PHOTOS: Hunky Jesus Contest Brings Good Old-Fashioned Sacrilege Back to San Francisco

On Easter Sunday, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence ruffled some right-wing feathers for the 33rd year in a row with their annual Hunky Jesus contest. Hot boys, drag queens and even families flocked to Dolores Park in San Francisco to celebrate the rebirth of the Son of God in the gayest of ways.

This year, the contest was bigger and better than ever:  It all started with an Easter egg hunt for the kids, followed by an Easter bonnet contest, live bands and drag shows, and ending in the infamous parade of flesh—where “Funky Jesus” was crowned King of Kings.

Click though to see more photos from the annual Hunky Jesus contest


Photos via docpopular, sadsnaps, christineborden, chichibanana, jivacandra, susiep94115, jantipuesto, deanv41


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  • Dennis Battler

    WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M FOR #2 and everyone else is a runner up! Thrilled to see SF has not lost its head to the craziness called normality, the rest of the country has fallen to. Congratulations to the Sisters and the contestants!
    Rock Candy

  • 1equalityUSA

    Tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.
    Not authentic or real, but without the intention to deceive.
    An object of derision.
    verb. deride – ridicule – jeer – scoff – gibe – mimic – flout
    adjective. false – sham – spurious – counterfeit – dummy – bogus
    noun. mockery – ridicule – scoff – derision – imitation – jeer

    Mocking Christ is nothing new. It’s been done before.

  • dvlaries

    No one can deny they’re all hunky and delicious looking.

    But … if this kind of willful nose-thumb and send up of what all know are many people’s solemn beliefs is to be take lightheartedly, we have no business being shocked when a couple of idiots employ similar provocation to the next level and openly have sex on the deck of some ocean liner.

    I like a fine male body as much any gay man, but I also know these shots are being saved and stored right now by someone from NOM or Focus on Family for use in their next video against us.

  • Spike

    What, not a single lesbian showed up to participate in the Hot Jesus contest? Tsk tsk, tI thought the SF lesbians were more cutting edge then that.

  • WillBFair

    Morons run amuck. Great job providing anti-gay pr. NOM and the rest couldn’t ask for anything better, and all for free!
    The Sisters have been a failure from the start. The very name sends the wrong message in the age of hiv. And passing out a few condoms at the bars to justify themselves doesn’t.

  • Fitz

    I don’t think it’s mocking of Jesus, but of the cath-o-lick church, which is RIPE for mockery.
    And BTW, I was there. It was fun, communal, and joyful. And lots of kids and puppies too. There wasn’t any mean spiritedness that I saw.

  • 1equalityUSA

    The Catholic Church mocks Christ in their own way, by pandering to politicians, their only tether to power. Futility.

  • lizcivious

    Who cares if NOM gloms onto this as evidence? It’s satiric and fun. People shouldn’t allow the religious right to have the power to take away laughter and fun just to keep up appearances. Anybody with any brains knows that all gays aren’t non-stop party revelers. Besides, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to make jest of hypocrites and oppressors. I’d love to attend a Hunky Jesus Contest and would go if I lived in the Bay Area. Isn’t it rather complimentary of Jesus to make him into a sex symbol? On another note, the co-emcee of the event–the pale, bald one in black with the archy brows–looks like he could be Sharon Needles’ grandmother. That would be a hilarious scenario. I wish they could get together.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Flogging first
    Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with fill force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.
    At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.
    Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is stopped.
    The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.
    Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from his back. This had already become adherent to the colts of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain – almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.
    The walk to crucifixion
    The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey, The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.
    The nails of crucifixion
    At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep inot the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.
    The pain of crucifixion
    The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.
    Crucifixion – the medical effects
    As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.
    Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
    The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”
    Crucifixion – the last gasp
    He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
    Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Out Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

    – Condensed from “The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ” by C. Truman Davis, M.S. March, 1965

  • Astro

    They have been making Christ “hunky” for centuries. Just check out Caravaggio’s depictions of Jesus.

