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
The First Rainbow Flag in U.N. Plaza for Gay Pride Parade
Johnson has a
certain affinity to the image
of the rainbow flag because --coincidentally?!?--in 1979, Johnson had
volunteered to be a parade monitor. That was the second year the
original versions of the flag appeared in San Francisco for Gay Day,
flying over the entrance to United Nations Plaza from Market
He happened to be stationed right at the turn-off point from Market
where the parade entered United Nations Plaza. So he was standing just
at the spot where the marchers turned and would see the huge flags. There were lots of oohs and ahhs. Wonderful moment!
Here's the Plaza for a different event. There are two flag poles,
flying regular-size American and U.N. flags. Imagine these with the
huge rainbow flags, one with a field of stars, one without.
It was very dramatic. The original flags, created by hand by artist
Gilbert Baker, were huge and far more colorful than the rainbow
flags are today. They hung from two very tall flag poles on opposite
sides of the plaza so the marchers walked between them. They were made
of parachute silk and so fluttered and rippled in the breeze.
Pictured here is Gilbert Baker with that first flag in U.N. Plaza.
During the 79 March, Toby would have been where the little
man in white is in the distance and about 100 feet to right.
One of the variations of the rainbow flag created by Gilbert Baker on
display at the
1978 Pride Parade in San Francisco.
Photo: Crawford Barton/GLBT Historical Society; all rights reserved.
wonderful example of how the rainbow
flag has been incorporated into gay cultural mythology/iconography:
Judeo-Christian iconography, the rainbow
refers to God's promise to Noah not to destroy the world by flood ever
again. It's a sign therefore of transformation and of salvation. As a
symbol for gay consciousness, it reminds us that we must be "saviors of
the world" -- and in the issue of overpopulation (a different kind of
flood--a flood of human flesh) we surely on the side of reason and good
sense. There are enough people. Somebody should be eschewing
reproduction for the sake of the whole planet--and in order to free
oneself to focus on consciousness change, not just blind biological
imperative. For human beings in the 21st Century, the cutting edge of
evolution is happening at the level of consciousness. Gay people
participate in the evolution of consciousness through art, idea,
vision, beauty, compassion, prophecy. We must be way-showers for a
world that seems to be getting lost.
An excerpt from Toby
though, there are more gay people now than ever before; that is, there
are more people who are openly homosexual and who participate in
gay-identified culture. That may or may not mean there are more
homosexuals. But perhaps there really are. On a superficial level this
is what everybody can see: 50 years ago nobody heard much about
homosexuality; now it is everywhere.
There isn’t a great deal else the collective planetary mind can do
about population except give rise to human beings whose desires and
predilections cause them to live in ways that don’t result in progeny.
Perhaps the appearance of modern homosexuality and gay identity is
dramatic evidence that the Earth wants fewer people. At any rate, an
increase in the number of gay people living full, contributing lives is
a better solution to overpopulation than a devastating catastrophe.
It is telling that in the Bible story of Noah and the Flood, the
rainbow is given by Yahweh as the sign He will never again bring about
such a catastrophe. Now the rainbow flag has become the political and
cultural symbol of gay community. Aren’t we the manifestation today of
that divine promise made in mythical time? There won’t have to be a
world-wide catastrophe because we are the alternative solution.
Our homosexuality allows us to think these thoughts. They may be
frivolous thoughts, but that’s only because heterosexuals can’t even
begin to think them. They are so beyond the pale. The heterosexuals’
God gives the command to go forth and multiply. We can imagine God
might have other priorities.
We don’t have to recruit. No need for those toaster oven prizes. Nature
keeps producing new members for our tribe. Even if all of us were
killed off in a terrible fit of homophobic rage, in the next generation
there would be just as many homosexuals as there were before.
What we need to communicate to the world is not that people should be
homosexual and cultivate the styles of gay culture (though that’s not a
bad suggestion), but that people should be responsive to their deepest
psychological needs, to what brings them bliss.
We don’t need to tell people to be gay. We need to help them speak the
truth to themselves. Hearing this truth allows them to respond to the
subtle messages Gaia communicates. After all, it is precisely through
sex that Gaia/God communicates. Through our physical bodies Gaia makes
itself known. That is what Gaia is: the collective bodies of all living
beings on Earth.
of San Francisco Gay Pride Marches
leaving a Catholic seminary in
Southern California in 1970, I moved to San Francisco. I had gay
friends from the Order who'd already moved to the City; they introduced
me to gay San Francisco, Roy Neuner and Michael Alpert. Roy was a
theater major at San Francisco State--he played the lead in a student
performance of CABARET and then later, with his head shaved, played the
lobotomy character in the professional performance of ONE FLEW OVER THE
CUCKOO'S NEST down in North Beach (Martin Worman was the House Manager.
