I've been working on the background for this meta for some time now, so if anything is patently unclear in any manner, I apologise. I've been working closely with the topic and might not realise I'm being obtuse.

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In a way that Castiel only hinted at in season four, Lucifer is queer. I don't have a better word for his bodily representation. As this came up in some preliminary discussion of the topic: I don't mean to say that Lucifer has been expressing same-gender desire.

I'm working off a much broader - though, perhaps, academic - definition of queer. Lucifer, as Castiel did last season, is playing with gender and sex and our perceptions of the two. I mean to use queer, in this meta, as suggesting both the eccentric or unconventional and as it is used in queer theory - as an antonym to heteronormative.

And Lucifer is queer. He slides, easily, among sexed bodies. He appears, first, as Sarah, Nick's dead wife, so that he can, in essence, become Nick. And then he is Jessica and then Nick so that he can, he hopes, take Sam's body. These are distinctly sexed bodies and marked in how they interact sexually. Sarah is Nick's wife and gave birth to their son while Nick is a husband and father. Jessica was Sam's girlfriend. While Lucifer has had male pronouns, he does not seem to be bothered by having a female sexed body - or a male one.

But what on earth, you may be thinking, does that have to do with Christ? I mean, Jesus was obviously a dude, right?

Not necessarily.

Christian mystics, such as Julian of Norwich, an English anchoress, have seen Christ as queer (Go read her Revelations of Divine Love if you want). Of God, Julian wrote, "In this I saw that all the debts we owe, by God's command, to fatherhood and motherhood by reason of God's fatherhood and motherhood, are repaid in the true loving of God. This blessed love Christ works in us. And this was showed in everything, especially in the noble, plenteous words, where he says, 'I am what you love.'"

Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth century German mystic and Benedictine abbess, also saw the divine in Christ as both masculine and feminine. (Fordham kindly gives us information on St Hildegard.) In her writings, Hildegard writes of God as the Creatrix and Christ as the Mother and having the Womb from which creation springs. In her vision of creation, the Wheel of the Godhead is affixed between two great breasts (vision two: forty six)

Art has depicted Christ as possessing both male and female qualities. I have been struggling to find the medieval iconography I have studied wherein Christ suckles saints at his breasts. I will, however, link to some more modern art with similar depictions below, but do not assume that this is a late twentieth century/early twenty-first adaptation of Christ.

I could go further with mystics and the queering of Christ, but I'm fairly certain that no one on earth wants to hear about Margery Kempe. (If you don't know who she is and don't mind married women having a sexual relationship with Jesus, go out and read the book. She's got more than that going for her queering of Christ, though.)

Instead, I will leave off with a familiar - again medieval - allegory for Christ: the pelican. He is the mother pelican who, when she kills her young, pierces her own breast to revive them with her blood. He is the Son of God and the Mother of Humanity.

So, having established that there's at least something of a tradition of a genderbending Christ and allowing that Lucifer is genderbending in Supernatural, what does that mean?

I'm not sure. I started this sure that I would find sources for a queer Lucifer in other major texts, much as I could pick and choose my images (textual anyway) of Mother Christ. However, I ran into a wall. Nary a breath in the major works (and plenty of lesser works). In Sandman, Lucifer's appearance is supposed to be based on David Bowie (Hanging Out with the Dream King), but that's about all that I've got. The comic Lucifer has an ambiguous title character, but he wasn't bigendered in the way that Lucifer and Christ appear to be in this meta. And, anyway, I'm pretty sure that David Bowie-as-Lucifer (or is it Lucifer-as-David Bowie?) isn't 100% relevant to the topic at hand.

(On the topic of things not relevant to this meta, I did finds lots of modern references to queers burning in hell with Lucifer, which did my queer little heart good, and to Australopithecus afarensis. Also, I got a discussion of Abu Ghraib and learned that apparently Denmark is 'Lucifer's playground?' Apparently, Dean spent four months (forty years) in Denmark. Who knew?)

So, back to the queering of Lucifer as Christ: Lucifer is taking the mystical role of Christ here. In the guise of the creator and creatrix, the Father and the Mother of the the Church, as the bride and the bridegroom, Christ fulfills a specific role: one he can create in and of himself and where he also nourishes his creation in and of himself. As the pelican, the queered Christ creates, destroys, and revives his hatchlings (humanity, the church, the world, all of creation).

