On Monday, November 2, 2015, an opening reception was held in Trinity Church for the New York City premiere of Blood Mirror: organized by Jordan Eagles, an exhibition featuring a seven-foot-tall, interactive, monolithic sculpture created in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ban on blood donations from non-celibate gay and bisexual men.
The Rev. Winnie Varghese welcomed the crowd, saying, "As a Christian church, we know something about the life-giving power of blood. Blood is a primary symbol for us, not just as life as it is, but life regenerated, remade, offered in greater wholeness for all of us...We have before us a beautiful image of hope and possibility preserved and suspended."
The Rev. John Moody, who has served at Trinity for forty years and donated blood for the creation of blood mirror, remarked, "In [his art Jordan Eagles has] raised an issue of justice and of truth that we all need to hear. In this he has raised up for us an understanding that in truth and justice perhaps we can all find ways to our hearts. We are all one in our blood...It means so much to me to have this piece in Trinity Church, my spiritual home."
Eric Sawyer, another panelist and UNAIDS Civil Society Partnership Advisor, mentioned that one of the first times he visited Trinity was during a demonstration at Broadway and Wall Street to protest the FDA for its lack of urgency approving and researching drugs to fight HIV. That was more than thirty years ago.
“I’m really happy that I’m here in another incident where we’re doing advocacy around inappropriate government behavior,” he said. “Again we’re targeting the FDA for a policy that isn’t based in science, doesn’t make sense, and should end."
Panelist Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis, also thanked Trinity. “This church has one of the most diverse congregations in the city, hosting people from all walks of life including the LGBT community,” he said. “HIV is transmitted by what you do, not by who you are. … It is unacceptable that with all of the knowledge about HIV and how it’s transmitted that we continue this ridiculous assumption that HIV is a gay disease.”
The exhibition, which is sponsored by Trinity's Congregational Arts Committee, will be on view from November 2, 2015 (All Souls’ Day), through December 1, 2015 (World AIDS Day), in the south vestibule of Trinity Church.
Looking for more photos? Hop on over to Facebook for the full gallery.