Michael worked as a waiter at The *P.S. Restaurant on Polk Street.
friends were the first people I met. I lived with them for a few weeks
at 541 Castro.
Here's Crawford Barton's photo
of 535 Castro. This image is considered
an icon for the Castro District as it would become the gay mecca of the
1970s. We lived in the flat at the other end of this stoop, just
outside the photo the right.
How neat to have moved to San
Francisco and landed in the very iconic heart of gay community.
At the time though in 1970, the
neighborhood had not quite
changed--though the Midnight Sun had opened (at that time almost right
across the street from us) and Toad Hall in the next block up. That's
what started the transformation of Castro Street.
For a side note about living in
iconic places in San Francisco see Toby's story of living at the
corner of Haight & Ashbury.
Roy and Michael then moved to an
apartment at Waller & Ashbury in
the Haight and I moved to 10th and
Cabrillo. I remember walking over to Golden Gate Park for a Gay Be-in
-- the "Gay-in" in 1971 which was held instead of a parade.
My second year in the City,
I started going to GAY RAP, the sort of hippie gay consciousness
raising, peer-counseling and talk group that met at Alternative Futures
Community Center on West Pine in the Western Addition. I befriended
Cliff Krause who was one of the de facto "leaders" of the group. Cliff
lived in the little cottage on 17th and Hartford that at that time was
overgrown with vines. He started the San Francisco Gay Counseling
Service telephone hotline out of that house. He recruited volunteers to
work the hotline from Gay Rap. Because I'd had experience in the
seminary of working as a chaplain intern in a psychiatric hospital and
been exposed to T-group process in religious life, AND because, I
guess, I had a crush on Cliff, I joined up with his gay counseling
project. Later Cliff and the Counseling Service moved over to the house
I was living in at Arguello and Clement.
In 1972, the Gay Counseling
Service volunteers and Gay Rap attendees marched in a Gay Pride parade
that started in the Financial District and then marched down Post to
Polk Street for a rally in the Civic Center. I have a memory of being
in the back of a beat-up old red pickup truck that was bringing up the
rear of the march. The Rev. Ray Broshears was either walking along side
or riding in the truck.
(Through Cliff Krause I met
Don Clark and the early practitioners of "gay-oriented psychotherapy."
The Tenderloin Clinic community mental health center with a gay service
mandate was a direct result of Cliff's lobbying the City (through Dr.
Art Carfagni, a gay psychiatrist working in mental health) to take on
and professionalize the work of the Gay Counseling Service. I later did
an internship for a counseling license at that clinic and was then part
of the D.A.F.O.D.I.L. ALLIANCE. That's another story, but it's worth
noting that this gay mental workers group-- Dykes and Faggots Organized
to Defeat Institutionalized Liberalism --organized a march on June 24, 1977 from the
Clinic at Golden Gate and Market to the Civic Center and then down
Larkin to the SF Mental Health Services office, led by a Lesbian Brass
Marching Band that attracted so much attention that hundreds and
hundreds of people followed; the head of services, Dr. Bill Goldman,
immediately agreed to our demands, gave the clinic an extra $60,000,
hired Pat Norman to manage gay services and set up a task force to
oversee gay health services in S.F. This may have been one of the most
successful gay marches in history!)
My best Gay Pride Parade
memory is of 1979. I'd volunteered to be a parade monitor. I happened
to be stationed right at the turn-off point from Market where the
parade entered United Nations Plaza. So I was standing just at the spot
where the marchers turned and could see the huge rainbow flags. There were lots of oohs and ahhs. Wonderful moment!
was very dramatic. The
original flags that first flew the year before in 1978, created by hand
by artist Gilbert Baker, were huge and
far more multicolored than the rainbow flags of today. They hung from
two very tall flag poles on opposite sides of the plaza so the marchers
walked between them. They were made of parachute silk and fluttered and
rippled in the breeze. I marched in that parade with Toby Marotta and
saw them the first time that year. After the parade and a shower back
at home, I graduated with my PhD in Counseling from the California
Institute of Integral Studies that afternoon, June 25, 1978.