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Coming Out Spiritually: The Next Step Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (May 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874779669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874779660
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Coming Out Spiritually is structured by author Christian de la Huerta's idea that gay people have traditionally assumed 10 spiritual roles or archetypes, and continue to assume them today. These include, among others, "creator of beauty," "mediator," "shaman," and "healer." This understanding of gay people's spirituality draws on a number of religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sufism, and Taoism. After establishing his theoretical understanding of gay spirituality, de la Huerta suggests spiritual practices (ranging from meditation to healing to Sufi dancing) that can help readers achieve greater spiritual integrity. Perhaps the most interesting passages in the book consider how sex itself can express spiritual devotion. "When we learn to reunite sex and Spirit in our lives, we will experience change and healing beyond our wildest dreams," de la Huerta writes. Coming Out Spiritually describes a mode of spirituality that has previously been explored in the work of Andrew Harvey and Matthew Fox, among others. Christian de la Huerta is equally passionate, and his message--that the coming-out process, when understood in spiritual terms, never ends--is an important one. This book may be a bit confusing to gay people just beginning to come out. (Like Harvey and Fox, de la Huerta sometimes uses jargon that obscures his arguments.) For gay people who have a pretty good sense of who they are, however, Coming Out Spiritually can be an important resource for continuing the process of learning to live honestly with their desires. --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

For many years, de la Huerta contends, gays and lesbians have been forced by organized religion to separate their sexual identities from their spiritual identities. The resulting spiritual fragmentation, according to the author, has been devastating to the gay community. De la Huerta, the founder and executive director of Q-Spirit, an international network of gays and lesbians focusing on spirituality, encourages "queers" (a term he uses to refer to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people, in spite of its offensiveness to some people) to engage in "practical experimentation" of their spirituality. He states that his "desire is to inspire a sense of wonderment, purpose, service, and mission in the gay community. It is now time for us to consciously reclaim and reinvent the roles we have played." To that end, his first chapter names 10 roles that queers have historically played, arguing that the spiritual function and value of these roles need to be recognized. For example, de la Huerta notes that, throughout history, queers have played the role of shaman and priest. He lists several examples of ancient religious functionaries, such as the female agule ("like men") and the male okule ("like women") mediums of the Lugbara tribe of East Africa. In his second chapter, de la Huerta explores various methodsAyoga, meditation, psychotherapy, Qi Gong and the labyrinthAthat enable a person to encounter his or her own spiritual depths. Chapter three focuses on sexuality as an expression of spirituality. "When we learn to reunite sex and Spirit in our lives," he says, "we will experience change and healing beyond our wildest dreams." In the final chapter, de la Huerta contends that coming out spiritually is a culmination of the journey of self-discovery. He notes that coming out means healing old wounds and moving beyond old identities as spiritually fragmented victims to embrace oneself as one really is: "empowered, compassionate, loving, ready to make a difference in the world, and fully able to embrace the totality of life." Appendices offer an overview of the world's spiritual traditions, a resource guide of spiritual organizations and a list of books, audios and videos. De la Huerta's beautifully crafted prose and his passionate desire to help queers come out spiritually mark this book as an extraordinary achievement. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Christian de la Huerta has been a writer, speaker, retreat and group facilitator for the past 19 years. Author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed "Coming out Spiritually," which was chosen by Publishers' Weekly as one of the ten best religion books of its year, he is currently working on a new book "The Soul of Power."

Christian is creator and teacher of several self-development programs focusing on personal growth and awareness, advanced transformational practices, understanding sex and relationships, mechanisms of ego and projection, life purpose, and reclaiming personal power.

He is an acclaimed speaker at universities, conferences and spiritual communities nationwide, where audiences find Christian's message particularly relevant in these times. Christian also practices as spiritual coach and a leadership development consultant whose work ranges from individuals and couples in private practice to major corporate engagements and non-profit groups.

Retreats, workshops and other events led by Christian are known for their life-changing experience and for their inspiring and transformative exploration of our inner human potential.

