ambivalent relationship with traditional religion. Far too many of us were raised in faith systems that made us ashamed of who we were, counselled us to hide what makes us different from the norm. Those who had the good fortune to attend a relatively tolerant church were, at best, the object of our pastor, or our congregation’s, compassion. We were tolerated out of a sense of decency and common humanity.
But when we read sacred texts, or participated in rituals like mass, or celebrated holy festivals like Passover, we never saw ourselves reflected in our religion. There weren’t a lot of stories that talked about the crucial role that our queer forebears had played in the mythology of our church. We were invisible to our God. And as a result, he/she was invisible to us.
For many of us, a by-product of the coming out process was losing our religion. Not like the REM song. Literally breaking from God.