Kuan Yin: A queer Buddhist Christ figure?

By Kittredge Cherry
Kuan Yin, the genderfluid spirit of compassion in Buddhism, is sometimes thought of as a queer Christ figure or LGBTQ role model. Buddhists celebrate the enlightenment of Kuan Yin every year in July or August. This year the date is Aug. 2, 2020. Transcending gender identity, Kuan Yin appears in whatever form is necessary to help people in need: sometimes female, sometimes male, sometimes androgynous. Christians honor Christ as savior, and Kuan Yin is a type of Buddhist savior figure called a bodhisattva — an enlightened person who is able to reach nirvana (heaven) but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save others from suffering. [More