The Queer Christmas Nativity
Updated: Apr 6, 2022
It’s hard to top (or bottom) last year’s Queerest Christmas Pageant Ever without the help of some incredibly talented friends. This Christmas, we’ve rounded up an all-star cast to help us depict one of our favorite Christmas scenes: the very queer nativity. Merry Christmas, y’all!
Mary - Grace Baldridge
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Joseph - Kevin Miguel Garcia
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Ox & Ass - Zakar Twins
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Shepherds - Walsh University Students (Audio by Mel Kline)
Wise Men - Boys Bible Study hosts
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Angel - Malynda Hale
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Star - Arisce Wanzer
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The Little Baby Jesus - Jonathan Bennett
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Outro music: Silent Night (River of Stars) by Susan Muranty
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Yass, Jesus! is hosted by Danny Franzese and Azariah Southworth. Our producers are Ross Murray and Meredith Paulley. Sound, music, and post-production by Chris Heckman. Special thanks to Sophie Serrano and Sam Isfan.
Yass, Jesus! is brought to you by Audity. Audity execs are Ryann Lauckner, Steve Michaels, and Jessica Bustillos.
Get to know us better:
Daniel: [00:00:00] Hello Kings and Queens and in-betweens, sinner saints, I don't konw if I is or ain'ts. Welcome to another international episode of Yass Jesus. I'm Daniel Franzese and as always, I'm here with my bestie.
Azariah: Azariah Southworth.
Daniel: Aww, my little present. And here Yass Jesus, we believe...
Azariah: Little baby Jesus is being birthed in your heart rate at this very moment.
Daniel: And that little baby Jesus is surrounded by family, strangers, king shepherds, and lots of stinky barnyard animals, ya'll. So stay tuned and chill, as we're going to tell you all about the queer Christmas nativity right after Gay Christian News.
Azariah: It's happened again. We have another Virgin birth happening in the animal kingdom. A few months ago, we talked about some lesbian sharks that reproduced without any males present.
Daniel: I love lesbian sharks. They make the best real [00:01:00] estate agents.
Azariah: Now the advocate is reporting that two female California Condors have reproduced without any male mates.
Daniel: Oh, it is a Christmas miracle happening at the San Diego zoo.
Azariah: Yes. And it's a double miracle because the California Condors are an endangered species. This miraculous Virgin birth is going to help keep the population going strong, honey.
Daniel: Oh, wait, California condors are birds. So is this a Virgin birth or a Virgin egg laying?
Azariah: Well, female birds lay eggs all the time, but this time chicks hatched without the eggs being fertilized.
Daniel: Are we sure some sneaky condo rooster didn't just sneak up in there and fertilized some eggs?
Azariah: Well, if they're anything like me, maybe, but that's a great question. The scientists at the zoo did a genetic test and found a genetic link to a female condor, but no genetic link to a male.
Daniel: You know, asexual reproduction has a fun, scientific name, [00:02:00] parthenogensis. Well, that's a big word.
Azariah: Parthenogensis. I feel smart.
Daniel: There are species that have asexual reproduction, but usually birds haven't done that. So now scientists are studying what other birds might be able to commit parthenogenesis. Now, if we have any asexual listeners- listen ACEs, what do you think of adopting pathogenesis as part of the lingo? Like the desire to have a child, but I'm still not wanting sex. It could be shorted two pirthing instead of birthing. Okay. I don't really know what I'm talking about here. Maybe there's already a term. Leave us a message at yassjesuspod.com and let us know what you think about expanding the vocabulary in the asexual community.
Azariah: I like this, these birds are like, don't back us in the endangered species corners.
Daniel: I just need some slang. That's all I really want is some slang. You know what I mean? You gotta be slang in around Virgin eggs. You might as well call it something.
Azariah: Yeah. Back us up in the endangered species corner. We're going to start parsing. I like it. Well, anyway, we will celebrate this as a Christmas miracle as it should.
Daniel: Yeah. I love that. I mean, that is news, but it's [00:03:00] also a praise report, which is a great segue to this portion of our show, which is the praise report and prayer request.
This is where if you have a little something to hallelujah about, let us know and we'll amplify your message. And if you have a little something that you want to ask God for assistance with, well, we'll put it on our prayer list and ask our listeners to do the same. So we're going to start with a praise report Azzie, Cecil Michaels sent us this on Instagram.
