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


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