The European Union’s LGBTQ+ goodwill ambassador cross-dressed as a bearded Virgin Mary for a same-sex rendition of the Holy Family draped in the colors of the transgender flag.
Riccardo Simonetti, a German national, appeared on the cover of SIEGESSÄULE MAGAZIN, a queer community magazine based in Berlin, boasting thick facial hair in a white robe, blue head veil and holding a baby doll representing Jesus.
The activist posted the photos to his Instagram on Wednesday. “If we ignore the fact that Jesus wasn’t white, we could believe the Virgin Mary had a beard, why not?” he captioned his post.
An additional photo depicts Simonetti, still dressed as the Virgin Mary, with a man in a pink robe embracing him from behind.
“Feeling very proud and honored to be on the cover of the December issue of such a queer institution as SIEGESSAULE MAGAZIN,” Simonetti added. “Special thanks to my friend @akwantu for playing Josef in our newly interpreted holy family photo using the trans Pride flag as inspiration.”
The photo shoot drew backlash from Christians online.
The German entertainer accused “the mainstream world” of homophobia for societal views of people infected with the illness.
“I would like to encourage you to get tested, know your status and fight the stigma that HIV positive people still have to deal with,” Simonetti wrote.
“The media did a very good job by bringing homophobic images related to AIDS and HIV into the Mainstream World but somehow never managed to inform people about the medical progress that was made ever since and how life with HIV can look nowadays.”