Michaels says 'I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner at my new house where I've had many family members already meet my loving partner and as a newly out gay man, I came out during COVID....' Well, welcome to the family... 'as a newly out game in that tried to pray the gay away for many years, I have put myself in many situations that have caused me to become someone who I am not. Although my parents were not immediately open and still don't know if they're affirming, but they're at least welcoming and sharing my partner with the rest of my family. It's a bit traumatic to remember the night I came out and didn't hear the words I love you, but I knew in their hearts that they were affected by their beliefs. So what would help me is loving that so much to seek truth and be educated in the mistranslation and its dangerous effects. So I want [00:04:00] to thank you for this light that you brought. I can be gay and believe in Jesus and know he loves me. I don't have to choose...' that's so right, Michael. 'And thank you for all of your devoted work. I would never have imagined being here, getting ready for a huge Thanksgiving. And I feel those who are still struggling and I send them my prayers and my love. And I can't thank you enough. I always look forward to your podcast. Much love Michael.'
Michael, God bless you. What a, that is a praise report. I love making anyone feel more comfortable. Believe me. Uh, we've all been in situations where we've not felt ourself in our skin, especially around our kin and look at that. Um, you know, you just got to believe and have the faith the size of a mustard seed, and God can move mountains in your family. And then we got a prayer request. Tell us about it Azzie.
Azariah: Yes, our prayer request today comes from, and I love this name confused by Cal person relatable.
That was like, I got called that a few times in college.
Confused by cow person says, 'hello Yass Jesus pod, I am an ex-Mormon who was raised in a very [00:05:00] devout Mormon family. I left the church when I was around 19 and felt so hurt by the things I was taught. I'm still picking up the pieces. In the past year or so though, I've been making my way back to God, really for the first time, since the God I was taught about growing up is nothing like the one I'm finding now in all the best ways. Your podcast has helped me a lot. Anyways. I still believe I'm bi, but for the last four years, I've been trying to figure out my gender identity, but to no avail. I'm constantly going back and forth every few months. And it is exhausting. I've prayed on my own to find some clarity. And I'm reaching out to you guys too, because I need all the help I can get. I live in the Southern US and there are no gender therapists near me, but I have gone through a few workbooks by gender therapists. Still I am uncertain and like I said, exhausted. I just want to know who I am. Thank you so much for reading and thank you for your wonderful podcasts. Love ,confused bi cowboy girl.
Confused by cow [00:06:00] person. You know, I truly believe in our hearts we know who we are, but sometimes fear and apprehension can get in the way of allowing us to either accept it or fully walk into it. So just give yourself grace and give yourself time, continue to do the work that you're doing of seeking out resources and, um, information by other people who have walked that same path as you and who you are, will emerge. And, and you'll start to feel more comfortable in expressing who that person is. So just give yourself grace and don't put too much pressure on yourself. If you can practice grace with yourself and we're going to, we'll keep you in our, prayers and sending much love to you.
Daniel: Absolutely. And I think that, you know, sometimes, uh, you know, it's always darkest before the Dawn, like, it feels a little bleak and a little cloudy right now, but just, you know, stay focused, keep praying. Um, this is a great time, like don't think of this so much as being confused. Maybe think of it more [00:07:00] as a time of coming to a realization. So everything everything's like a new step, everything is a new part of your journey, but we are totally here for you. And so is our community. Everyone, please add confused bi cow person to your prayer, list, this week. Thank you for sending us that message.
Azariah: Just one step at a time, sweet Jesus. One day at a time. Sweet Jesus.
Daniel: For sure. Um, and we'll be right back right after this with the scripture of the day.
and now we're back Azzie for the scripture of the day [repeat 3x], it's soul food. It's from Luke, tell us about it Azzie.
Azariah: This comes from luke chapter two, verse seven- 'she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him and bands of cloth and laid him [00:08:00] in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.'
There was a funny meme going around recently, I think you sent it to me, Danny. I think it was from that reality show, uh, closing on sunset and like the girl's on a laptop and she's like trying to book something. And she's frustrated because she can't find the booking and she just looks up and exasperated and it goes, ugh, Mary, you know?
Daniel: Like, and it's like Joseph and he couldn't find room at the inn, yeah.
Azariah: It's a funny meme. Listeners, we'll have to put it up so people can see it.
Daniel: Is bands of cloth like a Christian band name, cause I think it should be? Like a free, like either Christian band name or a festival. We are offering it up to whoever, oh, this is a great story. This is the reason for the season, Azzie. Um, you know, it may not get as much love and respect as the tree, but let's give some love and adoration to the Christmas nativity set.
