Before he was Jesus with pink eyeshadow and a rainbow scarf, he was a political TikToker pushing out videos during the 2020 election. “People kept telling me, ‘You look just like Jesus, except you’re gay,” said TikTok creator JeGaysus. So he made a Halloween costume for “the King of Queens,” and thus, JeGaysus was born. He wanted to keep it fun, but viewers’ comments prompted him to make videos deconstructing Bible stories and analyzing Scripture through progressive theology.
“I don’t know if it’s an addiction or a job. I can’t tell,” said JeGaysus.
JeGaysus is 30 — “just like Jesus,” he said —and is studying, working and running his viral TikTok account in California. His videos range from creative uses of memes to in-depth discussions of the origins of the word hell. Usually, they feature him in street clothes and long curly hair and beard, in dialogue with his JeGaysus persona. He prefers to go by his TikTok username to protect his privacy.
“There’s a big evangelical community on TikTok that will mass-report deconstructionist usernames at the same time to get profiles removed,” he said. He’s cautious of revealing too much about himself, particularly what his own faith is. He grew up Southern Baptist and eventually became nondenominational. All his biblical knowledge, he said, comes from the internet. But people remain curious about his personal beliefs.
“I get asked that 100 times a day. I keep it out of the public eye because it distracts from the conversations I want to have,” said JeGaysus. Keeping his own beliefs private, he said, allows him to have conversations about a variety of different topics and engage with the many different perspectives that have a home in “Deconstruction TikTok.”