a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

This project respresent the dichotomy of self within the LGBTQ community where one must struggle with being true to self as well as be devout within their religion. Six of the world religions were selected, excerpts argued to prove the ‘evil’ of homosexuality, below these exceprts are poems telling the story of a man or woman struggling to live their life. The seventh panel reveals the dichotomy within the religion it self in commanding love and acceptance.


EXPERTISE: Typography, Print Design, Creative Writing

*Photographed in the Rebecca Bryant Art Gallery

Poems as they appear on each panel

We shrink for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys. Fear ye the Merciful, O peoples of the world! Commit not that which if forbidden you in Our Holy Tablet, and be not of those who love distractedly in the wilderness of their desires.
Kitab-i-Aqdas, Paragraph 107

Shrink from these emotions.
Commit not what is forbidden.
For 65 years I’ve been on house arrest,
as the Great Baha’u’llah
yet his mind was free.
And I sit within,
forced to shrink.
From that which is innate in me.
From that which is forbidden.
Because of a text
written by our founder,
who was enlightened by God.
To instruct the world that
we come from one,
as different leaves from the same tree.
Yet I am forbidden
to that which is innate inside of me.
Living this caged life,
a lonely dichotomy.

O Kaam [Lust], you lead mortals to hell, you make them wander through many reincarnations. You cheat the mind and pervade the three worlds. You destroy meditation, penance and virtue. You give fleeting pleasure, you make mortals weak and you afflict both the highest and the lowest of people.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p.1358rl

To them, I am dead.
Hit by a bus, skewered on the streets.
That is what they tell the family.
Yet I am alive, forced to
live outside my home,
to dine on separate dishes, stored
in a cabinet separate from the rest.
Treated as a leper by my own family,
I yearned to spite them,
to remove my turban and
cut my hair.To release
myself from this burden, a
dichotomy forced upon me by
the elders who are supposed to teach.
But I will hold, for I know Waheguru
is greater than this
fallacy of man, this
bastardization of religion;
all for the hateful destruction
Of that which I represent
and not what I believe.

If a stri [adult woman] was found having sexual relations with a kanya [unmarried girl], for instance, her head should be shaved immediately or two of her fingers should be cut off, and should be made to ride on a donkey.
Manusmriti Ll

Krishna! I cannot do this,
not anymore! No longer
am I going to endure this solitude,
the wretched loneliness,
this sneaking out around
as a rat, running from these eyes
that bear into my soul
calling me a liar
because I love her as they arrange for me
to marry him…
NO! This dichotomy between
love and religion shall not
reside in me! I have choice
I must be free, I refuse
to be handled as a leaf in
the wind moving as directed.
Mindless. Until I wilt within
and accept this direction…
NO! You won’t dictate my path,
it is for me to choose, save
your words for these mindless
children, but I go
to worship my Lord Krishna,
and love her because
I choose.

Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people… she was of those who remained [with the evildoers]. And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.
Surah 7:83-84

They surrounded him,
Members of our mosk
Punching, kicking, and spitting
Launching tires, tables and garbage
At this one man
Who entered for prayer Who entered for guidance
Exhausted he attempts to run
They pour gasoline on him
Red-orange flames burst forth
Licking at his body
Charring his clothes
His skin cracking and bubbling
His wails filling the air
As the inferno incinerates his lungs
Silence. He was my life partner
And I did nothing I prayed to Allah, who promised
to keep us, Believers, to
Accept us, Believers
Yet we are attacked by our own
Congregation, and I still live
Loving that which hates me
Living a life of dichotomy.

For women to rub against each other in the position of sexual intercourse is forbidden… it is fitting for the court to administer lashes for this transgression.
Even HaEzer 20:2

I pray and pray to
Yaweh, my God for
respite from these disires
that I’m instructed to resist.
But God,
my knees are bloody,
my hands surely ache,
my voice is parched,
and I’ve been praying for
15 years, 7 months, 3 days and 6 hours,
and yet this feeling won’t 
go away…
I’ve married a man without love
to bear children with no happiness to
divorce with all urgency
to Be alone
to resist…
Because my love is not God’s love,
which is forbidden by the
Book I’ve vowed to study to
show me the light at the end of this
tunnel of solitude and monotony
in a world of dichotomy.

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:13

I wanted to kill myself today,
not a result of a substance inclination or lack of medication,
but because of Pastor’s Sermon on Sunday.

I simply desired to slash the evil away,
to commence the decimation of
my eternal infatuation.
So, I tried to kill myself today.

A conduit of Satan each time I lay,
a devilish representation 
of my failing generation;
or so said Pastor’s Sermon on Sunday.

To witness them nodding to every word he’d say,
in agreement with this message of damnation 
with little hope for salvation.
Alone in the world, I almost killed myself today.

I’m unnatural; I chose to be this way.
The greatest abomination 
to the sanctified congregation,
that was Pastor’s Sermon on Sunday.

Strangled by this dichotomy of religion or gay,
when he said I am not of God’s creation due to my sexual orientation
I should’ve killed myself today,
because of Pastor’s Sermon on Sunday.

The universe is the outpouring of the majesty of God, the auspicious one, radiant love. Every face you see belongs to Him. He is present in everyone without exception.
Yajur Veda

He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. indeed ye do it toward all the brethren…
1 Thessalonians 4:8-10

Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straightness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to others).
Qu’ran 3:134

…the Kitáb-i-Aqdas reiterates those eternal truths enunciated by all the Divine Messengers: the unity of God, love of one’s neighbour, and the moral purpose of earthly life.
Kitáb-i-Aqdas: Introduction

The God-conscious being is always unstained, like the sun, which gives its comfort and warmth to all. The God-conscious being looks upon all alike, like the wind, which blows equally upon the king and the poor beggar.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib p. 272