Gay Retirement

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Also on this website:

Toby Johnson's books:

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

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 edtion from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan



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

About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

  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

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

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"

 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

The purpose of homosexuality

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

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

You're Not A Wave

What is Enlightenment?

What is reincarnation?

Emptiness & Religious Ideas

Experiencing experiencing experiencing

Going into the Light

Meditations for a Funeral

Meditation Practice

The way to get to heaven

Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal

Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva

John Boswell was Immanuel Kant

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

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

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

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

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

 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

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

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

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

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

About Alien Abduction

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

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

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 Guy Mannheimer

About Dennis Paddie

About Arthur Evans

About Christopher Larkin

About Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

Second March on Washington

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 Bougeois

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


When I passed White Crane to Bo Young and Dan Vera in 2003, continuing my path as a gay community service provider a slightly different direction (a direction time is forcing me to look anyway), I began thinking about "gay retirement."

Oh, not retiring from being gay, of course, but retiring from work and career and identity of adult life, something all of us will do eventually. Out gay men are beginning to reach retirement age. Some of us are finding ways to "retire" early, understanding--perhaps with specifically gay perspective--that work and career is only a small part of experience and that we need time in our lives for adventures, for travel, for contribution, for volunteerism, and for finding alternative ways of living. We're going to be needing to structure our lives so we are surrounded with friends and compatriots and access to gay "assisted living facilities" sometime in the future. Who'd want to have to go into a "straight" nursing home? We need new models for such services for ourselves.

I came out of the Northern Californian gay counterculture of the 1970s. Born two days before Hiroshima, I'm part of the very beginnings of the Babyboom Generation and lived in California all through the 70s. In those days we dreamed of retiring someday--“after the revolution"--with hippie friends to utopian colonies in the woods.

Thirty years later many of those friends have died. And we've all moved on from being hippies. But the utopian dreams still live on. The Radical Faeries have established a style of utopian community and sanctuary in several locations in the U.S. Some of us may "retire" to such sanctuaries. Some of us may be looking for more "upscale" versions. (There's a project, for instance, announced on the Internet at, to create gay and lesbian rural and urban "villages.")

There's a project for a sort of upscale retirement/skilled nursing care facility north of San Francisco called Fountaingrove Lodge.

And an "urban condominium community for older gay men lesbians, and their friends" in the Fenway/Audubon Circle neighborhood of Boston expected to statr construction in 2007. Check out

An urban retirement facility in Philadelphia is underway: The proposed six-story building will be home to 56 one-bedroom units designed for people age 62 and over. A portion of the residences will be dedicated to low-income adults. 249-257 S. 13th St., between Locust and Spruce.

In Santa Fe, NM, there is a beautiful and extensive facility being built called RainbowVision.
It's being developed along the "country club" or "resort" model for a retirement community. There are various levels of participation and financial investment. And a second facility is being developed in Palm Springs, CA.
NOTE: in late 2011, Rainbow Vision filed bankruptcy protections. It is unclear what will happen with this wonderful facility.

Rainbow Vista is a gay-owned and operated complex for gay seniors in Gresham, OR, a suburb of Portland. Their studio aprtment rate (including food and utilities and access to all their services) runs about $1450 a month. Their website shows many pictures, including a lovely view of Mt Hood. The city of Portland is easily accessible.

Tony Branch, a gay realtor, writes about retiring to Florida. "St. Petersburg, Florida with a focus on serving the needs of the large and diverse senior gay community.  Given the decrease in housing prices during the past two years, there are some amazingly good opportunities now ranging from beach cottages to over-55 condo communities with very gay friendly (though not exclusively gay except for one).  The beaches in this area are sandy, white, and warm.  A moderate cost of living make this area one folks should consider especially if they like warm weather and the beach but in area in which all kinds of cultural and other urban amenities abound."

Seashore Point Residences is 55+ community with-in the community of Provincetown MA, the top rated gay place to be. They offer studio-2 bedroom condos with 24/7 concierge services and most every other service a-la-cart. Beth Isreal Deconness has created several successful communities throughout New England. This growing community has plans for phase ii and offers pre-construction prices for new condos.


Some of us, myself among them, learned a vision of alternative living in monastic life. I wonder if we could somehow form "freelance monasteries," keeping the best parts of common life--eco-simplicity and camaraderie --without the religious and authoritarian (and anti-sexual) structures.

I wrote about such a "freelance monastery" in my never-published novel AWAKENING (which is available free for download). And in GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE (a description of the fictional Clear Light Colony in Perspective, CO is linked to the book title.)

Easton Mountain Retreat Center outside Albany NY is forming an intentional community which nicely fits my hypothetical freelance monastery model. They've abandoned the monastery as a model, but still following through with the community as centered around a retreat center and gay summer resort.

I would be interested in hearing from other men beginning to think about and plan how to adapt their own dreams to today's--and tomorrow's--world.


There's a fairly extensive site now at
This site provides links to existing (and proposed) gay retirement opportunities in Canada, Central America, Europe, and the US (Arizona, California, D.C., Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oho, Oregon, and Texas).

And there's a good site at
It has links and ads and discussions of topics of interest to older gay men, including listings of bars in which an older crowd is welcome.

In the past months that this article has been posted, I've had inquires about how I'm coming with the idea. Click here to get a list of others who've written along with a brief description of their visions.


Toby Johnson is author of GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe (Lethe Press, 2003, 2009)



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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