In the Great Transing of Corona, isolation allowed so many a reprieve from performing gender that many – the artist included – reevaluated their very identities.
Revisiting their childhood in the Catholic Church, the artist queers three prayers – the Our Father, Hail Holy Queen, and Prayer to the Holy Spirit for Unbelievers – into a Holy Trinity far more recognizable among the LGBTQIA+ community – that of the Found Family, the Lapsed Daughter, and the Holy Self.
The Father of Catholicism, then, is transmuted into the Found Family, a being sacred for its abundance of home and safety. The Son birthed by the Immaculate Conception becomes the Lapsed Daughter, the spirit of queer resistance birthed by Incalculable Endurance. The Holy Spirit, traditionally residing in the hearts of believers, is transmogrified into the Holy Self – gender euphoria incarnate.
Unwelcome in more traditional communities, be they the church or the nuclear unit, queer family is sacred, and we worship in our chosen ways, among our own chosen people.
About the Artist
Texas-born Afro-Latinx performance artist, dancer, and Pushcart-nominated poet Arielle Cottingham was an internationally touring whirlwind before Covid-19. With an Australian Poetry Slam Championship under their belt, they merge elements of dance and physical theater with written poetry to create multidisciplinary short works they toured through the US, Australia, and Southeast Asia, from the mamaks of Kuala Lumpur to the Sydney Opera House. Their work has been published in Stellium, BOOTH, Pressure Gauge Press, and elsewhere, and their chapbook Black and Ropy was published by Pitt Street Poetry. They are currently pining for falafel at their desk in Berlin.
© Arielle Cottingham