Harry Hay, wiseman

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Also on this website:

Toby Johnson's books:

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness

GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe

SECRET MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE: A romance novel set in the 1980s and the 1890s.

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil

TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams

CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story


About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series

  Articles and Excerpts:

Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"

The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

 The cause of homosexuality

The origins of homophobia

Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness

What is homosexuality?

What is Gay Spirituality?

My three messages

What Jesus said about Gay Rights

Queering religion

Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men

Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?

The purpose of homosexuality

The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter

The Gay Succession

Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality

Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men

Varieties of Gay Spirituality

Waves of Gay Liberation Activity

Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium

Easton Mountain Retreat Center

Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism

The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the  "Statement of Spirituality"

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

You're Not A Wave

What is Enlightenment?

What is reincarnation?

How many lifetimes in an ego?

Emptiness & Religious Ideas

Experiencing experiencing experiencing

Going into the Light

Meditations for a Funeral

Meditation Practice

The way to get to heaven

Buddha's father was right

Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal

The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika

Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva

John Boswell was Immanuel Kant

The Two Loves

Curious Bodies

What Toby Johnson Believes

The Joseph Campbell Connection

Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy

The Nature of Religion

What's true about Religion

Being Gay is a Blessing

Drawing Long Straws

Freedom of Religion

The Gay Agenda

Gay Saintliness

Gay Spiritual Functions

The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.

The Sinfulness of Homosexuality

Proposal for a study of gay nondualism

Priestly Sexuality

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

"St. John of the Cross &
the Dark Night of the Soul."

 Eckhart's Eye

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Religious Articulations of the Secret

The Collective Unconscious

Driving as Spiritual Practice


Historicity as Myth


No Stealing

Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil

Allah Hu: "God is present here"
Adam and Steve

The Life is in the Blood

Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"

Seeing with Different Eyes

The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside

The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis

The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
Part 2:
The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Part 3:
Jesus and the Resurrection
Part 4:
A Course in Miracles

The Secret of the Clear Light

Understanding the Clear Light

Mobius Strip

Finding Your Tiger Face

How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

About Alien Abduction

What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?

The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance

More about Gay Mental Health

Psych Tech Training

The Rainbow Flag

Ideas for gay mythic stories

Kip and Toby, Activists

Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.

Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement

About Hay and The New Myth

About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"

About Michael Talbot, gay mystic

About Fr. Bernard Lynch

About Richard Baltzell

About Guy Mannheimer

About David Weyrauch

About Dennis Paddie

About Ask the Fire

About Arthur Evans

About Christopher Larkin

About Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

Book Reviews

Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook

Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer

The Way Out by Christopher L  Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson

Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry

Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr

Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois

Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson

Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low

Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman

The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman

Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor

Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine

The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada

The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook

The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther

The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel

Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak

Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez

Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr

Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman

Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano

The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo

The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar

Occam’s Razor by David Duncan

Grace and Demion by Mel White

Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso

The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery

The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass

Will Roscoe on Harry Hay

Harry Hay, Founder of the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries is truly the "Father and Founder of the modern gay movement."

Will Roscoe, another important founder of the gay movement as scholar author, historian and philosopher of gay awareness, collected and wrote about Hay's ideas in his seminal book Radically Gay. Harry Hay did not write a book of his own, so Radically Gay (and Stuart Timmons biography "Trouble With Harry") form the corpus of Harry Hay's literary/philosophical output.

His thought is important. These are ideas that, I believe, arise from the very experience of being gay.

Roscoe provides a succinct summary. This piece from his book has been reprinted and distributed multiple times through White Crane precisely because it is so seminal to our collective thought.

From Harry Hay's Radically Gay, edited by Will Roscoe


Harry Hay's Gay politics represent an alternative to postmodernist, queer theory and dogmatic constructionism. Indeed, Hay is the only contemporary Gay thinker who could be said to offer a unified theory of Gayness — one that begins by defining its subject in multidimensional terms and then accounts for its individual and historical origins, its diverse forms and their history, the psychosocial development of Gay individuals, and the nature and sources of Gay oppression. Postmodernism offers at best a politics of resignation, one that rejects the possibility of an "outside" to power, of a subject-SUBJECT alternative to subject-OBJECT social relations, and the means of getting there is through a politics that affirms Queer identities and cultures.


Hay is not bothered if his ideas are called essentialist or if his activism is deemed identity politics — he is happy to emphasize his differences with social constructionism and Queer theory — provided that the word radical precede these labels. The original meaning of this word, "to the root," serves well to convey the underlying theme of his philosophy and politics. The key principles of Harry's radical essentialism can be summed up as follows:


It is, first and foremost, Gay-centered — a "situated knowledge" (to borrow Donna Haraway's terminology) reflecting the social standpoint of contemporary sexual minorities. It is not neutral on the question of Queer well-being; it seeks to create knowledge that contributes to that end.


It posits Gay presence rather than absence in the usual state of human society.


It conceives of its subject in multidimensional terms — not merely as sexual preference but as a difference manifest in gender roles, social identity, economic roles and sometimes religious roles, as well.


It seeks to tell history from the bottom up, using those documents, records and artifacts that reveal the common experience of the largest number of Queer folk and not only the discourse of elite heterosexuals and social institutions.


It recognizes various levels of meaning — individual, social, transcultural, and spiritual. It does not assume that the way an individual describes herself will be identical to the institutional definition of labels that have been applied to her.


It is multicultural and comparative. Rather than a unitary instance-- "the modern homosexual"-- it employs the notion of a family tree (like Wittgenstein's concept of "family resemblance") to conceptualize the relationship between the Queer identities and roles of different cultures and historical periods.


It views history as a process of continuity-within-change rather than as a series of sharply defined periods of ruptures. Concept/labels like "Sodomite" and "Urning," "homosexual," and "Gay," have overlapped in their usage. Neither can be defined without reference to the other.


It focuses on praxis. It seeks to analyze the interaction between individuals and their societies and cultures. It looks for instances of symbols and ideas in action as well as in discourse.


The mass coming-out that transformed the quiescent homophile movement of the 1960s into the dynamic Lesbian/Gay liberation and civil rights movements of the 1970s and 1980s was in large measure a function of joining a community where a negative label could be replaced with an affirmative identity. Hay's writings show that this was no accident. The cultural minority model was a carefully thought out political analysis and strategy on the part of the Mattachine founders.


Beacon Press (June 30, 1997) ISBN-10: 0807070815 / ISBN-13: 978-0807070819  Used with permission.

Will Roscoe is author/editor of numerous books, including The Zuni Man-Woman, Changing Ones, Queer Spirits and Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love

see all his titles at amazon.com

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Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.

Johnson's Lammy Award winning book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated book  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are available now from Lethe Press.

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