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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

SECRET MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan

GETTING 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


About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series

  Articles and Excerpts:

Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"

The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

 The cause of homosexuality

The origins of homophobia

Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness

What is homosexuality?

What is Gay Spirituality?

My three messages

What Jesus said about Gay Rights

Queering religion

Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men

Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?

The purpose of homosexuality

The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter

The Gay Succession

Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality

Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men

Varieties of Gay Spirituality

Waves of Gay Liberation Activity

Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium

Easton Mountain Retreat Center

Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism

The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the  "Statement of Spirituality"

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

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

Meditation Practice

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

Curious Bodies

What Toby Johnson Believes

The Joseph Campbell Connection

Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy

The Nature of Religion

What's true about Religion

Being Gay is a Blessing

Drawing Long Straws

Freedom of Religion

The Gay Agenda

Gay Saintliness

Gay Spiritual Functions

The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.

The Sinfulness of Homosexuality

Proposal for a study of gay nondualism

Priestly Sexuality

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

"St. John of the Cross &
the Dark Night of the Soul."

 Eckhart's Eye

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Religious Articulations of the Secret

The Collective Unconscious

Driving as Spiritual Practice


Historicity as Myth


No Stealing

Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil

Allah Hu: "God is present here"
Adam and Steve

The Life is in the Blood

Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"

Seeing with Different Eyes

The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside

The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis

The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
Part 2:
The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Part 3:
Jesus and the Resurrection
Part 4:
A Course in Miracles

The Secret of the Clear Light

Understanding the Clear Light

Mobius Strip

Finding Your Tiger Face

How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

About Alien Abduction

What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?

The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance

More about Gay Mental Health

Psych Tech Training

The Rainbow Flag

Ideas for gay mythic stories

Kip and Toby, Activists

Toby's friend 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"

About 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

Book Reviews

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

People Have Written about Their Visions

I've had this article on gay retirement and the freelance monastery posted on my website since fall of 2003. I've occasionally gotten email from browsers asking if I've made in progress in establishing such a foundation.

In fact, in the early 2000s, Kip and I are bound to our hometown in central Texas while Kip acquits familial duties. We're using this time in limbo to research possibilities for where our path will lead us next.

Since gay men interested in these ideas are likely to find this page, I want to use it  to help other people interested in this idea to connect, even if Kip and I aren't in a position to make our move yet. We don't have to be at the center of the idea.

So I'm going to start listing contacts for people who've written me.

If you're interested in being included, send me a paragraph or two describing your vision, concept, hopes and expectations, timeline, financial considerations, ideas for locales, etc for a gay retirement project or a "freelance monastery." Be sure to include information about how to contact you.

I think we'd all be interested in hearing from other men beginning to think about and plan how to adapt their own dreams to today's--and tomorrow's--world.


Haul at dr_landings2001@yahoo.com

I was born in 1946  Rural, east coast, middle class, Catholic childhood.  After military service I landed in San Francisco in 1969...and the rest is history....

I am now semi retired and reside in a mobile home in Central Florida.  Happy to be living with the man of my dreams, and happy to at last have time to do.... what??

Sawmill Campground  www.flsawmill.com and similar facilities are opening up around the country.  It is a hot real estate market. I have access to money.  Not to enrich my lifestyle, but to improve the lives of elder gay and bisexuals.  Your ideas parallel my own.

Bruce Simpson, a Bishop of the Old Catholic Church and a contributor to the gay media regarding spiritual and religious topics, at wrccab@hotmail.com

My idea was to build/buy a monastery for the Order that would serve multiple purposes...i.e. training of new monks, running the Order from it, and a retirement place of old monks and ultimately a burial place for them.  Around this monastery, I though we could have a retirement enclave of the glbt community which the monastery could service or not. That way we have the Church as kinda the protector of the retirement community.

An article from the San Francisco Chronicle
about projects in the Bay Area
(March 30, 2008)

With Baby Boomers moving closer to retirement, entrepreneurs and community groups are looking to serve niches within that huge demographic group.

One such niche is retirement communities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Nationwide, dozens of groups have tried to build retirement communities for gays, but only three have opened thus far, according to Gerard Koskovich, who tracks the subject for the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network.

Aging experts, entrepreneurs and nonprofits say the need is there, but the challenge is more complex than build it and fill it. They have to raise money; find an affordable, attractive, gay-friendly locale; and motivate people who, like all seniors, might want or need anything from Pilates classes to nursing care.

In the past decade, at least 40 ideas for gay senior housing have come up, but many stalled in the planning. So far, an upscale project in Santa Fe, N.M., that opened in 2006 has had difficulty filling. An affordable complex that opened in 2007 in Hollywood has had more success.

Despite that national track record for gay senior housing, three Bay Area projects are moving closer to reality after years of planning.

Each of the three - Barbary Lane in Oakland, Openhouse in San Francisco and Fountaingrove Lodge in Santa Rosa - has a different business model. Nevertheless, each is premised on the concept that many gays want to spend their retirement years in places where they're comfortable being themselves.

Accustomed to being out of the closet, they don't want to go back into it for fear of rejection or discrimination at a retirement center. They go along with Barbary Lane's motto, "Closets are for clothes, not seniors."

Because of anti-discrimination laws, none of the projects is exclusively gay. Straight people may move in, too, but the projects bill themselves as gay-friendly.

San Francisco's Openhouse

Openhouse expects to take a big step forward Tuesday afternoon when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to approve its land-use plan.

"This represents three years of getting the project through the city process," said Moli Steinert, executive director of the nonprofit organization.

Openhouse will be part of a larger rental project being developed by AF Evans on the site of the former UC Berkeley Extension campus at 55 Laguna St. Evans is preserving three buildings there and converting them to housing.

