Friday, April 21, 2006

Pagan Theories on Why There are LBGTI People

During my compilation of information for the 2006 Come Together Kentucky conference, I encountered several explanations for why LBGTI people exist. Below are some of the theories!

The simplest answer is that the earth is overpopulated, and this is Mother Nature’s way of slowing down growth. We certainly don’t die off like we used to, but we're still breeding like crazy. Abstinence is not Nature's way, so homosexuality would seem to be a practical solution.

Others view homosexuality as part of the variety of sexual expression out there, and since sex is good, it’s good too. This theory is a bit vaguer on the ‘why’, but we’re only now getting an explanation for why men have nipples. Sexual preferences are pretty inexplicable in any case.

One of the most interesting theories is the existence of a ‘third gender’ – that there are certain sacred people “between the genders”. These people serve their community in some priestly or spiritual capacity. Examples given include the ‘two-spirit’ shamans in some Native American traditions, the hijras of India (men dressed as women who bless newborns, among other things), or the Galli, the ancient priests of Cybele.

Some New Age theories include an ancient androgynous people – sometimes considered to be the ‘first’ human race or the people of ancient Atlantis. Other New Age theories believe that as the human race evolves, androgynous people will begin to (re)appear. For example, in the misnamed Aura Color system ("Temperament Color" would be more accurate), Indigos are supposed to be a ‘new’ type of human coming into the world these days, and many of them appear visually androgynous. Perhaps this is connected to the recognition of intersexed people as a discrete group, adding an ‘I’ to the end of queer acronyms everywhere.

Got a better/different explanation? Feel free to post it in the 'Comments' section.

Sarah G

Monday, April 17, 2006

Highlights of the LBGT Paganism Lecture

Parallels between being Gay and being Pagan:
* Both groups are at risk for losing custody battles if “the truth is found out”
* Both groups are at risk for losing their jobs under the same circumstances – and are often told to leave insignia, symbols, etc. at home
* Both groups experience rejection by family
* Pagans borrow terms from the gay experience to describe their own – e.g. “stuck in the broom-closet”, creating “Pagan Pride Days”

Pagan Attitudes On Sexuality:
* Wiccan Charge of the Goddess: “All acts of pleasure and love are my rituals.”
* Wiccan rede: “An’ if it harm none, do what thou wilt.”
* Some Pagan deities are bisexual: e.g. Apollo, Zeus
* Homosexuality appears in nature, so it must be natural
* Gender-switching and hermaphroditic themes in many myths: Tiresias, Hermaphroditus, Astarte, the Galli
* In general: SEX IS GOOD

Why Do LBGT People Exist? Some Pagan Theories:
* Mother Nature curbing overpopulation
* Homosexuality is simply part of the variety of nature
* Idea of a “Third Gender”, or certain sacred people being “between the genders” – e.g. Native American two-spirits, the hijras of India, the Galli, ancient priests of Cybele

How Pagan Groups Relate to LBGTs:
* Groups by gays, for gays (e.g. Radical Faeries, some Dianic groups)* “Open and affirming” circles that include gay sexuality in their theology & practices
* Groups with gay members, but gay sexuality is not included in their theology & practices
* Groups that haven’t given it much thought
* The homophobic (e.g. some ‘Aryan’ groups)
Useful books:
* Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds by Judy Grahn
* Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe by Christopher Penczak
* Bisexuality in the Ancient World by Eve Cantarella

Sarah G