Table of Contents
Also on this website:
SPIRITUALITY: The Role of
Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness
Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature
of God and the Universe
MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press
with Afterword by Mark Jordan
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
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
Books on Gay Spirituality:
Crane Gay Spirituality Series
Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The
Dimensional Structure of
Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San
Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate
Why gay people should NOT Marry
Wedding Cake Liberation
Gay Marriage in Texas
Shame on the American People
The "highest form of love"
Second March on
Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality
cause of homosexuality
origins of homophobia
about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness
What is homosexuality?
is Gay Spirituality?
What Jesus said about Gay
Common Experiences Unique to Gay
Is there a "uniquely gay
The purpose of homosexuality
The Reincarnation of Edward
The Gay Succession
Interview on the Nature of
What the Bible Says about
Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men
of Gay Spirituality
of Gay Liberation Activity
Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality
as Artistic Medium
Easton Mountain Retreat Center
Andrew Harvey &
Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and
the "Statement of Spirituality"
"It's Always About You"
The myth of the
Joseph Campbell's description of
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
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
The Danda Nata
& goddess Kalika
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
The Two Loves
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection
Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy
The Nature of Religion
What's true about
Gay is a Blessing
Drawing Long Straws
Gay Spiritual Functions
The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.
The Sinfulness of
for a study of gay nondualism
"The Evolution of Gay Identity"
"St. John of the
Dark Night of the Soul."
Let Me Tell You a Secret
Religious Articulations of the
The Collective Unconscious
Driving as Spiritual Practice
Step in Evolution
The Moulting of the Holy Ghost
is a Bodhisattva
The Hero's Journey as archetype
Immaculate Conception & Assumption
Prostitution and the Nature of Evil
Hu: "God is present here"
The Life is in the Blood
retirement and the "freelance monastery"
Seeing with Different Eyes
experience at the Servites' Castle in Riverside
Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis
The Techniques Of The World Saviors
Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the
Part 2: The
Part 3: Jesus
and the Resurrection
Part 4: A
Course in Miracles
Secret of the Clear Light
Understanding the Clear Light
Souls Get Reincarnated
In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke
Karellen was a homosexual
About Alien Abduction
are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?
about Gay Mental Health
Ideas for gay
Kip and Toby,
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"
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
Be Done on Earth
by Howard E. Cook
Pay Me What I'm Worth by
The Way Out by Christopher
The Gay Disciple by John Henson
Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry
Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth
the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois
Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay
Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson
Dark Knowledge by
Janet Planet by Eleanor
Kairos by Paul E. Hartman
with Jesus by D.K.Maylor
Kali Rising by Rudolph
Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada
Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook
The Scar Letters: A Novel
by Richard Alther
Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel
by Charlene Spretnak
Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez
Cut Hand: A
Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr
by Eleanor Lerman
Rizzoli by Felice Picano
to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo
The Door of the
Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar
by David Duncan
and Demion by Mel White
Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L.
Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery
Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
Waves of Gay Liberation Activity
I want to present four
seminal ideas. These come from the following books:
by Daniel Quinn
OF BONE by Randy Conner
OUR SENSES by Morris Berman
POLITICS OF HOMOSEXUALITY by Toby Marotta
beings appear to have lived on Earth for a couple of million years. The
dates have recently been pushed back even further. These people were
roughly called "Hunters and Gatherers." They lived in harmony with
nature and developed a stable ecological niche in which the population
kept balanced with the food sources. Daniel Quinn’s character Ishmael
calls them “Leavers,” because they left things they found them.
5-10 thousand years ago, a new idea developed among certain human
beings. This is called The Agrarian Revolution and is thought of as the
birth of humankind as we know it. Agriculture allowed food supplies to
increase to keep up with population. And population increased to use up
surplus food in an ever accelerating cycle. Ishmael calls these people
“Takers” because they took what they could get. Their basic presumption
is that Agrarians are above the exempted from the ecological order
because they discovered how to tip the balance their way and keep it
history of the civilized human race—at least in the West—is the history
of Takers converting or killing Leavers.
than 10,000 years the conquest of Taker values has resulted in the
destruction and despoiling of the planet.
last few decades, a new revolution has occurred—still looking for a
name and an identity. It is based on the achievement of perspective. As
no Takers ever before us, we can look back and see what’s happened.
Scientific objectivism, though a Taker artifact, has allowed us to
observe the patterns of history. We’re now beginning to question human
beings’ place in Earth’s ecology.
analyzes the great heresies in the West that have driven culture and
religion. He identifies five. We’re interested in just one of them, but
it’s the most important and to some extent the basis of the others
speaking this is GNOSTICISM, the religious/mystical notion that things
aren’t really the way they appear, that the world is a kind of
illusion, and that mystical/initiated experience can give some
individuals a glimpse of the Truth. These individuals probably won’t be
able to communicate it to the masses. And so an elite develops. They
are “the illuminati” and really should control the world.
been many waves of gnosticism. Manicheism was one of the most
important. It was Zoroastrian mysticism applied to the world view of
the near East around the time of Jesus. Basic to Manicheism was the
notion that matter was evil and dark. The soul was goodness and light.
