MassLive reported that Lord Jesus Christ III was ejected from a Belchertown library for “recurring bad behavior:”
“The Sept. 8 order issued by the Library Board of Trustees warns Jesus Christ will be subject to criminal charges if he [sic] appears in the library again.”
Christ is an artist and poet who is local to the library, African-American and transsexual. The media refers to Christ as “he,” but there’s no confirmation on how zie identifies, so I’ll be using the gender-neutral pronouns of “zie” and “hir” until that is clearer.
The situation is ripe for joking, of course, and that’s the only reason the media reports this story at all. And while there may be signs that Christ is eccentric, those of us who don’t know hir are not qualified to comment positively or negatively on that. But in the meantime, something is still wrong.
And if anyone is wondering why it’s a big deal that zie was banned from the local library, then they’re seeing this through the lens of privilege of never having to be in hir situation. There is a poverty issue involved, and in a previous interview that happened when Christ was struck by a car, the following was noted:
“Jesus Christ has no telephone and no access to the Internet at home. To go online, he [sic] needs to go to the Belchertown library, but since the accident, he [sic] has been too banged up to leave his [sic] apartment in the Belchertown Housing Authority.”
This is how people fall through the cracks.
The library says that the issue is not hir appearance or gender expression, but that zie bothers people by “asking staff at the desk and other patrons for tissues, pencils or other things.” So the library obtained a no-trespassing order, thus cutting off easy access to an important communication medium for hir.
Of course, the behaviour described isn’t all that different from what I’ve witnessed in public libraries from homeless and disenfranchised people. Once one becomes socially disconnected, it’s not unusual for propriety to go out the window. Which would mean that the library’s actions are simply reflective of the usual policy, right?
Asked how many people have been banned in his 21 years as director, Maloney said “Lord Jesus Christ is the first….”
It’s possible that there may have been an improvement in this situation that has gone unreported since this first hit the news. If not, then something in this situation just doesn’t sit right.
And if, as hir namesake once said, “inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me,” then life imitates art for Lord Jesus Christ III.
(Crossposted to The Bilerico Project)