For the first time the San Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence held their annual Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary competition online opening it up to any hunky Jesus look-a-like the world over the SFGate reports.
With Californians living under strict shelter-in-place orders the city’s iconic event moved from its usual Dolores Park to online platform, Twitch. The 2020 event also served as a fundraiser for the SF Queer Nightlife Fund a collective of local nightlife organisers, venue owners and non-profit community leaders providing financial aid to LGBTIQ workers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Queer nightlife is a renowned and integral aspect of San Francisco Bay Area culture,” wrote Race Bannon, a pioneering spokesperson for the leather community who is on the steering committee for the fund and helped moderate the livestream. “The people who produce and staff local queer nightlife have been financially devastated by the venue closures resulting from the coronavirus crisis. The Bay Area is known worldwide as a centre for amazing queer nightlife. Let’s keep that nightlife alive by lending a helping hand to those who need our help in these trying times.”
Hunky Jesus contestants were voted on via the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Instagram account where people were asked to either like or comment on their hunky Jesus.
“Our Easter in the Park has already become part of the San Francisco culture, and every year we get visitors from all over the country. Having the contest open to everyone gives us the opportunity to connect with folks that can’t be here in person this year but would love to join the fun,” Sister Tilda told the Chronicle.
Winners will be announced later this week. Contestants included a Mohawk Jesus, who created his own short film for the project, as well as a “Jesusville” Jesus inspired by Justin Timberlake’s iconic recurring “Saturday Night Live” sketch. A Skunky Jesus posed with (what else?) marijuana nugs strategically positioned in his armpit, and a “Jesus of Jerusalem” now living in Emeryville described his childhood growing up surrounded “by mountains, the Holy Spirit and hot boys” until he moved to San Francisco and was “baptized in queerness.”
A crowd favorite may have been “Quarantined with my In-Laws Jesus.” The contestant from New Jersey said that a quick weekend trip to visit his spouse’s parents in New Hampshire turned out to be longer than he expected.
“Jesus spent three days before he rose. QWMIL Jesus has been stuck here for three weeks,” he wrote in his submission, which also included a video of himself dancing in the living room with the aforementioned in-laws and even stealing some wine.
SFGate reports as of Saturday, the SF Queer Nightlife Fund had raised over $122,000, with the majority of contributions coming from 1,168 individual donors. Their goal is to raise $200,000 — roughly a thousand dollars for each grant applicant to use toward food, medical and other lifeline necessities.
By the end of Sunday’s Hunky Jesus competition, the Sisters raised over $10,000 for the fund, contributing an additional $20,000 to the recipients of their 2020 Easter Grant cycle.
“We can’t be in the park right now, but we are here,” Sister Roma said as the event came to a close. “I would like to send a huge heartfelt thank you to the organizers — the work that you’re doing is compassionate and truly exemplifies San Francisco values. I can’t wait to see you all in person and give you a great big hug.”
Check out some of the contestants below: