The Two Tobys

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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

Toby and Toby

from Toby Johnson's book GAY PERSPECTIVE:

While I was working as a psychiatric counselor in a gay mental health clinic in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, I met Harvard-trained political science and sociology scholar (and nicknamesake) Toby Marotta. (How we met)

After Joseph Campbell, Marotta--with his irrepressible enthusiasm for gay consciousness as the flower of modern countercultural thought and his own successful demonstration of revolution through consciousness change--has had the greatest influence on my intellectual life. (At one time, I mythologized Toby as my Guardian Angel).

Toby Marotta at Castro Station1980

Together we launched ourselves into literary careers, beginning with the revision of Toby's massive Harvard doctoral dissertation on the rise of the modern gay and lesbian rights movement which was published as The Politics of Homosexuality: How Lesbians and Gay Men Have Made Themselves a Political and Social Force in Modern America. We compiled a series of interviews with gay Harvard classmates of his that appeared in the book Sons of Harvard: Gay Men in the Class of 67. And we worked together in a federally-funded study of gay hustlers and teen runaways, which I summarized in In Search of God in the Sexual Underworld. I'd been a gay counselor and activist, but from Toby I learned the rich and complicated history of the movement. With him I began to understand my interest in religion and spirituality in the context of gay liberation.


Read about Toby Marotta's vision of positive, life-affirming gay culture
Read about The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance of Gay Mental Health workers in San Francisco in 1979:
a great example of successful community activism.

Read about the URSA study
Toby and Toby worked together in of
teenage boys involved in gay prostitution


Toby Marotta


Toby MarottaCurrently, Toby Marotta is teaching people how to use the Internet for education and self-help. His specialty is on-line medicine. 


Green Cleaning Institute

Toby Marotta is author of a small book called AIDS-Preventing Sexual Hygiene on sexual hygiene based, interestingly, in the cleanliness practices of Zorastrianism. The book is subtitled: "Complement Condom Use by Gargling, Douching, and Washing After Sex."

It's a terrible mistake, Marotta argues, to think there's nothing you can do if you make a mistake in judgment and get yourself into an act of unsafe sex. There are ways to wash afterwards (with a vinegar solution, for instance) that can be shown effective in reducing spread of microorganisms.


This site features a collection from Toby Marotta's extensive archives of gay culture and history.

Toby Marotta's books are available used. Click on the links to see available stock and how to order:

The Politics of Homosexuality

Sons of Harvard: Gay Men in the Class of '67

BACK to Toby Johnson's home page

Toby Marotta and I have both been called Toby since birth (for me, actually even before; it was my parents' nickname for me as a fetus). For both of us it's a nickname not based on our given names. We were born almost exactly six months apart. Marotta in Massachusetts; me in Texas.

He was working in a city-sponsored study of social service agencies in downtown San Francisco; I was working in a mental health agency. AND I happened to be on intake at the front desk when he came in. We quickly discovered the parallels and coincidences in our lives. We got to be close friends and then started working together when I offered to help him convert his dissertation into a publishable book.

We worked in a study together of teenage boys involved in gay prostitution in New York, San Francisco, and Boston primarily. We roamed around big cities at night talking to the boys about their lives. As a mental health clinician, I was focused on social service agencies and visited federally funded runaway shelters to observe how they handled boys involved in gay hustling.

Between us, I came to be known as Toby Won and he was Toby Too. We were given these names by a client of mine named Harry who I counseled at the clinic during a suicidal period in Harry's life. So since he lived, he declared "Toby won." Later Harry met Toby Marotta--and worked with us in the hustler study for a while. So Marotta was Toby Too.

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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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