As for Lucifer, he has become the mother of the dead child, lover and wife to his own future body. He took the form of Jessica, would-be bride to Sam, in order to seek his ideal body in Sam. Beyond his continual discussion of love (this is a call to Hildegard, in whose writings, love is bigendered, or female, even when male as with the Godhead), in 5.04 (The End), Lucifer expressed his need to care for Creation, for what had been destroyed. So not only is he bigendered (bisexed) as Christ is, he is also a Pelican according to the allegory.

What could this mean? Again I am not sure. I discussed this over with [livejournal.com profile] azdaja_dafema and that I wasn't sure if it is one Pelican (as in, viewing Lucifer as Christ - as the Son of God he calls himself on the show) or if there would be two Pelicans - a mated pair creating, destroying, and reviving as is sometimes the case in the moral allegory. She point out that according her recollection of the Symposium (and, I supply myself, the Bible), a mated pair is one, so why quibble over details? (Genesis 2:24 "... they will become one flesh.")

(For the curious, check out Jesus In Love for some modern interpretations of Queer Christ.)
ext_2955: black and white photo of flying birds and a lamp-post (SPN: Reading makes English speaking good)

From: [identity profile] azdaja-dafema.livejournal.com

You know, it's odd seeing it all here, but you're right: he almost seems to exist as human pairs, possessing both aspects of the entity/pair and emphasising the idea of /connection/. A bit like a human representation of angelic rapture?

If so, I really want to see him on screen with someone like Castiel, to see him with one of his kin.
ext_2955: black and white photo of flying birds and a lamp-post (Art: Questing)

From: [identity profile] azdaja-dafema.livejournal.com

Goodness it does now, and I can't unsee it!

Hm. In a way, Claire is the idea of /family/ in that she's his daughter?
ext_21906: (Default)

From: [identity profile] chasingtides.livejournal.com

Yes. I just wonder why his wife wasn't an option, except to get Castiel back into Jimmy.
ext_2955: black and white photo of flying birds and a lamp-post (Default)

From: [identity profile] azdaja-dafema.livejournal.com

Hmm, they were really following the special-bloodline thing, though, at the time. Lucifer has only appeared as the other halves in a semi-real state, so Claire was his only option, I think.

From: [identity profile] blackjedii.livejournal.com

Just passing through here while I read some flists and all but this definitely sounds interesting. I keep remembering (and really hoping that it gets brought up soon) that in SPN-verse, Lucifer has indeed created his own "children" in a twisted way.

From: [identity profile] blackjedii.livejournal.com

Yes. And I guess the process with other demons and their "God" / "father" too.
I think it would be a wasted opportunity if Lucifer didn't compare his creations to his father's at least once. But Lucifer seems mild enough that I don't know if it would happen.

From: [identity profile] wellowned.livejournal.com

... regarding dean in hell denmark. i have no doubt at all that dean would consider 4 months/40 years in denmark hell. apparently they're among the happiest people in the world because they accept that they are mediocre at best, and don't set goals too high to reach.
ext_21906: (Default)

From: [identity profile] chasingtides.livejournal.com

Clearly, the Danish are hiding fiendish torturers in the depths of Copenhagen.

From: [identity profile] kira-bouviea.livejournal.com

This was a really interesting meta. And I really dug the whole semi comparison with Christ, but my question is:

Dean is supposed to be the vessel for Michael (Lucifer’s brother) right? Dean who’s always “presented” himself as 100% heterosexual, but take into account that Dean’s also been placed into the role of “Mother,” “Father,” “Brother,” to Sam – Lucifer’s vessel, and my head is just all sorts of confused here.

This whole show is just a huge experiment in gender roles to me.

Mothers, sisters, daughters are killed or placed in roles of great danger and the Fathers, Brothers, Sons sent on missions to save/inflict revenge on the wrongdoer.

I think that if we do get to meet “God” in the show it’ll be really interesting to see how they take that.

With Lucifer we do have this whole idea of his not caring/knowing about the generlines – even though he must. It’s like he’s deluded himself into what he thinks “Gods” position would be as both father and mother.

And damn now I’m thinking about a comparison between Dean and Lucifer with their daddy issues.

Long response I know and I probably didn’t make much sense, but I wanted to thank you for making this, it’s really very interesting.
ext_21906: (Default)

From: [identity profile] chasingtides.livejournal.com

Google "Lucifer gender" or "Lucifer male female" and you'll pull up a bunch of stuff on Lucy actually being male and thus being Lucifer.


chasingtides: (Default)

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