Azariah: Those nativity sets were supposed to be [00:09:00] depictions of baby Jesus in the manger. And sometimes they are called a Koresh. You have one, I know you had one.
Daniel: Did your mom collect them? I like, cause I, we had one that my grandpa made, actually, which is interesting. You know, Italians, I think we talked about this last Christmas, but like Italians have this thing and I don't, I thought everybody did it, but they cover baby Jesus with like a piece of cotton. So they cover baby Jesus at a piece of cotton until he's born and then they take the cotton. Now, I don't know it was the whole deal with that. I always, I was confused because. It's like, I always felt like bad that they were covering Jesus with cotton. Like I didn't get it.
Azariah: I think we had a ceramic one that like my grandma painted.
Daniel: I also remember there was like a light up one at like a local church and people kept stealing the Jesus all the time. Like it was this big thing about the missing Jesus on the news and everything who would steal... I just imagined some guy with like a [00:10:00] garage full of light up Jesus's.
Azariah: Gay Christian news, Jesus has been stolen again.
Daniel: And then there's like the real life-size ones you ever walk through one of those where they're like, everything's like mannequins and stuff? Those are like a little eerie. But I love living for the plastic yard. Nativity scenes. Love that. I love that whole energy. I actually went to Mexico and they make in the airport, they sold tiny, tiny, tiny ones, like little, like almost like worry dolls, like those a little baby nativity scenes.
Azariah: You can get that paired with those little, the world's smallest Bible too.
Daniel: I know. What about the Ikea nativity scene? You have to put it together. Uh, Ross, what was yours like, what was your nativity scene like?
Ross: So growing up, my mom had one of those ceramics, she made it, she like took a ceramics class to do it and, um, oh, we didn't have the cotton cloth for the baby Jesus. So we just wrapped it in a piece of bubble wrap that was in the, very original, and then my husband's uncle or grandpa made one, that's kind of like a puzzle, like it fits in a box and they're all these weird abstract shapes that you kind of just, we [00:11:00] assigned to characters and then they fit when you pack it into this puzzle, but then like you sort of take it apart. Um, it's, it's very ...it's conceptual. If I can dig it out, I'll send a photo that we can put up there to get this up there.
Daniel: That's pretty meta too, you know, since the Virgin birth is a puzzle for many people, you know? Last year we did the queerest Christmas pageant ever. So this year we want to build their own level of Yass jesus nativity scene.
Azariah: Yes, Jesuits. We are pulling out the box of Christmas decorations. I got it out of the Yass Jesus attic. And here we are. We're ready.
Daniel: We're gay Christians and our Christmas decorations can't just fit into one box. We're pulling out the stable, the whole stable. And now all the little figurines I go in the stable.
Azariah: Yes, but since this is a podcast and you can't see how beautiful all our nativity pieces are, we have several special guests to help us build out this nativity. And as we set up each individual piece, you'll hear from each of the characters in the nativity. Like an audio [00:12:00] nativity, if you will- alive audio nativity.
Daniel: First we have Mary. Oh, Hail Mary you're full of grace today. The part of Virgin Mary is none of than our friend and queer Christian music chart topper, similar.
Azariah: Thank you. Similar. You were the perfect Virgin, Mary.
Daniel: Yeah. Now whenever I think of a pregnant Virgin teenager, I'm going to think of you.
Azariah: Do you think Mary ever called Joseph Daddy? Or do you think he would prefer to be called Zadie since he did raise, care for, and spend his hard earned denari on the little baby Jesus? well, in today's episode, our Joseph is going to be played by my good friend, Kevin Miguel Garcia. Let's take a listen.
Welcome back to every birth becomes eclectic. Um, I don't know if Joseph was his daddy, but Kevin Miguel Garcia, we sure know you are. Thank you for joining us on our nativity. You know what else was in the stable at that first Christmas? A lot of barn animals. Now it can't be a nativity if you [00:13:00] can't see an ox or see an ass. And luckily for you, we got the hottest oxen ass in the podcasting world. Let's take a listen to those sexy cartoons. Tell us all about it.
