During my time in a religious school, I was targeted for being different from the mould they had for us.
Relief print on recycled paper
21 x 29.7 cm
C/W: Psychological abuse, trauma.
The crucifixion of Christ is the most recognisable iconography of the Christian religion. By inserting myself into this iconography while wearing nipple tassels and a thong that reads “Nail Me,” I have criticised what we have been told not to question. With this tongue and cheek approach, I wanted to mirror the experience I had in religious education where we were told that Jesus was nailed to the cross and died for our sins as a symbol of salvation, at the expense of queer autonomy.
During my time in a religious school, I was targeted for being different from the mould they had for us. As a child who was coming to terms with their own identity, simply existing in a space where that was considered a sickness made me feel excluded and as if I didn’t belong in this world. During the abuse, the religion teacher would break me down every lesson. He did this by tearing away all my beliefs, my choices and my self worth so that he could build me up again into “a child of God.” I still have nightmares every single night about this even though it happened seven years ago.
Death by crucifixion is when the victim is hung on a cross by nails in their palms and feet, with the victim only living while they are strong enough to hold their body up.The only way to stop that pain is to give in, stop fighting, causing the crucified to asphyxiate and die. If you fight for too long, they break your legs and arms to speed up the process. That is how I felt during the abuse, as everytime I fought back and stood up for myself, it got worse. I am not the same as I was back then, but I continue to fight back to be my truest self.