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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

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


The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance was the organization of lesbian and gay mental health workers at The Tenderloin Clinic in downtown San Francisco that lobbied to get the Gay Mental Health Task Force established.

The acronym stood for Dykes and Faggots Organized to Defeat Institutionalized Liberalism. We obviously loved the reference to the flower, daffodil. We were a group of slightly wiser and older flower children, a daffodil alliance indeed.

Gay mental health workers complained that we were hired for a "gay-specific clinic" but then were given so many chronic psychiatric cases we didn't have time to see the gay clients. So "institutionalized liberalism" meant the institution would claim to be gay-sensitive, but in fact didn't give a hoot about gay people's real issues.

(Ah, where's any kind of liberalism today?)


Part of the story of the DAFODIL Alliance was that its first action, on June 24, 1977, just before the Gay Pride March of that year, was a march/demonstration that started at the Tenderloin Mental Health Clinic in the old YMCA building on Golden Gate Street off Market and marched to City Hall and then to the offices of the community mental health services that funded our agency. We got a Lesbian Brass Marching Band to lead the demonstration.

It attracted so much attention that a HUGE crowd formed and followed us down the street. When this throng arrived at the mental health offices the openly gay but professionally discreet Director, Dr. Bill Goldman, climbed out and stood on a balcony outside his office window and agreed to give us everything we wanted.

(Which was $60,000 for our clinic and a job in the Health Dept for a black lesbian mother named Pat Norman who was then working as a paraprofessional at the City's mental health unit called The Center for Special Problems--who has since become a major S.F. politician and social servant.** )

Dr. Goldman also set up a Gay Mental Task Force to study and make recommendations for implementation of gay sensitive policies in the City's mental health services. The Task Force recommendations resulted in the adoption of a Gay Client's Bill of Rights, guaranteeing access to gay or gay-sensitive health care providers--a notion that, subsequently, had major effects in AIDS-related services.

For another two years, DAFODIL "oversaw" the implementation of the gay mental health task force recommendations. The irony of it all was that after that first demonstration, DAFODIL literally fell apart (we were all so P.C. we couldn't stand each other), but four of us kept meeting and sending official sounding letters. So by giving the illusion we were some sort of large and powerful group, we influenced city government significantly, but there were really only four people: two dykes and two faggots.

Mervyn Silverman who later became director of AmFAR and buddies with Liz Taylor replaced Goldman as supervisor of community mental health soon after his predecessor gave us all our demands. So it was mainly Silverman we pulled the wool over the eyes of.


But with good benefits all around!

The "backstory" --from Toby Johnson's perspective--of how The Tenderloin Clinic and San Francisco's gays-for-gays policy evolved out of early gay liberation activism.

One of the major characters in The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance was S.F. lesbian psychotherapist Phern Hunt.

Phern comments about D.A.F.O.D.I.L., "But the most important point was made through Dafodil, and that is that out gay therapists, heretofore, only held their positions as individuals... what we demanded was gay-identified mental health services... and of course we won.  Dafodil was like a gay therapists union in those days."

The original members of D.A.F.O.D.I.L. were: Ricki Boden, Phern Hunt, JoAnn Lovejoy, Carol Hastie, Mavis DeWees, myself (Toby Johnson), Rachel Wahba, Karin Wandrei, Becky Sharp, Reuven Closter, Daniel Ostrow, Nancy Feinstein, Karen Cagan, Maggie Hochfelder, Marge, Loon, Taj Tellalian, Russ Zellers, Larry Goldfarb, Sue Saperstein, Joanie Becker, Jeff Moulton. (back)

Among the original staff at The Tenderloin Clinic were: Connie Arburua, R.N.,  Michael Lipp, MSW,  Jerry Polon MSW, (eventual long term director of Tenderloin Clinic), David Brandt, PhD (not gay) and Fred Phillips, MD.,  Carol Hastie, MSW.

link to Tenderloin Times, a publication of Hospitality House, story about Dafodil and the gay counseling program at the Tenderloin Clinic. The article quotes Wanda Addams and Scott Toups, both counselors in the program at the clinic.

** In 2017, the movie of Cleve Jones's adventures in Gay Lib San Francisco and the AIDS crisis appeared on TV. It was titled WHEN WE RISE. Pat Norman is a character in the movie--she was played by Whoopi Goldberg. (Whoopi for Pat!) Here's a page about intersections in my life with the events in the movie.       

 (back to Pat Norman above)


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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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