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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

PLAGUE: A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.

THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell


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"

About Liberty Books, the Lesbian/Gay Bookstore for Austin, 1986-1996


The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

The Scriptural Basis for Same Sex Marriage

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

Why people need homosexuality to be a sin


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

Monastic or Chaste Homosexuality

Is it Time to Grow Up? Confronting the Aging Process

Notes on Licking  (July, 1984)

Redeem Orlando


Easton Mountain Retreat Center

The Mysticism of Andrew Harvey

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.

Joseph Campbell Talks about Aging

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

Cutting edge realization

What Anatman means

The Myth of the Wanderer

Change: Source of Suffering & of Bliss

The World Navel

What the Vows Really Mean

Manifesting from the Subtle Realms

The est Training and Personal Intention

Effective Dreaming in Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven



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

Having a Church to Leave

Harold Cole on Beauty

The Three-layer Cake & the Multiverse


 "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

Meditation

Historicity as Myth

Pilgrimage

No Stealing

The upsidedown book on MSNBC


Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

You're on Your Own

Superheroes

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

Not lashed to the prayer-post


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

Facing the Edge: AIDS as an occasion for spiritual wisdom


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

Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and the modern Gay Hero-- a five part presentation on YouTube


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 at the California Institute


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 Mark Thompson

About Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

About Kimberley McKell


 
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

Love Together: Longtime Male Couples on Healthy Intimacy and Communication by Tim Clausen

War Between Materialism and Spiritual by Jean-Michel Bitar

The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal

Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion
by Jeffrey J. Kripal

The Invitation to Love by Darren Pierre

Brain, Consciousness, and God: A Lonerganian Integration by Daniel A Helminiak

A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides by Andrew Harvey

Can Christians Be Saved? by Stephenson & Rhodes

The Lost Secrets of the Ancient Mystery Schools by Stephenson & Rhodes

Keys to Spiritual Being: Energy Meditation and Synchronization Exercises by Adrian Ravarour

In Walt We Trust by John Marsh

Solomon's Tantric Song by Rollan McCleary

A Special Illumination by Rollan McCleary

Aelred's Sin by Lawrence Scott

Fruit Basket by Payam Ghassemlou

Internal Landscapes by John Ollom

Princes & Pumpkins by David Hatfield Sparks

Yes by Brad Boney

Blood of the Goddess by William Schindler

Sanctity & Male Desire by Donald Boisvert

Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom by Jeffrey Kripal

Evolving Dharma by Jay Michaelson

Jesus in Salome's Lot by Brett W. Gillette

The Man Who Loved Birds by Fenton Johnson

The Vatican Murders by Lucien Gregoire

"Sex Camp" by Brian McNaught

Out & About with Brewer & Berg
Episode One: Searching for a New Mythology


The Soul Beneath the Skin by David Nimmons

Out on Holy Ground by Donald Boisvert

The Revolutionary Psychology of Gay-Centeredness by Mitch Walker

Out There by Perry Brass

The Crucifixion of Hyacinth by Geoff Puterbaugh

The Silence of Sodom by Mark D Jordan

It's Never About What It's About by Krandall Kraus and Paul Borja

ReCREATIONS, edited by Catherine Lake

Gospel: A Novel by WIlton Barnhard

Keeping Faith: A Skeptic's Journey by Fenton Johnson

Dating the Greek Gods
by Brad Gooch

Telling Truths in Church by Mark D. Jordan

The Substance of God by Perry Brass

The Tomcat Chronicles by Jack Nichols

10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives by Joe Kort

Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same Sex Love by Will Roscoe

The Third Appearance by Walter Starcke

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann


Surviving and Thriving After a Life-Threatening Diagnosis by Bev Hall

Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods by Ronald Long

    An Interview with Ron Long

Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions by Randy Conner & David Sparks

   
An Interview with Randy Conner

Pain, Sex and Time by Gerald Heard

Sex and the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak

Blessing Same-Sex Unions by Mark Jordan

Rising Up by Joe Perez

That Undeniable Longing by Mark Tedesco

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman

Wisdom for the Soul by Larry Chang

Soulfully Gay by Joe Perez

MM4M a DVD by Bruce Grether

Double Cross by David Ranan

The Transcended Christian by Daniel Helminiak

Jesus in Love by Kittredge Cherry

In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson

The Starry Dynamo by Sven Davisson

Life in Paradox by Fr Paul Murray

Spirituality for Our Global Community by Daniel Helminiak

Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert A. Minor

Coming Out: Irish Gay Experiences by Glen O'Brien

Queering Christ by Robert Goss

Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage

The Flesh of the Word by Richard A Rosato

Catland by David Garrett Izzo

Tantra for Gay Men by Bruce Anderson

Yoga & the Path of the Urban Mystic by Darren Main

Simple Grace by Malcolm Boyd

Seventy Times Seven by Salvatore Sapienza

What Does "Queer" Mean Anyway? by Chris Bartlett

Critique of Patriarchal Reasoning by Arthur Evans

Gift of the Soul by Dale Colclasure & David Jensen

Legend of the Raibow Warriors by Steven McFadden

The Liar's Prayer by Gregory Flood

Lovely are the Messengers by Daniel Plasman

The Human Core of Spirituality by Daniel Helminiak

3001: The FInal Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Religion and the Human Sciences by Daniel Helminiak

Only the Good Parts by Daniel Curzon

Four Short Reviews of Books with a Message

Life Interrupted by Michael Parise

Confessions of a Murdered Pope by Lucien Gregoire

The Stargazer's Embassy by Eleanor Lerman

Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny

Scissors, Paper, Rock by Fenton Johnson



Toby Johnson remembers a bit of gay history of
San Antonio in the 1980s


In summer of 1984 a rep (maybe named Werner) from the National Association of Business Councils (NABC) based in New York City came to San Antonio to help organize a San Antonio business association. He contacted Michael Stevens who was editor of The Calendar (the publication of San Antonio Gay Alliance, the organization Michael Stevens founded in 1980. The Calendar started out as a SAGA newsletter but then became an independent publication distributed in gay community bars and businesses.