More about his work may be found at www.SoulfulPower.us.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is easy to read and yet full of precise scholarly prose.
Kristina Solheim (onyyx@goplay.com)
A great book to help anyone understand what it means to be a spiritual or religious person in this vast world we live in.
Erick J. Zamora
I highly recommend this book to serve as a handbook for your journey, referring back, again and again.
W. Bailey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kristina Solheim (onyyx@goplay.com) on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is easy to read and yet full of precise scholarly prose. A must-read for those of the LGBT community who are spiritual or are struggling with spiritual issues.
As a bisexual woman, I found that this book included me instead of the trend of a lot of books on gay issues which cater specifically to the male community. I was very impressed with Christian's style and evocative language. Having met him recently at the SF Book Festival, I found that as a speaker, he is equally as eloquent and feels very strongly about his work in the LGBT community.
Anyone wondering about what religions really feel about homosexuality? Check out Appendix 1 which includes "snapshots" of many religions.
I recommend this book to anyone in the LGBT community or someone who has a loved one in the LGBT community and is wondering about spiritual issues.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William Courson VINE VOICE on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Coming Out Spiritually" by Christian de la Huerta was named one of its top ten religion books of 1999 by Publisher's Weekly. Now in its eighth printing, the book has provided gay and lesbian people and their friends and allies with a thorough and thoughtful synthesis of their queer and spiritual selves.

Born in Cuba, de la Huerta is a passionate proponent of the special role he sees gays and lesbians playing in today's society. He believes that gays and lesbians are meant to be catalysts for the world's spiritual evolution, and that the time has come for them to embrace this joyous responsibility. Graduating with honors from Tulane University, the author has been a therapist and group facilitator for the past dozen years and is founder and president of "Q-Spirit", an international network of gays and lesbians in spirituality.

For many years, de la Huerta contends, gays and lesbians have been forced by organized religion to separate their sexual identities from their spiritual identities. The resulting spiritual fragmentation, according to the author, has been devastating to gay people and barely less costly to their larger community. This book discusses a number of ways of "coming out," focusing on a spiritual foundation for that process.

De la Huerta begins his book with a story from taken from a meeting of people from around the world intending to form an organization known as United Religions (a faith-based analogue of the United Nations), with a purpose of finding common ground among the world's religious traditions. At this conference the author spoke about the "Wild Faith," the queer spiritual tradition and about including gay people in the orgaization's efforts.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Van Buckley on January 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Coming Out Spiritually is a book I've been trying to find for a long time. Many of the books on queer spirituality I've read previously are written from an exclusively Christian point of view. But in this book, there is an effort to include all faiths and belief systems. This is one of the first books I've found that doesn't use the words "religious" and "spiritual" synonomously. In fact, it makes clear that spirituality is a quality that comes from within rather than something that is tied to the trappings of dogma and creeds that organized religions expound.
In addition to being a thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting book, the appendixes with information on all major faiths' and religions' teachings on gays and lesbians is very informative and helpful.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Christian de la Huerta's book perfectly expresses my personal experience of spirituality as a gay man. What has taken me years to sift through and distill, he beautifully shapes in this highly inspiring, as well as practical, guide to the development of the gay/lesbian/human spirit.
As a psychologist, I have often found that because of the great harm that some organized religions have heaped upon sexual minorities, many in our community have closed themselves off to the very essential and very human spiritual sides of themselves. In essence, by associating spirituality only with religion, they metaphorically "throw the baby out with the bathwater". Mr. de la Huerta's book offers the promise of not only reviving lost spirituality for those abused by religion, but he also offers clear direction for those of us who avidly pursue healthy spiritual growth. Bravo Mr. de la Huerta!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Miles J. on October 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for all GLBT people seeking a spiritual life. It is very empowering. Christian describes the many roles GLBT people have played throughout history. The way he explains the difference between spirituality and religion in a way that will help anyone get over their ideas that being spiritual means selling out to the Christian Right. Please read this book. We CAN change the world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Christian has managed to make me believe and understand what I somehow knew but had either forgotten or could not fully express even to myself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have always considered myself spiritual, but my sexual orientation conflicted with my religious upbringing. And although I had heard of homosexual shaman in the American Indian culture, I never saw myself as having a sacred calling or history until I read this book. The book or some of its content needs communicated to all people. Almost everyone in the GLBT community should be able to see themselves in at least one of the ten sacred archetypes described. The book had a profound impact on me and I hope it will for you too.
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