|Song by Rufus Wainwright|
|from the EP Waiting for a Want|
"Gay Messiah" is a song written and performed by American-Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. It originally appeared on his EP, Waiting for a Want, released by DreamWorks Records in June 2004 as a preview of his fourth studio album, Want Two, released by Geffen Records in November 2004.
"Gay Messiah" features both Christian and gay iconography, and has been described as an example of Wainwright expressing his sexuality within his work. In the song, Wainwright addresses being labeled a gay icon, which he rejects. Instead, Wainwright declares he is "Rufus the Baptist", referring to John the Baptist, and sings: "I won't be the one/Baptised in cum". He says of the titular subject: "He will then be reborn from 1970s porn/wearing tube socks with style/and such an innocent smile". In his review of Want Two, Pitchfork's Stephen Deusner described the savior character as "Wainwright's own personal Jesus".
Religious wars are back in fashion, and the main problem is that I don't empathise with religious sentiment. Gay people are not represented in that literature. So even though it's silly, I feel like I can't enter the conversation. So I decided to write a song about how the next messiah would be a homosexual. The Bible needs a gay gospel.
In 2005, he said of the song's origins:
It was written ages ago as a party song, to kind of liven up a dinner table. And then as the political climate thickened it became a kind of liberal anthem. On stage I began to preface it with a plea to go out and vote Democrat. And now it has become a kind of literal prayer. We do actually need this divine porn star to come down and teach us what it means to be human again...
- Deusner, Stephen (November 15, 2004). "Rufus Wainwright: Want Two". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Wener, Ben (September 24, 2007). "Rufus Wainwright's Judy Garland tribute a wobbly charmer". Orange County Register. Digital First Media. ISSN 0886-4934. OCLC 12199155. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- "Rufus Wainwright: The Gay Messiah Is Coming". Star Observer. Darlinghurst, New South Wales: Gay and Lesbian Community Publishing Limited. April 20, 2008. ISSN 0819-5129. OCLC 26727666. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Sinagra, Laura (July 29, 2005). "The Listings: July 29 -- Aug. 4; Rufus Wainwright, Ben Folds". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522.
- Rimalower, Ben (June 14, 2016). "Rufus Wainwright on What Makes Judy Garland a Gay Icon". Playbill. New York City. ISSN 0551-0678. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Ganahl, Jane (January 9, 2004). "From rehab to new album, he's walked through fire and come out singing -- today, Rufus Wainwright may be the darling of pop, but he's no messiah: 'Rufus the Baptist I be'". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. ISSN 1932-8672. OCLC 8812614. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- "Rufus Wainwright: Living the high life". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. May 15, 2004. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Adams, Tim (February 20, 2005). "Crystal clear". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Jones, Chris (2005). "Rufus Wainwright Want Two Review". BBC. Retrieved May 9, 2017.