Check out this new article at Tablet Mag about re-interpretations of Purim – I’m the poster-child!
“Emily Nepon, a writer, performer, and activist, has come to see Purim as an opportunity to reconcile her Jewish and queer identities. In 2004, she helped organize “Suck My Treyf Gender,” an evening of progressive-themed performances inspired by the Purimspiel, the ancient tradition of staging rowdy bits of theater loosely based on the holiday’s story.
“There was something incredibly powerful about the overlap of the Jewish cultural norms of Purim and the queer cultural otherness,” she said. “When we put them together, we were shocked by how much they magnified each other. We were moved by it.”
The evening came complete with a manifesto, which reflected these sentiments. “On Purim,” it reads, “we are religiously obligated to get so shit-faced [drunk] we can’t tell the difference between ‘blessed’ Haman, and ‘cursed’ Mordechai. Binaries, dichotomies, opposites are emphasized, exaggerated and celebrated. We masquerade as Good vs. Evil, Male vs. Female, Oppressed vs. Oppressor, but the goal is not to reinforce these dichotomies, but to realize that they are false separations, that there is a beautiful space in between all opposites, and that is the space where we live as happy, healthy beings. It is in between the extremes, somewhere between ‘male’ and ‘female,’ healing our experiences of oppression while checking ourselves on the power we have to oppress others, that we walk Hashem’s path.”