26. Item 31: Stained Glass Icons
“Item 31: In the past, stained glass windows usually depicted flowers or devotional symbols like angels and saints. But modern culture venerates a different group. Create a stained glass window of a Kardashian, famous Instagram Influencer, or similar personality with more than 4 million followers.
It must be someone who is worshipped simply for being worshipped for being famous. You may not use anyone from the cast of Supernatural. Bonus points if it’s installed in an actual cathedral.”
Megan of the Illusive Yetis said: “The Holy Tears of St. James (Charles) was my favorite item to make in 2019. When I’m not doing GISH, I work with teen volunteers on community projects. My students keep me up on youth trends such as the rise of the 20-year-old beauty influencer, James Charles, who has over 15 million followers on YouTube.
She went on to say, “Charles has made a career out of looking fabulous in makeup, inciting drama, and weeping on camera. The stained glass work, made with artist tape and alcohol-based ink on framed glass, envisions Charles as a modern gay Byzantine icon.”
Pastor Layne Beamer, at First Christian Church of Whittier, helped Megan light the sanctuary shot. “Holy Tears” now hangs in an upstairs classroom of the church and will make an appearance at Queer Prom in the Fellowship Hall in September.
Even when GISH items don’t require teammates to make a difference, they usually find a way. What could have been a frivolous portrait of a Kardashian turned into a collaboration of youth, a church, and the LGBTQ+ community—allowing young people to firmly see themselves represented in a place that’s important to them.
Megan said it best: “It [GISH] is supposed to be a competition, but really, the Hunt lowkey facilitates self-care and building your relationships.”