Table of Contents
Also on this website:
TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the
Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams
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 edtion from Lethe Press
with Afterword by Mark Jordan
LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE
A NOVEL ABOUT HEALING.
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
Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San
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
Shame on the American People
The "highest form of love"
cause of homosexuality
What is homosexuality?
is Gay Spirituality?
What Jesus said about Gay
The purpose of homosexuality
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 &
"It's Always About You"
The myth of the
Joseph Campbell's description of
Not A Wave
Emptiness & Religious Ideas
Experiencing experiencing experiencing
Going into the Light
Meditations for a Funeral
The way to get to heaven
Advice to Travelers to India
Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva
John Boswell was Immanuel Kant
Toby Johnson Believes
The Joseph Campbell Connection
Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy
The Nature of Religion
Gay is a Blessing
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."
Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.
Let Me Tell You a Secret
Religious Articulations of the
The Collective Unconscious
Driving as Spiritual Practice
Step in Evolution
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
are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?
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
About Alien Abduction
In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke
about Gay Mental Health
and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.
Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement
Michael Talbot, gay mystic
About Guy Mannheimer
About Dennis Paddie
About Sterling Houston
About Michael Stevens
Our friend Tom Nash
Second March on
|From the White Crane Gay Wisdom mailing
An Important Historical Figure in Gay Consciousness
ULRICHS, German campaigner for Gay rights, died July 14 1895, (born
1825); a pioneer of modern Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender
movement. Ulrichs was born in Aurich, then part of the Kingdom of
Hanover, in north-western Germany. His first homosexual experience was
in 1839 at the age of fourteen, in the course of a brief affair with
his riding instructor. He graduated in law and theology from
Göttingen University in 1846. From 1846 to 1848, he studied
history at Berlin University, writing a dissertation (in Latin) on the
Peace of Westphalia. From 1849 to 1857 Ulrichs worked as an official
legal adviser for the district court of Hildensheim in the Kingdom of
Hanover. He was dismissed in 1859 when his sexuality became apparent.
In 1862, Ulrichs took the
momentous step of telling his family and friends that he was, using his
own term, an Urning, and began writing under the pseudonym of "Numa
Numantius". His first five essays, collected as Forschungen über
das Rätsel der mannmännlichen Liebe (Researches on the Riddle
of Male-Male Love), explained such love as natural and biological,
summed up with the Latin phrase anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa
(a female psyche confined in a male body).
In these essays, Ulrichs
coined various terms to describe different sexual orientations/gender
identities, including "Urning" for a male who desires men (English
"Uranian"), and "Dioning" for a male who is attracted to women. These
terms are in reference to a section of Plato's Symposium in which two
kinds of love are discussed, symbolized by an Aphrodite who is born
from a male (Uranos), and an Aphrodite who is born from a female
(Dione). Ulrichs also coined words for the female counterparts,
bisexuals and intersexuals.
He soon began publishing
under his real name (possibly the first public "coming out") and wrote
a statement of legal and moral support for a man arrested for
homosexual offences. On August 29, 1867, Ulrichs became the first
self-proclaimed homosexual to speak out publicly in defense of
homosexuality when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in
Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexual laws. He
was shouted down. Two years later, in 1869, the Austrian writer
Karl-Maria Kertbeny cobbled together the word "homosexual" (oddly
combining a Latin prefix with a Greek suffix), and from the 1870s the
subject of sexual orientation (as we would now say) began to be
In the 1860s, Ulrichs moved
around Germany, always writing and publishing, and always in trouble
with the law — though always for his words rather than for sexual
offenses. In 1864, his books were confiscated and banned by police in
Saxony. Later the same thing happened in Berlin, and his works were
banned throughout Prussia. Some of these papers have recently been
found in the Prussian state archives and were published in 2004.
Already several of Ulrichs's more important works are back in print,
both in German and in translation.
Ulrichs was a patriotic
Hanoverian, and when Prussia annexed Hanover in 1866 he was briefly
imprisoned for opposing Prussian rule. The next year he left Hanover
for good and moved to Munich, where he addressed the Association of
German Jurists on the need to reform German laws against homosexuality.
Later he lived in Würzburg and Stuttgart.
In 1879, Ulrichs published
the twelfth and final book of his Research on the Riddle of Man-Manly
Love. In poor health, and feeling he had done all he could in Germany,
he went into self-imposed exile in Italy. For several years he
travelled around the country before settling in L'Aquila, where his
He continued to write
prolifically and publish his works (in German and Latin) at his own
expense. In 1895, he received an honorary diploma from the University
of Naples. Shortly after he died in L'Aquila. His grave stone is marked
(in Latin), "Exile and Pauper." "Pauper" may have been bit of romantic
license. Ulrichs lived in L'Aquila as the guest of a local landowner,
Marquis Niccolò Persichetti, who gave the eulogy at his funeral.
At the end of his eulogy, he said: "But with your loss, oh Karl
Heinrich Ulrichs, the fame of your works and your virtue will not
likewise disappear... but rather, as long as intelligence, virtue,
learning, insight, poetry and science are cultivated on this earth and
survive the weakness of our bodies, as long as the noble prominence of
genius and knowledge are rewarded, we and those who come after us will
shed tears and scatter flowers on your venerated grave."
Late in life Ulrichs wrote:
"Until my dying day I will look back with pride that I found the
courage to come face to face in battle against the specter which for
time immemorial has been injecting poison into me and into men of my
nature. Many have been driven to suicide because all their happiness in
life was tainted. Indeed, I am proud that I found the courage to deal
the initial blow to the hydra of public contempt."
Forgotten for many years,
Ulrichs is now a cult figure in Europe. There are streets named for him
in Munich, Bremen and Hanover. His birthday (August 28th) is marked
each year by a lively street party and poetry reading at
Karl-Heinrich-Ulrichs-Platz in Munich. The city of L'Aquila has
restored his grave and hosts the annual pilgrimage to the cemetery.
Later Gay rights advocates were aware of their debt to Ulrichs. Magnus
Hirshfeld thoroughly referenced Ulrichs in his The Homosexuality of Men
and Women (1914). The International Lesbian and Gay Law Association
presents an annual Karl Heinricch Ulrichs Award in Ulrichs' memory.
1895, people…think about it.
We all talk about the "modern LGBT movement" and we automatically think
"Stonewall"…no. The most important thing stolen from a people is their
history. If they steal your history they can tell you anything.
Rethink. Revisit. Remember.