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
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
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 &
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
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
Charmed Lives was nominated for a
Lambda Literary Award in
Kip Dollar & Toby Johnson attended the Gala Lambda Literary Awards
Presentation in NYC, May 31, 2007. Toby's
co-edited by Steve Berman, was nominated for Best Anthology. The award
went to the very deserving Love, Bourbon Street, edited by Herren &
Gay Spirit In Storytelling
An Anthology from White Crane Books,
by Toby Johnson & Steve Berman
Johnson, author of GAY
SPIRITUALTY, has collected an anthology for White Crane Books of
inspirational fiction with upbeat twists and turns as well
anecdotes and essays of positive and life-fulfilling aspects
of gay experience.
See Table of Contents
Read Reviews & Articles about
We're presenting stories
demonstrate the proposition that "Gay life is charmed" -- with "charm"
having a rich variety of meanings.
Straw into Gold
Modern society, including--and
especially-- gay culture recreates its own mythological
traditions in "the
by telling stories.
Gay storytelling engender myths, allowing the negative
elements that traditional society and religion has placed on
to be transformed and uplifted.
White Crane Books, an imprint of Lethe Press (Steve Berman,
editor/publisher), announces an anthology of
writings that do what good myths and
are supposed to do: inspire and evoke meaning (especially out
and darkness), to cheer, to place life in larger context, to hint at
meanings--stories that inspire gay men to think positively about
their lifestyles, their bodies (of any type), and,
especially, their own
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Digital edition priced at $7.99
There's a popular
homosexuality is a terrible curse and source of sorrow and suffering.
Many of us have actually "suffered" from that stereotype; many of us
have also transformed our attitudes about our aberrant sexual
orientation and discovered our sexuality can bestow great joy, talent,
success, love, and good fortune.
Notice the layers of meaning in the word "charmed." There's a
suggestion of "magick" and "destiny/good karma" -- but also simple
usage as good luck and happiness. There's much to be grateful for in
being gay. "Charm" also suggests urbanity and good taste. AND "charm"
is a mysterious quality of quarks!
Johnson, author of GAY
SPIRITUALTY has collected inspirational fiction with upbeat twists
and turns along with autobiographical
anecdotes and essays of positive and life-fulfilling aspects
of gay experience and faith*
We're especially featuring fiction and literary short stories with a
"Twilight Zone" or O. Henry sort of twist-- a little magic,
a little sci-fi, a little romantic synchronicity. Such "twists"
move the meaning of the story into the mythical. That is, after all,
how the stories of religion have come down to us: by adding mystical,
magical, miraculous details to the story the spiritual/moral wisdom is
given eternal verity.
In the realm of personal anecdote,
we're presenting stories that demonstrate
how people's lives have been "charmed" because they're gay.
Storytelling is one of the traditional ways values and "spirit" are
passed from one generation to the next.**
*Through our "faith" we have been
saved. And we can save
suffering by telling our positive stories. "Faith" means different
things to different
people. There is, of course,
"faith" in a high power or deity, but gay men have also learned "faith"
friendship and in their own cultural accomplishments that have mattered
the community. The important attribute of the "faith" referenced in
Charmed Lives is that it inspires others.
Let’s tell each other what a long straw we’ve drawn
in this life because we’re gay.
Share what you have "faith" in as a happy and successful homosexual.
Tell us how your gayness has enriched your life and allowed you to
contribute to the world. Spin us a story of transformation.
** Mythical / magical stories have a way
of placing their lesson in the realm of "eternal verities." Some
old Twilight Zone stories (like the beautiful woman who thinks she's
ugly because she's been transported into another dimension in which the
criteria of beauty have been turned upside down) remain in collective
memory long after their day. Religious stories are like this. The great
myths--which claim veracity because of supernatural happenings (like
Moses opening the Red Sea or Jesus healing the lepers)--are always
about the deep dynamics of consciousness.
Sci-fi and speculative fiction is one of the ways modern day writers
declare that the lessons of their stories carry greater truth
the dramatic plot, that they are about generalizable patterns that give
meaning and direction to life.
The intervention of fate and karma in human lives reveals a deep,
"mystical" experience of those dynamics of consciousness.
Gayness is surely a "dynamic of consciousness." The positive,
enlightened, enlightening side of gayness can properly be written about
in mythic language.
image of the gay boys raising the rainbow flag is only a whimical
suggestion for a cover, but it captures the concept
for the book: a twist, a re-creation of traditional imagery
and myth with heroic gay meaning. This photo was created by
photographer Ed Freeman for the cover of Frontiers Magazine, Los
Angeles, in the mid-2000s.
Read Reviews & Articles about Charmed
Here's the Table of
Contents to tempt readers
Introduction: Straw into
Introduction: Straw is Neither Dross nor Gold
Ella, Kelly and Me… Mark
The Story Behind the Story Perry
An Angel on the Threshold Eric
Shades Bill Goodman
The Canals of Mars Victor J. Banis
What Queer Spirit Sees Jeffery
After Edward Michael Gouda
What Two Men Do In Bed Bryn
Great Uncle Ned J.R.G. De Marco
Beyond the Blue Bardo Sterling
The Verse Jay Michaelson
My Last Visits With Harry Bill
Reversing Vandalism Jim
Grandfather’s Photograph Neil
Gay Spirituality? Will Gray
“Charmed, I’m Sure” Mark Thompson and
Viewing the Statue of David Jim Toevs
The True and Unknown Story of Albert Gale
Tom or An Improbable Tail Ruth Sims
Free Speech Martin K. Smith
This I Know Dan Stone (Dan has a webblog at The Shower Channel)
Musuko Dojoji Mark Horn
A Path of Mirrors Don Clark
Lines John McFarland
Left with Love Lewis DeSimone
Get Thee Behind Me Christos Tsirbas
His Paper Doll Steve Berman
Desiring St. Sebastian Donald L. Boisvert
Manifest Love David Nimmons
Avalokiteshvara at The 21st Street Baths Toby
Neighborhood Walk Steven A. Hoffman
My Pride and Joy Tyler
The Bell of St. Michael’s Gary Craig
So What is the Charm? Bert Herrman
And, finally Michael Sigmann
Houston died November 8, 2007, just a few weeks before Charmed Lives
was released. Fellow Texas playwright Dennis Paddie wrote a beautiful tribute to Sterling which
appeared in The Gay & Lesbian Review.