It’s time to welcome the queer saints. Many believe that saints and other souls will visit this weekend for Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). LGBT saints are important because people are searching for alternative ways to lead loving lives.
Churches have tried to control people by burying queer history. The LGBT saints show us not only THEIR place in history, but also OUR place — because we are all saints who are meant to embody love. We can tap into the energy of our ancestors in faith. For some they become friends and helpers, working miracles as simple as a reminding us that “you are not alone.”
At first I thought that LGBT saints were rare. Gradually I came to see that they are everywhere throughout all time and they are among us now. We have all met saints in our lives. They are ordinary people who are also extraordinary.
Calling someone a “queer saint” is a liberating act in two ways: The most obvious one is that revealing the hidden queer sexual orientation or gender identity of traditional saints liberates people from sex-negative, oppressive church dogmas. In addition, revealing the “saintliness” of LGBT people ignored by the church liberates people from the tyranny of the sacred/secular dichotomy. Phrases like “queer saint” make a nice shorthand for headlines — neatly challenging the assumption that sainthood and LGBTQ identity are mutually exclusive.