Art for God’s Sake


Many polytheists have an identity or a ‘theme’ for their personal cultus, some are devoted to a particular god/s, others include sexuality and gender, some use politics. My main focus is art, all art, I quite literally worship art. It serves as the foundation for everything I do and is an expression of my relationship with the gods. It does not matter if I’m making art, writing about art, enjoying art or criticising art, everything is devoted to it as a language between my gods. Thus I see all art as sacred, regardless of if I think it is trash or if it is offensive to me, I will never attempt to censor, destroy or limit art.

This is not a view shared by many today, even within my own community of polytheists and Dionysians. It is a trend, long running now, to not only censor, but destroy art, to limit artists and their possibilities.

At The House of Vines Sannion has been discussing this, first a comment from G&R where they have linked Neo-Folk “and other artistic movements” to the “New Right” and then an article on the ban of traditional Black Faced Morris dancers in England reported by The Wild Hunt. The latter critique from Sannion reminded me of something I read last week with the trans community being upset at a Cis-gay actor Matt Bomer playing a transgender role. The discussion being furthered by including the history of straight actors playing trans, and calls that only gays should play gay roles too.

I have long been a supporter of the trans community, I am usually included or categorised into the LGBT community. I am damn proud of the inclusiveness that T in that abbreviation, but I draw the line here. This is limiting art, this is destroying art. BOTH WAYS. A good actor regardless of sex should be able to play a character regardless of sex. This means a male should be able to play a woman or trans, a woman should be able to play a man or trans, a trans should be able to play a man or a woman or trans.

My god wears woman’s clothes and over his dress he dons armour, he pins his hair in female fashion and sports a beard. He is a god that transcends gender and guess what? The theatre is his temple. The theatre therefore reflects him, it is a fluid domain where masks are removed to be replaced by other masks. The actors are the ones that does this divine act, they are the expressions of Dionysos regardless of what role they play and what sex they as individuals identity as.

Forcing limits on gender roles based on the “real-life” identifiers therefore impends art, it shackles something that should be free. While I personally strongly encourage producers and directors to hire Trans actors to play Trans, enforcing that *only* trans, or gays, (or any other role, including disability, and yes even race), typecasts actors based *only* on who they are in “reality”. It limits their ability to produced good art, it destroys the fantasy and impedes art.

The actual sex, gender of the actor should never determine the role.