Queer people have bravely faced conflicts with church and society throughout history and around the world, including during the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Heavenly LGBTQ+ highlights the role of LGBTQ+ people in the Russia-Ukraine war and puts it into a broader context. Illustrated biographies tell the stories of seventeen diverse international LGBTQ figures from Alvin Ailey to Xenia of St. Petersburg. They include saints, activists, martyrs, ministers, writers, and performers from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Most lived in the 20th and 21st centuries. Their courage inspires hope for LGBTQ+ people.
Short, accessible text lets the pictures tell their stories. Lively commentary reflects on how sexuality, gender, and religion impacted the war in Ukraine. The book’s deceptively simple comic-book style conveys sophisticated understandings. Large, colorful illustrations on every page present a fresh, unsentimental perspective on uplifting people who faced tough times. Intended for adults, the book naturally includes occasional nudity and violence, as they are part of history.
Heavenly LGBTQ+ is the sequel to Jan Haen’s first book, Heavenly Homos, which was praised by reviewers:
“Indeed a ‘heavenly’ read… Drenched in page after page of beautifully drawn human figures who represent hope for the LGBTQ community.” —Dignity USA
“Singularly original, informative, and effective.” —Midwest Book Review
Jan Haen is a Dutch visual artist and Redemptorist priest who has ministered in the Netherlands and South Africa. His art appears frequently in the LGBTQ Saints blog series at Qspirit.net. He painted murals in schools, churches and public places in Africa and across Europe. Haen is an active member of the Werkverband van Katholieke Homo-Pastores, an association of gay Catholic pastoral leaders.