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
That gay people are raised, inadvertently, by straight society to be able to rise to a perspective—the outsider’s perspective—and see a straight world AND a gay world and to understand the straight world as but one way of viewing the world is what I have called “Gay Perspective” and which Harry Hay called “the gay window.”
Being a deviation from “normal” alters homosexuals’ experience of the world; having the sexual and emotional feelings that we do results in certain traits and influences the “filters” through which we see things.
• Sex is not about having children or getting pregnant or creating new life or “spreading our seed.” We never think about pregnancy during sex.
• Sex is a celebration of physical pleasure and a practice of relationship development — cultivating love and affection.
• Not having children (for most—but not all—of us) means we are not vested in the next generation nor responsible for what happens to our DNA. If we choose to be responsible to the future, it’s out of compassion, service and virtue, not out of possessiveness or resistance to mortality. We don’t live on in our offspring.
• We fall in love with people who could be ourselves. Our self-image is interrelated with our attractions to others. We ask the question: “Would we have sex with ourselves?”
• We can identify with those we love — Harry Hay’s subject-SUBJECT. We can want to be them! We can want to incorporate their traits into ours, blending into each other, rather than complementing from opposite ends of the spectrum.
• We have a “coming out”/conversion experience sometime in our lives. We realize something that “explains things” — and changes everything.
• We realize we are not like our parents, and will not live the lives we have seen them living.
• We feel something in our bodies that we know other people don’t feel. And we know we don’t feel something that most other people do feel.
• We have a secret. We think about who we share the secret with and who we don’t.
• We look for other people in the world like us, and experience pleasure and happiness in finding them.
• We make love and have sex in ways that violate toilet-training taboos and have had to transform our experiences of our bodies.
• We aren’t as role-bound in sex and love. We can be either, neither, nor and both. We can be top, bottom and even both at the same time.
• Monogamy and commitment in relationship comes from a different motivation than adultery as the risk of pregnancy and dilution of genetic heritage and property rights.
• We probably fear social disapproval — even when we’re totally out and self-confident in who we are. We face a certain amount of jeopardy just by being who we are.
• We aren’t “outlaws” anymore, but we do live in the “margins.” Even though it is an influential margin and is disproportionately represented among cultural leaders and bellwethers.
• If we think about it, we see that we’re part of a tradition of marginal lives and marginal behavior that stretches back into history.
• We likely long for a better world, and experience that longing as sexual.
I have always wondered about a certain question
• We have had to rethink moral and religious laws. We have learned to mistrust authority.
• We have learned to “see behind the curtain.”
Here it is as a mystical image
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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