Zacar twins: I'm an ass or a donkey if you're classy. In the nativity, you might see us in the background, like props, the ox and the ass, but animals aren't just props, you know, we aren't just there to make the holy family look pretty. We have a central part of this story, central. Want to hear what happened, or at least what happened from our perspective? Well, so here we are minding your own business, build a story about the story, getting ready for a fabulous dinner. And this couple just comes into our space, our home, then the lady just plops some newborn baby in our feeding grow. It got placenta all over the place. It took weeks to get out. But after that, these sheep showed up and they had some humans along with them. I've seen some spook sheep before, but these ones look like they've [00:14:00] seen the most traumatic things in their lives. We tried to ask them what happened, but sheep are so hard to understand. They just kept saying it was bad. Then, these guys showed up with gifts. The gold was fine, but the, uh, the franken steed and the mirth stank up the entire barn to the highest heavens. It's like, they're trying to give that little baby, uh, uh, an axe body shower spray or something. It reminds me of high school locker rooms. That was bad. But remember when you look at the nativity, you are looking at our home. The stable is where we eat and we sleep. It's not a baby place. My feeding through is not meant to hold a crying infant. It's supposed to smell like a gay disco up in there..
Daniel: Thank you, Zacar twins twins, you are the sexiest ass and ox that I've ever seen.
Azariah: What's that off in the distance, Danny are those shepherds? They, they must be on their way to visit Mary, Joseph, and [00:15:00] baby Jesus. Our friends at Walsh university are playing the part of the shepherds. Here's the tea on them. You might remember them from after Danny was fired from a gig at Walsh university. Well, the students rallied and challenged their university leadership about hosting an LGBTQ club and they are still fighting the good fight. Let's take a listen to what the shepherds have to say.
Shepherds: If you're looking at this nativity scene, we probably look pretty serene, but so does everyone here. It's like, we all took a hit before checking out the baby Jesus, but look, being a shepherd is hard work and we were on the overnight shift. When you work overnight, you get bored and maybe do take a hit or two just to pass the time. And then this angel appeared. I know people probably think it would be cool to meet an angel, but you know what? It was terrifying. Have you seen a description of what an angel looks like? Ezekiel wrote down the best description. Take a listen to this.
'Each had four [00:16:00] faces and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight and the soles of their feet were like the souls of a calf's foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides, they had human hands. And the four had their faces and wings thus. Their wings touched one another. Each of them move straight ahead without turning as they moved. As for the appearance of their faces, the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an Eagle such where their faces, their wings were spread out above. This made us all crap ourselves. And then after the one appeared dozens of other showed up and started singing. Angels singing sent the flock running all over the place. So we got them all collected and headed over to where the new baby was. And that is the moment you see us in the nativity scene. One of us had to carry a lamb who was still freaked out from that angel experience. A few of us got to hang out with the cows. [00:17:00] All in all, it was pretty cool.
Daniel: Now, this is fun. I love those Walsh students. They made the best shepherds, but there are more visitors in our nativity scene. You also get to hear from three wisemen, three Kings. These Kings came from distant lands and brought very fancy gifts. So we want to give them some strategic placement in our nativity scene and to help us, we have our friends from the boys Bible study, playing the Wiseman tonight, take it away, boys or men, Kings, a wiseguys.
Azariah: It wouldn't be a story of biblical proportions without a visit from an angel, like the multitalented actors, singer activists, Melinda Hale.
Melinda Hale: In the nativity scene you have sitting on your mantle, I hover over the stable, looking down on the scene, unfolding below. Often my hands are folded in a prayer and my mouth is open for singing. I look peaceful and reverent but in the Bible, I am a terrifying creature. I just showed up in the middle of the night in a field and spooked a whole herd of [00:18:00] sheep and shepherds with them. The shepherds were terrified. Can I confess something? It's fun to bring tidings of great joy, but you know, it's more fun? Calling in my whole heavenly chorus to scare the crap out of those sheep. You think one of me appearing in the middle of the night is scary? Well, imagine when you see a whole bunch of me and we're singing at the top of our lungs, glory to God in the highest heaven and earth peace among those whom God favor. Oh, yeah, the chorus sings well. Well, we've been rehearsing that for literally millennia and we sang it so well, those shepherds packed up the sheep and hustled their buns over to Bethlehem to see the newborn baby Jesus. So that means my job is done. I am a messenger and I delivered the message with music and with style, I'm like a beautiful, terrifying singing telegram. Maybe soon I'll get to deliver you a message with tidings of great joy.
Azariah: Wow. Melinda [00:19:00] Hale. That was powerful, beautiful, and scary. Angel, just the way I like it.