  • GreatGatsby2011

    If they’re not open to being ridiculed, they shouldn’t believe in something so ridiculous.

  • MAP

    @WillBFair: grow up Will–do you think this is the straw that breaks NOM’s love of us, or for that matter, the Christian Right’s care and concern for gay men and women–trust this–THEY HATE YOUR ASS. Hate you. Wish you dead.

    So please tell me how the hell it matters if we’re good widdle faggots? Wouldn’t matter a damn bit. Grow up quick.

  • MAP

    @1equalityUSA: was a story then, is a fiction now, but thanks for sharing your delusion.

  • JayKay

    So when’s the sexy Allah contest? The hottest Buddha competition? America’s naughtiest Shiva?

  • Philip

    @1equalityUSA: You end your >1page tome with “condensed”? Really?

  • Bipolar Bear

    Christ (no pun intended), it’s a bit of fun and a great idea. We don’t get upset when there are lookalike contests for other fictional characters, do we?

    In terms of film, one of the things that struck me about Passion Of The Christ was how Jesus had been sexed up compared to the androgynous portrayals in previous Hollywood films. It was like a gay S&M flick. Given that study that’s just been released about homophobes and their latent tendencies, was Mel Gibson telling us something with that film that he didn’t intend to?

  • Ok, ok

    Jesus was European? What??

  • tallskin2

    1equalityUSA – I guess your point is that since jay-zeus suffered so, how can it be that his jolly christian followers have inflicted this very same on gays for the past 1,500 years.

  • James M. Martin

    Would someone forward this to Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council. I have never seen anything more outrageous and potentially offensive to evangelicals, Blasphemous with a capital B. Poor ol’ homophobic closet case Tony will die of apoplexy.

  • Joey

    Christianity is such a pervasive part of American society that even if you grow up in the Hindu faith and your whole community follows the same beliefs you do, your life will still be deeply affected by Christianity. This is not just because the faith is large but also purposefully and intentionally influential on our culture and society. An Art History Professor of mine once said that any American artist paints (sculpts, draws…) about Christianity, even if they do not include Christianity because it is such a large part of our culture that to exclude it is as much a conscious decision as to include Christian Imagery.Christianity is so big and so prevalent, we couldn’t’ get you out of our heads if we wanted to. And so to me, its perfectly logical and fair for anyone to take that imagery and have fun with it.

  • B

    No. 6 · Fitz wrote, “I don’t think it’s mocking of Jesus, but of the cath-o-lick church, which is RIPE for mockery. And BTW, I was there. It was fun, communal, and joyful. And lots of kids and puppies too. There wasn’t any mean spiritedness that I saw.”

    I’m not even sure if they were mocking the Catholic church, but just having fun. One of the “Sisters” suggested that Jesus had a sense of humor and wouldn’t mind, even if his present-day followers are sometimes way to reverent. Before the “Hunky Jesus” contest, there were some musical groups, various performers (a few a bit scandalous), and the Easter Bonnet Contest. Earlier (before I got there), there was supposedly an easter-egg hunt for children. They also gave out some awards for community service. Some politicians dropped by to say hello, including one state senator.

    One character in the Hunky Jesus contest, an older gentleman, was basically naked. Some of the Sisters got in front of him to block the view joking about children being present, plus the temperature’s effect on a certain appendage. One “Jesus” was fully clothed in a white robe with a black cord around the waist. He had a number of loaves of bread that he threw at the audience. Another “Jesus” had a non-traditional interpretation with a gold-colored leave or flower attached somehow above his right eye, a couple of red clothes for clothing, and a Japanese umbrella with a red and white radial-stripe pattern. Definitely color-coordinated – you could see a bit of his underwear, which also had red and white stripes. A few contestants were completely lame.

    The winner of the Easter Bonnet Contest had what looked like three Japanese-style umbrellas stacked vertically, somehow attached to his head. You could almost imagine a strong gust of wind blowing this hat away, and him with it.

