“The Fire in the Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries: 1975-2010”–the Radical Faeries speak

Thompson, Mark, (editor), Richard Neely (editor), Bo Young (editor). “The Fire in Moonlight: Stories from the Radical Faeries: 1975-2010’, Lethe Press, 2011.

The Radical Faeries Speak

Amos Lassen


I was never lucky enough to know very much about the Radical Faeries because where I lived we did not hear anything about them. It was not until I really got into the world that I began heating faerie stories and I always felt as if I wanted to belong. “The Fire in the Mountain” is an encyclopedic look at the group and it has a little something about everything you want to know. We get the history of the faeries from the nineteenth century (Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter) and we continue forward through our gay liberation challenges and movements and go all the way until the end of the twentieth century. This is quite a history and an important one at that as the movement had a lot to do with us getting the rights that we have today.

The faeries were radical visionaries and they not only saw but they acted and even though they were not always visible the contributions that they made to GLBT life are enormous. They brought new meanings to the world and they dealt with gender and identity, faith and purpose. In this volume we have the writings of fifty contributors and we learn how the movement came into being and how it has stayed alive even today. Through personal recollections, we learn what the faeries were, where they are and where they are going. They form a movement that changed lives and changed the gay scene and they repair the world. Their history is a living testament to some very brave people who were/are never afraid to be who they were/are. I feel I have missed so much by never attending one of their group outings.

The book is conveniently divided into sections which makes it ideal for going back to certain sections—Introduction, Faerie Roots, The First Gathering, Sanctuary, SexMagick, Wings, Issues and Ideas, The Fae Way, Remembrance, An Afterword, a list of contributors (you may find some surprises here), faerie glossary and Radical Faerie Resources. Some of the writings are quite tender while others are quite raw but that is just like the faeries themselves. I loved Raymond Luczak’s “Chant of Silence: Notes of a Deaf Radical Faerie-in-Spirit” as he gives us a real overview of what the movement means to him. Other selections are just as potent but I think what really makes the book special is the diversity among the diversity. The faeries are an integral part of who we are and now we have a document to show us just how important they are. I cannot recommend his highly enough.

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