Daniel: And you like your angels rough. The angel talked to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, but who told the Wiseman to Mount their camels and ride across countries to visit the little baby Jesus? That was the star and the star shines bright in the night sky giving guidance and direction. So I'm pleased we got my beautiful friend Arisce Wanzer to be the star in our queer little nativity. Arisce, take it away.
Azariah: Yass, Arisce, you are a true star, a star to the Wiseman, a star to everyone, but also especially a star to us. Well, it is time for the main character to make his grand appearance. Roll out the red carpet. Yes. This nativity is all about the little baby Jesus who will go up to be the foundation of our faith, at least those of us who are Christian.
Daniel: Some nativities won't put little baby Jesus out [00:20:00] until December 24th and cover them with cotton before that. But here Yass Jesus, we're going whole hog and playing today's little baby jesus as a Christmas movie maven my faithful fairy friend, Jonathan Bennet. Jonathan what's the little baby Jesus got to say?
Azariah: That's Jonathan Bennett, our own little baby Jesus. If the first Christmas could be played as a holiday romcom, you would be the leading man or baby.
Daniel: Our little queer nativity scene. We want to give a special thanks to our special guests who made her queer little nativity come to life. Grace Baldridge, Kevin Miguel Garcia, Sakaar twins, the Walsh University students, boys Bible study hosts, Melinda Hale, Arisce Wanzer, Jonathan Bennett.
Azariah: You know what? Now that I see all these characters together in the stable, I realize just how queer that first nativity must have been- a Virgin birth, hello? Foreign [00:21:00] visitors, shepherds, barnyard animals?
Daniel: Christmas cheer, right? Which is why we're wishing you a happy queer Christmas. May the little baby jesus bless you this coming week.
Azariah: Yes. Well this week, our tithe love offering charity act of good. If you have a nativity scene in your home, send us a photo on social media @yassjesuspod. We'd love to share the artistic beauty and some of the more bizarre ones with the rest of this queer and faithful community.
Daniel: And now our closing prayer. Please bow your heads unless you're driving because Jesus can't actually take the wheel.
Azariah: Yeah. He's still a baby right now.
Daniel: Yeah, that's right. Lord God, father God, we thank you so much for giving us the gift of yourself. Coming to earth, being born in humble circumstances, walking this earth, we celebrate Christmas because you loved us enough to join us in our wild, messed up lives. Let nativity scenes, no matter how silly remind people of the story of your birth. We give thanks for the gifts and the talents of friends that we have here at Yass Jesus, for [00:22:00] all of our community here who are listening, and for all those who lent our voice, we say, thank you.
Azariah: And we pray for our friend, confused bi cow person that they will give themselves the grace that they need as they walk this journey to discover and accept who they are. And we want you to know confused cow bi person, that we are here for you and we support you, however you need. Don't be afraid to reach out. And we also pray from Michael and this family- may they have peace and joy and happiness.
Daniel: Yes. And so much gratitude for their acceptance. Let that keep growing as his faith grows. And Lord, we just thank you again for this whole community and Merry Christmas, and God bless everyone. I hope that everyone has it. We should all have nicknames that are like confused bi cow person. Like it should be that long and that confusing. I like that. Everyone. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of Yass jesus. You can find us on [00:23:00] social media @yassjesuspod or on our website at yassjesuspod.com. If you liked the show, please consider becoming a monthly sponsor. You can find the link to do so in the show notes. And if you haven't yet leave us a review, share it with a friend. Doing so really helps us reach new people and keep the show running.
Azariah: You can now leave an audio prayer request or praise report on our website, yassjesuspod.com. We would love to share your voice and your prayers on the show. So drop us a line or send us recording on yassjesuspod.com.
Daniel: Send us your praise reports, your prayer request, episode ideas, guest ideas, or even just a Merry Christmas you hoes. We'd love to hear from you. Yass Jesus is hosted by me, Daniel Franzese and..
Azariah: And ho-ho-ho, Azariah Southworth. Music, sound, editing and all things audio are done by Chris Heckman. Our show is produced by the freaking deacon Ross Murray and Meredith Paulley. Special thanks to Sophie Sorento and Sam Isfan.
Daniel: Yass Jesus is brought to you by Audity. Audity execs are Ryann Lauckner, Jessica [00:24:00] Bustillos and Steve Michaels. We are streaming and screaming all Christmas long on apple podcast, Spotify, and wherever you get your presence in podcasts.
Azariah: And remember, God loves you just as you are, even if you are a ho.
Daniel: So keep praising Lord, ya'll, and jingle them bells.