    In any case, the Hunky Jesus Contest was really just a small part of the event, an impression you won’t get on conservative media/ hate radio.

  • Thom Prentice

    I must admit, Mr. Santorum, that I had several “come to Jesus” moments….

  • WillBFair

    @MAP: Grow up? I could say the same to you.
    Adults know that this isn’t just about the religious right. It’s also about offending millions of liberal christians, our allies. Remember them? They obviously don’t count in you self involved world. Ever hear of respect for others? Ever hear of basic manners? Obviously not. Those are signs of maturity.
    For you, adulthood is about dancing half naked in open mockery of our allies. And you have the nerve to tell me to grow up? Please.

  • Mark

    love me a hairy chested jesus – woof!

  • Thom Prentice

    Time for the critics of this light-hearted, 33-year old spoof to lighten up already.

    And stop worrying about how the right wing Kris-Chuns or KKKris-Chuns or CHINOS (Kris-Chuns In Name Only) will use it “against us”.

    I will also say to you well-puckered folk the same thing I say to Tea Baggers who decide to get into a bitch match with me: “Go Home And Masturbate. It Will Take The Edge Off.” That generally shuts up the Baggers ; )

  • Marcus

    I agree with WilBFair. This gives all LGBT people a bad name and a bad image. I have LGBT friends who are Christian and those who aren’t Christian who find this to be a pointless contest.

    Morons run amuck. Great job providing anti-gay pr. NOM and the rest couldn’t ask for anything better, and all for free!
    The Sisters have been a failure from the start. The very name sends the wrong message in the age of hiv. And passing out a few condoms at the bars to justify themselves doesn’t.

  • D P


    My vote is for the messiah in pic#5.

  • D P

    Incidentally, to several commenters above who disagree with the message expressed by the event as well as the propaganda fodder the anti-gay groups will find useful, I subscribe to the sentiments of Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and especially now: Pat Condell. I also don’t know which of these three cited the quotes:

    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Van der Kemp July 30, 1816 and;

    “Nothing but free argument, raillery and even ridicule will preserve the purity of religion.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush. 21 April 1803,

    but I’m beginning to find that there is truth in these assertions. As a former Catholic, I’ve seen and experienced first hand the brainwashing the faithful get from these deluded people.

    I am thankful the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been able to continue this event as long as they have. I hope that they do for many more.

  • B

    No. 28 · D P wrote, “I am thankful the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been able to continue this event as long as they have. I hope that they do for many more.”

    You should thank the Catholic Church for that! Some years ago (March 1999), The “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance, Inc.” (as they like to call themselves), sent a representative down to city hall to get a permit for an earlier version of this event -a block party, wherever it was held – on Easter Sunday. The officials said, “whatever” and signed off on it. Then the Catholic Church got wind of it, and Heaven wept. It ended up with a San Francisco style public hearing – the Sisters on one side, the archbishop on the other, and a not-so-heavenly host of crazies in between. As the discussion range from respect for religion to free speech rights, an openly gay member of the Board of Supervisors, Tom Ammiano, countered another supervisor who opposed the event by saying, “I offer an olive branch to you, Supervisor Becerril. . . . I say to you, walk a mile in my pumps.”

    With all that publicity, it became a mainstream event of sorts, and ended up being held in Dolores Park.

    For an account of the public hearing that made it all possible, read the article at
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1999/03/30/MN77982.DTL .

  • Lucky Irish

    @Spike-there were Lesbians who were in the contest. It seems the photographer for this blog didn’t find them attractive enough to include sadly. (Hmmm? Sexism?)

    @No.17-likewise there were quite a few Hunky Jesus of Color, but, once again the photographer for this blog seems to be remiss in including any other than one or two. (Hmmm, Racism?)

    @All who bag on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence-they’ve raised MILLIONS of dollars for equality, marriage defense, AIDS & DADT issues over the past 30 plus years. You oppose their drag? Or their humor? Or their intent? Turn in your Gay card & go back live under the rock you crawled out of. No one needs your approval or anyone other citizen in this country. We’re here-We’re Queer-Get used to it!!