Michael called a group together to meet with the national organizer. We met in the late afternoon at Lollie Johnson’s bar at 3503 West Ave, called LJ’z.

From that meeting the effort began to develop an organization aimed to strengthen the local gay community by identifying and connecting various businesses run by and for gay men and lesbians. It paralleled the Tavern Guild in the sense of being an association of business owners, but the Tavern Guild was simply bar owners, the business association would be for the rest of the community. In fact, these were the advertisers in The Calendar (mostly realtors).

There was a “Business Council Meeting” on Thursday August 9. Then after Oct 16, there was an ABC meeting 3 weeks in a row on Tuesday nights at 7:30 at Jim Halloran’s home on Rosewood nr Fredericksburg. The meeting after Oct 23 were at ReMax.

The original male and female co-chairs were Jim Halloran and Barbara Havard (Barbara’s office was at the ReMax office behind the old Central Park Mall at Rector and Blanco). Kip Dollar was Treasurer of the original interim board (Kip’s name is shown as the registrant for the assumed name certificate.) Vice-President was Hans Bloemen. 

The initial meetings were at Jim Halloran’s home on Rosewood. After a couple of those meetings, when it looked like there would be sufficient interest to forge ahead, Barbara Havard let us use the conference room in her ReMax office for general meetings. Meetings of the officers continued at Jim’s house on Rosewood, where we worked on bylaws later put to general vote.


Among original members were Clark Niblock, Byron Trott, Russell McCauley, Dana DiCastro and Fred Idar, Barbara Havard and Julee French, Patrick Lombrano and Steve Parker, Michael Stevens and Patrick Kerr, Toby Johnson and Kip Dollar, Pat Westbrook, Rudy Gonzalez and John Mitchell, Cataria Reyes…

Tues, Dec 4, there was an ABC meeting with Hap Veltman, an attorney and entrepreneur with prominence in both the gay and general communities. Hap was owner of the Bonham and previous owner the San Antonio Country. He was also a member of the Board of SAGA. An early ABC event was a fairly large hotel dinner at which Hap was the Guest of Honor. It was held at the Marriott RiverWalk – one of the members Dana DiCastro was Director of food and beverage there and a number of gay community events happened at the Marriott. (That might be the Dec 4 event.)  This was the first public subscription event for the ABC, and was both a PR vehicle (displaying the existence of the group and its ability to pull off the event) and a public service (acknowledgment of Hap’s prominent role in the community).  It was deemed a success that ticket sales covered costs with a modest profit. 

A second public event produced by ABC was a bus trip to Lyle’s Deck in South Padre Island in the Spring of 1985 (April 13th 1985).  After planning had been completed but prior to the actual trip, Jim Halloran resigned as co-chair due to upcoming relocation for professional reasons.  Hans Bloemen assumed the role of President. 

Following the beach excursion ABC activities were confined to periodic meetings of the membership and activities directed to enlarging participation. 

The emerging AIDS epidemic had a varied impact on the group. Initiatives such as the “Blood Sisters” campaign to encourage lesbians to donate blood to compensate for the prohibition of donation by gay men were not an official function of ABC but were largely overseen by ABC members and publicized using ABC communication channels. Likewise, the SAFE Week project originally begun by Jim Halloran to address public health issues (particularly STDs) in the gay population garnered much ABC support though it was not an official ABC project.  

ABC activities began to taper off, probably due to a number of causes. Certainly the growing AIDS epidemic fostered concern and created stressors within the gay and lesbian as well as the general community, especially in the early days when little was reliably known about the illness and assumptions about transmission later proven false gained attention in the media. One of the other early presidents was Harel McKinzie. For a period the group became nearly dormant, existing in name but with little public activity.  As late as April 1987, ABC was meeting in hotels and restaurants on the first Tuesday of the month.


T
he group was revived through the efforts of a new President, Russell Allen.  (There may have been a meeting with Russell at the Gunter Hotel on Nov 1, 1985; I remember the board meeting with him at the Gunter, but am not sure this entry in my calendar book is acatually that event.) Russell had moved to San Antonio from Houston to work for the San Antonio symphony. He had been very active with the Executive and Professional Association of Houston (EPAH, an organization with objectives similar to those of the ABC but with a much larger membership base and better developed management structure.) Russell capitalized on his EPAH connections to help strengthen ABC operations. There was a second trip to Lyle’s Deck later. Russell Allen attended the second trip, I believe. There was also a group trip to Galveston; we went on a cruise ship (casino?) around Galveston Bay. And there was trip in 1985 to a party sponsored by EPAH at the home of a wealthy member near the Galleria.

Russell brought the model of Houston EPAH to San Antonio; he was invited by the ABC board to give a new burst of enthusiasm to ABC. He became the second or third president and revamped the organization into the social club it then became and flourished.

rainbow line

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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