Sugarman, Saul. “Gay Passover: The Gayest Version of Exodus Ever Told”, illustrated by Max Charmley, Self-published, 2019.
Welcome to a Different Kind of Passover
Passover is traditionally celebrated as a holiday of freedom and as members of the LGBTQ community, we know what it is to be without freedom. We have made great progress in the last few years and right now we are the freest that we have ever been. For that alone, this year should be special and I cannot imagine it being more special than having our own Haggadah. Saul Sugarman has taken care of that for us by writing an unconventional Haggadah and it begins with the premise that many gay people come from humble roots and move to big cities. While Egypt was not exactly home for the Israelites since they were living there as slaves, they left in search of greener pastures. Like the children of Israel, many of us discovered our identities during the journey from one place to another. Sugarman reimagines the Exodus to have been something like this.
And yes this is a Haggadah but one that is definitely unconventional. “Gay Passover” sees the Exodus as a comedy that features Neil Patrick Harris as Moses, Cher as God and Oprah as the Angel of Death. We do not moan bout being slaves and talk how everything would have been enough; instead we have a few laughs and raise a few cups and enjoy a variation of the original setting out from Egypt.
This story begins in a suburban Middle American town, where residents face their own plagues including having the plainest and most basic of hairdos while living in ugly homes with no fabulosity. But then the gays arrive and soon everything is very different, the neighborhoods are gentrified, parties became fabulous and there is none of that Manischewitz purple wine. The town mayor begins to worry the entire town will turn gay, and orders families to kill their gay babies and there is always one—one mother couldn’t do it, though, and so one the child that was spared became Neil Patrick Harris, the adoptive son of conservative senators. “The Burning Bush” is a lesbian bar in Kansas and the 10 plagues for suburban straight people include skinny jeans and glitter bombs. Cher is the self-declared job and she is still trying to turn back time and help with things that happened before she established herself as the deity, This book includes the story as well as a “gayder” (pronounced like seeder but with a “g”) plate with symbols reflective of the LGBTQ community and our shared experiences.- Songs and games like “Let My Gays Go” and “One Twink, One Twink”: a variation on Chad Gadya- “The four gays”: a variation on “The four children” and even recipes to throw a fabulous “Gay Passover” party.