    @All who complain we’re helping the Far Right by exercising our 1st Amendment rights of Freedom of Expression-likewise-kindly piss off back to the ignorant closet you crawled out of. They hate us no matter how nice you dress, well behaved you are or how much you try to be just like them. Your assimilation will not save you.

    @All who think we dishonor Jesus. Lighten up & get a clue. If people have the right to Freedom of Religion I have the right to mock them under Freedom of Speech. PS-33rd year of doing this in a row-if the Church was that pissy they’d come protest it but they don’t because even they know it’s all done in jest & it helps raise 1000’s upon 1000’s of much needed dollars for our Community.

  • iltman

    firstly the wig nuts hate us for being gay not for funevents like this and secondly pic no 8 whoa no there’s a savior i can get behind

  • deidrefl72

    This event was really mature just like the comments here of ‘they hate us anyway why not mock Jesus’ mentality. Really? Funny I can see the same argument coming from the Klux Klux Klan if they held an annual Buff Martin Luther King Jr. pageant on MLK Day. Both were men weren’t they? Both taught peace and forgiveness, but the gay community chooses to defile one’s memory.

    Come to think of it maybe a gay activist group should also host a Buff MLK pageant as well, since he never addressed gay equality and most of his followers are hyped by the media as being homophobic.

    Bad idea? If one is then the other is as well. Some people just need to wake up and smell the Kool-Aid. Thank goodness no one in the Civil Rights movement hosted a Hunky Slave Master pageant. I guess they realized that mockery is nothing but a show of weakness.

  • Thom Prentice

    Well, let’s ban Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and Louis Black and Stephen Colbert and…and….and…Thomas Jefferson….and editorial cartoonists….and….and….

  • Jim

    This is why they hate us.

    If the Sisters wanted to be fair they should do a Hunky Mohammad contest too!

  • DB

    I attended the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Easter festival in Dolores Park, including the Hunky Jesus contest, after worshiping at church on Easter as I do every year. As some commentators have noted, the contest does not in any way mock Christianity or Jesus but is instead an event celebrating life and humor and the humanity and divinity of Christ. I do not know what percentage of the contestants and MC’s are Christian, but I am sure it is a majority. I am sure that if Jesus were here in the flesh, He would indeed enjoy and approve of this event. I don’t know if He would actually participate because He might view it as prideful and not humble, but He would certainly approve of it.

  • GreatGatsby2011

    @deidrefl72: Because it’s rational to compare actual historical figures and fictional characters as if they are the same thing.

  • terbuck2

    NUMBER 2 PLEASE. I’ll carry the loincloth for him. He’s my husband and I walk with him forever. Who is this hot man and is in in print somewhere else? Can I still marry Jesus?

  • starlite auto theatre

    I think #8 has the perfect combination of gentle good looks and compassionate sincerity.

  • Christopher

    What’s with all of the hairy jesuses? Doesn’t EVERYONE know that chest-shaving was all the rage back then……….??? :)

  • B

    No. 34 · Jim wrote, “This is why they hate us. If the Sisters wanted to be fair they should do a Hunky Mohammad contest too!”

    As it turns out, Muslims have a tradition of never depicting Mohammad in a picture, whereas the Christians and the Catholic Church in particular commissioned all that Renaissance Art showing depictions of Jesus where the painters often used hunky models, particularly if they had their shirts off. No surprise – they had to keep all those closeted gay priests happy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_tuAhA1lAY has some examples, complete with a soundtrack.

    As to No 39 – the pictures generally showed a Jesus with little to no body hair. No surprise – painting in that hair would have been a lot of work.

  • Spike

    @1equalityUSA: Hot, they should do as per your detail at next years BLACK PARTY! Religious BDSM is sooo taboo!

  • Terry Buckley

    Hey: which guy won?

Comments are closed.