Johnson, Toby. “Gay Spirituality: Gay Identity and the Transformation of Human Consciousness”, Lethe Press, 2000.
The Search for Ourselves
So many of us struggle with both religion and G-d basically because we feel we have been shunned because of our sexuality and tardyons are often judgmental and critical of the way we live. Some of us, however, have found ways to reconcile faith for whatever reason and in the process we allow ourselves to be subjugated to anti-gay religious doctrine which we manage somehow to tolerate. With this reconciliation, we tend to forget our own gay spiritual heritage.
Looking at the word “spirituality”, we can say it is a “celebration of our rightful place in” the universe of G-d. Toby Johnson, the author of “Gay Spirituality” explains that we, as gay people, are able to overlook dogma and religious indoctrination, and speak our own truth because we are not only aware but we know that we are sensitive, loving and compassionate and we have these qualities because we were created by G-d with them. We are positive and we both enrich and contribute to society in all of its aspects and this is the basic thesis of his book,
We constantly are faced with negativity, especially from the world of religion. Even with scientists constantly offering more and more truth that we are born with our sexual orientation, we still are the target of many churchgoers and clergy. Early on we begin to realize who we are sexually and have to give up so much in order to live our lives—we are ostracized by our peers and in many cases, disapproved of my our parents. Even if we accept ourselves, our road through life is not easy and the alienation that we feel also tends to keep us away from houses of worship and from spirituality.
Because we are not part of society, we have the advantage of intense knowledge and are imbued with inspiration about the real nature of what the Spirit is. Our experiences are different and we are more aware of difference. People should listen to what we have to what we have to say and accept our wisdom. We are in the midst of transforming human consciousness and are able to provide hope for those dealing with issues of spirituality.
Toby Johnson, himself, has a strong background to be able to say what he does. He has been a theologian, a teacher, a write and an ex-Catholic monk. Even I, as a Jew, who is a firm believer in my own religion and accepted as an openly gay practicing and observant Jew find myself totally agreeing with all he says and not having to deal with the issues that the Christian religions have to face. I have had my own problems in religious reconciliation but I have found my own way and Johnson makes it so much easier than dealing with the issues I once faced. We should accept being gay as an added blessing and in this way we gain the right to forgive the world for the injustices we have received.
For those who have not yet found a way to search for a meaningful spirituality, this book tells you hat you need to know to do so. We are not sinful nor or we immoral and we do not need to live lives without spirituality. We transcend the common duality. For personal change, here is the book you need to read to give yourself an extra reason for being proud of who you are.