New construction will include Openhouse's eight-story building with up to 88 independent living studio and one-bedroom apartments for gays and lesbians 55 and older, Steinert said.

Although earlier plans had called for only some of the apartments to be affordable, now all of them will be affordable because the Mayor's Office of Housing is financing the long-term ground lease. "The city made an extraordinary move," Steinert said. Other financing is expected to come from low-interest bonds.

Exact income figures for affordability are undecided, but Steinert said they will be no more than 50 percent of the area's median income.

Evans also will build 328 apartments for people of all ages, whether straight or gay. Most of the units will be market rate, but 20 percent will be set aside as affordable. A community center, small park and public garden are planned, too.

Work is tentatively scheduled to start this fall. Openhouse's building, foreseen in the second phase of work, might start in late 2009 with the hoped-for opening in 2011.

Besides the apartments, Openhouse wants to provide services like meal and day health programs for its residents and neighboring seniors.

To serve residents who need in-home health help, Openhouse is working with the Institute on Aging, which has case-management services.

For the benefit of other gay seniors who need the in-home services, Openhouse is cooperating with the city's Department of Aging and Adult Services to teach service workers "LGBT best practices," Steinert said.

Finally, Openhouse has started a community outreach program for isolated seniors. It began in Bernal Heights, where gay people of all ages were invited to a meeting and asked to be aware of gay senior neighbors who might need help, such as referral to the Bernal Heights Senior Center.

The outreach program will move to the Castro district and Noe Valley, which have many gay residents. "People are fired up," Steinert said.

In the process, Openhouse can see where gay seniors are clustered into "naturally occurring retirement communities," she said.

Oakland's barbary lane

The Bay Area gay retirement community that's closest to welcoming its first residents is Barbary Lane, an independent living center in the historic Lake Merritt Hotel at 1800 Madison St., Oakland.

Barbary Lane Senior Communities at Lake Merritt, a for-profit company, is transforming the 81-year-old Art Deco gem into 46 studio and one-bedroom apartments for people ages 55 and older.

After introducing Barbary Lane to the public in June, the developer had hoped to welcome the first residents in November.

That projection proved overly optimistic. The developer had planned to keep the original kitchens, but it convened a focus group that said people want updated kitchens.

Going along with that recommendation added four months to the construction schedule and $1 million to the budget, said Dave Latina, president of Barbary Management Group, the developer and operator. Renegotiating the construction loan took four months, delaying work on the kitchens until last fall.

The developer had already planned to replace the six-story building's elevator to meet accessibility standards, but that work took three months longer than projected because the state required extensive upgrading for the elevator shaft, he said.

Latina expects the state to approve the elevator work in early April, allowing the nine people who have reserved apartments to move in to them in May and June. He expects two or three move-ins each month after that. He added that the number of people who have reserved apartments meets industry standards.

Because of the delays, the developer isn't actively marketing the project, "but we're still getting calls," Latina said. "We see people coming to us."

Barbary Lane is named after 28 Barbary Lane, home of the fictional central character Mrs. Madrigal in author Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City," a popular Chronicle series that started in 1976. The series was followed by six "Tales of the City" books and updated in Maupin's newest book, "Michael Tolliver Lives."

Barbary Lane residents will have two meals a day in the hotel's restaurant, which overlooks the lake. Among other basic services will be weekly housekeeping, utilities, social activities and transportation.

Santa Rosa's Fountaingrove

Fountaingrove Lodge is not as far along as the other two projects. This continuing care retirement community is planned by Aegis Senior Communities, a for-profit company that develops and operates dozens of retirement facilities in the West. Fountaingrove Lodge will be its first for gays.

Aegis has submitted its development plans to the city of Santa Rosa, but no date has been set for them to go to the Planning Commission. Aegis hopes to start construction within the next year or so. The project will have 148 cottages, apartments and flats for independent living.

As residents' needs change, they can have health services in their homes or in an on-site assisted living center. Fountaingrove also will provide Alzheimer's and dementia care. Therefore, residents won't have to leave friends and familiar surroundings if they require more care.

New residents pay entrance fees that could range from $350,000 to $1 million, depending on the type of residence, The Chronicle reported in October 2006. Up to 100 percent of the fee is returned to the resident or his estate when he dies or moves out.

Residents also pay a monthly fee, which, in conjunction with the entrance fee, covers rent, most meals, housekeeping, utilities, upkeep and maintenance of buildings and grounds, transportation, and use of services and amenities. It's expected to range from $2,700 to $4,900, plus $700 for a second person, The Chronicle reported.

Barbary Lane's Latina said that even though relatively few gay retirement projects have opened thus far, he believes the demand is there. Despite the delays at his project, "we have not seen people's interest decline."

One of the problems nationally is that unlike Openhouse, which is deemed affordable, most of the projects are geared to middle- and upper-income gays, but there's a demand for more-affordable models. "You can never build enough" of them, Latina said. He added that his company hopes to build five more Barbary Lane communities in California and to make some of the units affordable to lower-income gays.

or more information

Barbary Lane: www.barbarylanesenior.com, (510) 903-3600

Fountaingrove Lodge:

www.fountaingrovelodge.com, (707) 576-1101

Openhouse: www.openhouse-sf.org, (415) 296-8995

Chronicle news services contributed to this report. E-mail Judy Richter at jarichter@earthlink.net.


This article appeared on page K - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle

In case you'd like to follow them now, here are the links that were given on the previous page:

a project at www.ourtownvillages.com, to create gay and lesbian rural and urban "villages" according to a sort of apartment complex model.

A "freelance monastery" I wrote about in my never-published novel AWAKENING.

a description of the fictional Clear Light Colony (based on Edward Carpenter's Millthorpe Farm) in Perspective, CO in my novel GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE

rainbow line

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 GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated book  GAY 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 Press.

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