Reviews of GAY PERSPECTIVE


Contact Us

Table of Contents

Search Site

home  Home


~

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.

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

Meditation

Historicity as Myth

Pilgrimage

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



Reviews of GAY PERSPECTIVE
** Lambda Literary Award Nominee 2004 **

eRIK, manager of a Lambda Rising store, and contributor to the yahoo group Rainbow_Readership posted this review:

 

Gay perspective: things our homosexuality tells us about the nature

of God and the universe

by Toby Johnson (2003; Alyson Books; 206 pgs.)

<**** of 5>

 

With a clear vision, Toby Johnson explores how being homosexual, and thus non-standard, allows us queers a unique view on religion, society, spirituality, sexuality, and gender roles. Embracing a variety of faiths and a range of progressive and feminist doctrines, he shapes a brave redefinition of how to live as gay and lesbian individuals, fully in tune with the concepts of God's whole nature. "Gay Perspective" is a thought-provoking volume, and is intended as such, to create a discourse for us to express in our relationship with the non-gay world in which we live. I found it quite inspiring, especially in its reaffirmation of simple truths that are easily forgotten in our modern world, and I heartily recommend it to anyone willing to imagine the world as a tapestry of beauty.

 :) eRIK

 



Lori L. Lake, author of DIFFERENT DRESS, GUN SHY, UNDER THE GUN, and RICOCHET IN TIME http://www.LoriLLake.com., Associate Editor: http://www.JustAboutWrite.com, and Book Reviewer for: http://www.midwestbookreview.com wrote this review:

 

GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe --- 5 out of 5 ****

 

I don't tend to read a lot of non-fiction, and that which I do read I choose carefully. I am thankful I chose to read GAY PERSPECTIVE. This is a book full of hope and heart, and every person--gay or straight--would benefit from reading it. Toby Johnson, the author of the previous groundbreaking book, GAY SPIRITUALITY, takes his points from that earlier book one step further and delineates a careful examination of all the ways that an "outsider" perspective -- such as a non-heterosexual point of view -- allows for a unique and life-giving take on true spirituality, as opposed to old-time religion of superstition, fear, and exclusion. He includes chapters on how our homosexuality tells us things about: Life, Sex, Religion, the Church, God, and the World, and in so doing, weaves together a wonderful narrative about all the ways gay people can help society transcend ignorance and embrace true love and compassion.

 

In thoughtful, clear language, Johnson presents positive affirmation that the spiritual consciousness that gay people--indeed, all GLBTQ people--are now expressing is a vital and evolutionary step forward for everyone on the planet. No longer need we be trapped in meaningless, dogmatic, fear-based, or male-dominated religious practices. He writes, "It is not a negative, fatalistic, or materialistic secularism our homosexuality reveals to us, but a universe full of mystery, wonder, beauty, and magic" (p. 203). We "outsiders" have the opportunity to rise above that and lead the way for all people to a more loving, accepting, and spiritually fulfilling place.

 

Early on, Johnson says that gay men may find the book to be more about them than lesbians will. He indicates that since he is writing from the experience of a gay man, he doesn't assume to speak for women; however, as a lesbian reading this book, I found that the author accorded respect toward all women and advocated for a holistic and feminist view of relationships for all.

 

Author, psychotherapist, activist, and community organizer Toby Johnson is also a religious scholar and former Catholic monk. His experience and insight shine in this fantastic new book. I highly recommend it to anyone--gay or otherwise.

 

Living Traditions Online ran this review:

 

2003 is a fascinating year in the development of gay and lesbian culture. We have slowly transitioned from the radical days of gay liberation and seem, at times, to be plummeting towards a new conservativism nearly as fast as the governments and cultures that surround us. All too often we seem to emphasis how much the "same" we are as straight people, how similar we are in "so many ways". We even try to turn our long-term relationships into marriages, just like the good old straight world around us. The sad thing in this process is that we forget we are different. Whether we like it or not gay, lesbian and transgender people think differently, they have a different angle on the world equation. While we have many things in common with our straight brothers and sisters, being outsiders we have a unique worldview, a unique queer perspective.

 

Too often, especially as gay men, we think that this difference is primarily sexual and certainly gay men do have a very different approach to sex than straight men. However, sex and intimacy is where we begin, not where we end. Since we are sexual outsiders we bring a different view to questions of love, intimacy and society and well as to the big questions of religion and God.

 

This is where Toby Johnson comes in. Johnson is the well-respected author of Gay Spirituality (among other books) as well as the editor of White Crane, A Journal of Gay Men's Spirituality. His new book, Gay Perspective, examines the gay view of the world from the perspective of spirituality. It is a challenging and powerful read. Johnson challenges the notion that we should emphasis our sameness and explores what the "gay difference" means to us. He considers how we view the world, spirituality and our relationship to God through the unique lens of being gay.

 

Gay Perspective looks at the unfolding of the new spiritual worldview as illustrated in the ideas of such writers as Joseph Campbell and Teilhard de Chardin to name a couple and places us within the context of this spiritual evolutionary process.

 

So while the fight for equal rights and related issues are certainly significant, Johnson reminds us that our focus should also include our spirituality and we should not "sell ourselves short" by ignoring the uniqueness, beauty and power of our difference.

Gay Perspective is an easy read and sometimes like a good conversation with a long lost friend. It is gentle and kindly reminds us of our potentials and possibilities and nudges us forward towards the greater goal. This is an important work for the present time.



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.

 back to top


BACK to Toby's home page


valid html

Visitors