Procreating offspring thus involved imprisoning spirit in matter.
Christianity is doctrinally prolife and so objected to this notion.
Manicheans practiced celibacy and contraception in order to achieve the
mystical experience of sexuality without the consequence of
procreation. The original condemnation of birth control came out of
this. They also believed that “the ritual eating of semen” helped
overcome the power of the darkness and released spirit from its prison
gnosticism has survived as the Old Religions: witchcraft and nature
worship was one side of it. Mysticism, Hermeticism and, in
general, “conspiracy theory” and various kinds of spiritual
elitism were another side. The Counterculture of the 60s/70s was
Gnosticism reappeared in France in the early middle ages as
Albigensianism or Catharism. This was centered in Languedoc in the area
of Provence on the South of France.
was possibly the real world basis for the myth of Camelot. It was the
San Francisco of its day: a countercultural, progressive,
multi-cultural center. Here the notion of romantic love was born.
Albigensian Crusade destroyed Langedoc.
counterculture of Provence generated non-canonical religious orders and
associations of friends. One such group were called Mattachines.
esoteric religion has thus long been fascinated with sex magic and
altered states of consciousness. Homosexuality is a natural part of sex
magic. And even today drugs have been a natural part of the gay
BLOSSOM OF BONE
Conner has researched the role of “gender variant” people in
pre-Christian and non-Christian religions of the west. He’s found that
what we might loosely call the religions of the Leavers were dominated
by a homosexual priesthood.
Androgynous people can achieve a perspective above males and females.
They make good marriage counselors and conflict mediators. They
function as surrogate parents.
POLITICS OF HOMOSEXUALITY
been a resurgence of interest in sex in Europe of the late 18th C. Post
World War I Germany saw a rise of a counterculture. The names of the
sexologists Krafft Ebbing, Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, Magnus
Hirshfeld are familiar.
Whitman had just articulated a kind of homosexual nature mysticism—a
with Toby Marotta
on the revision of his PHD dissertation for Harvard. It set out to
explain in political/sociological terms how and why the gay political
movement happened and why its organizations have always been
created a model that explains the variety of axes along which gay
movement activity has happened. The model indeed explains why
organizations rise and collapse, and more importantly, explains why
there is so much strife.
Up to the
early 70s there were three waves. We can now identify two—and maybe
THE HOMOPHILE MOVEMENT
by Harry Hay in California, this grew out of 50s idealistic Communism.
Recall that following WW2, existentialist, bohemian, counterculturists
adopted Marxist idealism. The counterculture always mixes up populism
and egalitarianism with its own elitism. (The French Revolution is the
WW2, a lot of homosexuals were dishonorably discharged and mustered out
of the military in California and New York—the coasts. They couldn’t go
home because their blue discharge papers were stamped with a red H.
summer of 1948, Hay was at a party where an idea was brought up to form
a group called Bachelors for Wallace to support the Progressive
candidate Henry Wallace.
That group never formed. But
a coupe of years later while he was at the Southern California Labor
school where he taught music, he came up with the idea of the
“International Bachelors Fraternal Order for Peace and Social Dignity”
or Bachelors Anonymous. Soon after the Korean War broke out, the
political activists in California, calling themselves communist, put
out a petition. Harry Hay took the petition to the beaches of Santa
Monica and Venice. Hay saw that homosexuals could organize politically.
Soon the Mattachine Society was formed.
creation, the Movement harked back to gnosticism.
Kameny was a Harvard PhD astronomer who got a job with the Army Map
Service. When they found he was gay, they fired him. He appealed to the
Courts, getting all the way to the Supreme Court (which, however,
refused to hear the case). Politicized by his experience he helped form
a Washington branch.
men represent two different approaches. Hay was a communist militant
calling for revolution. Kameny was a moderate reformer who wanted
redress through the system. Kameny was in fact a militant compared to
the moderates who followed him and formed the New York Mattachine.
homophile movement downplayed sexuality, thus its name. They believed
that “prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination were the source of
the homosexual’s problems and that education, policy reform, and help
for individual homosexuals would bring about the recognition of basic
similarity, equality of treatment, and integration that were tantamount
to social progress.”
