Arts & Entertainment
Story takes new approach to Old Testament
Originally printed 12/8/2011 (Issue 1949 - Between The Lines News)
What if there was a gay story in the Old Testament? What would be the elements of this story?
This is exactly what author Robert Greene asked himself when writing "Halo's Golden Circle," the signature piece to his collection of gay short stories called "The Gay Icon Classics Of The World," released earlier this year by Icon Empire Press.
Halos have been used in the iconography of many religions to indicate holy or sacred figures. In his book, Greene explains how the "Halo" came to be. "Halo's Golden Circle" is a gay short story similar to the Masoretic Text of Judaic story of the feud between Cain and Abel set in biblical Judea.
The book addresses the sons of Niac, Halo and Marr, who are 11 generations from the son of Abraham. Like Cain and Abel, the sons battle for admiration but in "Halo's Golden Circle" the brothers are fighting for the admiration of their father.
Halo, after being wronged by his brother, is pitied by God who sends a beautiful angel to sing to him. Marr sets to destroy his brother's Halo's holy blessings from God forever.
"I really worried about the impact this story would have in the Jewish and Christian communities, being based on the Old Testament," said Greene, "so I consulted with them." Greene sent a draft of "Halo's Golden Circle" to several Jewish and Christian Scholars for review. One reviewer was Rabbi Steve Greenberg, the Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Diversity Project at the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (CLAL).
Rabbi Greenberg is believed to be the first openly gay Orthodox Jewish Rabbi. "I remember, after sending the piece, he forewarned me that I should not take it personal, should he not like it. So, I was rather nervous when I sent him the short story."
The reply was "Beautiful story, Robert."
Similarly, Christian scholars also had praise for the story.
"It is so important to me that Halo's Golden Circle be as accurate as possible and adheres to the way Holy Scriptures are written," said Greene. "This has been quite a challenge."
"The Gay Icon Classics of the World" book cover art reflects the story of "Halo's Golden Circle." It is adapted from a Caravaggio painting from the 16th Century.
The idea for the book came about while author Robert Greene was taking summer courses at UCLA. He had met a fellow student from Africa and asked her if she had heard of anything about gay life in her culture. She replied that she once heard of an ancient tribal story about two teenage boys who were banished from a village for kissing each other in public.
Her grandmother had passed down the story to her, but she didn't remember the details. It was from this piece of information that author Greene was able to write another story in the collection called "The Soiled Loin Cloth."
Greene hopes that readers will understand and respect the rights the LGBT Community deserves through his collection of short stories.
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