Table of Contents
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
THE FOURTH QUILL, a
novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil
CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"
The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the "Statement of Spirituality"
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
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
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
There is a short version of this press release at Two Spirits Press Release (short)
New book by noted anthropologist/historian and gay culture
scholar documents “same-sex marriage” as indigenous to the
Re: Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo
Authors: Walter L. Williams & Toby Johnson
Published by Lethe Press, 102 Heritage Ave, Maple Shade, NJ 08052
Contact: co-author Toby Johnson -- firstname.lastname@example.org
With its sweet tale of inter-racial romance between a young Civil War survivor from Virginia and a Navajo berdache/two-spirit healer of the Old West, Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo demonstrates gender variance as a source of spiritual power and documents “same-sex marriage” as indigenous to the American continent.
Twenty years after his influential and ground-breaking perennial bestseller The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, the book that first popularized the berdache tradition among Native American cultures, historian-anthropologist Walter L. Williams has produced a new work on gender and sexual variance -- this time teaming up with award-winning novelist and gay spiritual writer Toby Johnson.
Striking in its evocation of Navajo philosophy, culture and spirituality, this book is a story of tragedy, oppression, and discrimination, but also an enlightening tale of love, personal discovery, and natural beauty. It illuminates the truth of what the United States did to the largest tribe of indigenous people in the Americas. Full of suspense, plot twists, and endearing romance, Two Spirits will captivate readers with its positive approach to life and love.
This novel, based in the historical facts of the fabled West, tells a tale of adventure of a hapless young man from rural Virginia, who is assigned to be the Government Indian Agent on the Bosque Redondo Reservation after the Civil War and discovers himself and so much more.
In the 1860s, the Navajo Indians were held as virtual prisoners of war in the desolate New Mexico desert in an "experiment in Indian management" under the command of an unscrupulous Civil War general who was later removed for swindling money sent by Washington for the Indians’ food and lodging, making himself and his cronies rich at the Indians’ expense.
This story recounts how the fictional Indian Agent develops a romantic relationship with a Two-Spirit healer among the Navajos, and so comes to appreciate personally the plight of the Indians on the reservation. The Two-Spirit Person is modelled on the revered character in certain Native American cultures who blended masculine and feminine genders and so was honored as exemplar of spiritual values.
Through a series of adventures, shot through with Navajo mysticism, the two lovers expose the general’s chicanery and bring about the Indians’ return to their ancestral homeland in eastern Arizona. In the process, the young Virginian learns Native American spirituality and discovers a positive context for his own emotional and sexual development.
His marriage to his Two-Spirit partner demonstrates historical precedent for same-sex marriage on American soil. "Gay marriage" is not new to America. The indigenous cultures on this continent had honored same-sex relationships long before Europeans immigrated here.
The book includes an Afterword: About the Historical Accuracy of this Novel and A Commentary by Navajo/Diné scholar Wesley Thomas.
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo was awarded a development grant in the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation competition for Gay-positive Art Projects based on Historical Subjects.
Two Spirits is available from gay community bookstores nationwide, major wholesalers, the usual Internet outlets, barnesandnoble.com & amazon.com, and from www.tobyjohnson.com
Published by Lethe Press ISBN 1-59021-060-3 $18.00, 332 pages, Paperback, July 2006 release
Walter L Williams, Ph.D. is professor of anthropology, history and gender studies at the University of Southern California, where he teaches gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies, and also American Indian Studies. He is past president of ONE Institute International Gay and Lesbian Archives, and is currently editor of the International Gay And Lesbian Review. For the past two decades, he has been speaking on the berdache (now more preferably called Two-Spirit) phenomenon and has been well-received both by fellow anthropologists and by general audiences. He is author of more than eight books. His The Spirit And The Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culturee is a basic staple of any gay reading list and is stocked in bookstores well beyond the network of gay stores.
Toby Johnson, Ph.D. is a writer and former bookseller in the gay genre. He was a counselor in San Francisco in the 1970s and one of the developers of gay-oriented psychotherapy. For almost seven years, he and his partner operated Liberty Books, the lesbian and gay community bookstore in Austin. From 1997 to 2004 Johnson was editor and publisher of the small but respected quarterly journal of gay men’s spirituality, White Crane. He has had published three gay novels and five non-fiction works about the ideas of renowned religions scholar Joseph Campbell. Johnson, only half-joking, refers to himself as "Joe Campbell's apostle to the gay community."
Recently Toby Johnson and Kip Dollar, partners of 23 years, have run gay Bed & Breakfasts first in the Rocky Mountains and then in the Texas Hill Country. Kip and Toby were the first male couple registered as Domestic Partners in Texas.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, click here
For a hi-res pdf of the cover
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
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of
Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated
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
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