McCarthy hearings scared moderates away from Harry Hay’s communist
idealism (while inspiring Hay to make his organization a secret society
of cells that did not know who belonged to other cells).
homophile movement ended up organizing lectures by psychiatrists and
seeking law reform on the grounds that homosexuals were hapless victims
who didn’t deserve any more oppression. This retrechment was based in
organizational maintenance concerns (they didn’t want to be outlaws),
but made it difficult for the organization to attract members, because
its basic argument (coming out of the civil rights movement) was that
sexual orientation didn’t matter very much.
hard to get members to risk their lives and livelihoods for something
that didn’t matter.
Daughters of Bilitis was an organization for women formed first in San
Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon who had formed a social club,
but having heard of the LA Mattachine and ONE Magazine, politicized the
social group to become DOB.
we want to look at here is Moderate vs Militant.
the Stonewall Riots, hippies and anti-war politicized students and
counterculturalists formed GLF, taking the name from the National
Liberation Front of Viet Nam.
fell apart because it was too disorganized. Gay Activists Alliance
(created by Arthur Evans) formed to replace it.
devised the action of “political zaps.” Chaining themselves to the
mayor’s desk; clasping his hand in a crowd and not letting go;
disrupting the opera. “Mr. Mayor (Lindsay), what are you going to do
about the problems of homosexuals,” they’d ask.
created The Firehouse, the archetypal gay community center, where they
held dances and meetings to educate gay people.
change in strategy from the homophile movement to educate the public
was to GLF/GAA’s strategy to educate gay people.
Liberation rose out of the counterculture and politicized anti-war
identifies two axes here.
Political-economic vs. cultural concerns (i.e. leftist politicos vs.
Radicals vs. reformers
Political-economic radicals/revolutionaries were inspired by S.D.S and
student protest. In fact, they saw homosexuals as simply another
minority to mobilize in the revolution and overthrow of capitalism.
radicals wanted to create a whole new gay culture, separate but equal
(actually, of course, superior). The Firehouse was their creation,
along with gay theater, arts, etc. Gay bookstores come under this
reformers wanted to infiltrate the existing system to change laws to
make them fairer. They were not trying to overthrow capitalism and were
always frustrated and annoyed by all the radicals who didn’t seem to
know how to get anything accomplished—and didn’t seem to care.
reformers wanted to change the way gay people are portrayed in the
culture. GLLAD is a manifestation of this; domestic partnership
Also gay capitalism which
co-opted the movement in the 1970s and carried gay culture into the
affluent gay ghetto, but diluted its political/radical punch.
third wave is women’s participation.
was made up of both men and women. They had adopted GAY as their term.
But what the women in the movement discovered was that the men (tho’
homosexual) were still men. AND that the word gay as an all-inclusive
term made them and their cause invisible.
were torn between being gay liberationists OR feminists. And still are.
mainstream women’s movement, based on the civil rights movement for
equality, not social upheaval, didn’t know what to do with lesbians.
They were an embarrassment and a liability for organizational
separatism was one reaction.
here is biological identity vs. behavior.
similar to the issue involved currently with the gays in the military
feminism in some ways has had the greatest effect on how we all think
about and discuss these issues. That’s because feminism analysized how
words and word usage affects people’s thinking (hence the effort at
inclusive language). But lesbians observed their issues needed to
not be inclusively covered. We now all use the expressions Lesbian and
Marotta’s analysis ended
here with what he called The Explosion of Things Gay, i.e. the
inclusion of gay people in everybody’s understanding of what human
beings are like.
The fourth wave started a
couple of years later. It rose out of efforts of cultural reformers to
get the health and medical needs of homosexuals identified. Health
activists were radicals or reformers.
GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS
thrust of gay organizing changed with the appearance of AIDS. The
disease politicized a segment of people who had not paid much attention
to the political side of gay liberation.
forced a reassessment of the norms of sexual liberation and of the
meaning and significance of death and mortality.
clear there are reformist groups: ASA, AmFAR, etc
radical, non-conformist groups: HIV Wellness Project, Attitudinal
moderate and militant groups, to wit, GMHC and ACT UP
nihilistic, angry cultural reaction to AIDS has given rise to a
non-medical reaction to the health crisis. This wave set out again to
select and all-inclusive word: Queer.
countercultural styles are those of the late 80s punks and skin heads,
not the 60s hippies and flower children.
A SIXTH WAVE
this is what has been at the heart of all his activity all along: the
collapse and overthrowal of male-dominated, patriarchal mythologies and
like to call this emerging theme Gay Eco-Spirituality. This takes
us back to Ishmael and the Takers and the Leavers.
arguing that the perspective given to gay people by our not fitting in
and not identifying as either male or female gives us CRITICAL
DISTANCE. We can see what’s happening.
values are all founded on reproduction of offspring and cultivation of
the earth to produce harvest. What you are is what you produce and your
value to society lies in production of desired and needed goods
Leaver values are founded on understanding of dynamic systems and
ecological balances. Gaia, not Jehovah, is the god. And we are created
as instruments of her guidance of planetary evolution.