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Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature With Sixteen Writers, Healers, Teachers, and Visionaries Hardcover – November, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Thompson (Gay Spirit, St. Martin's, 1987) plumbs "the potentialities of otherness" in these compelling interviews with a remarkably diverse, insightful roster of gay men, all of whom ponder and exemplify the spiritual possibilities of the gay experience. At 81, poet and filmmaker James Broughton is yet the imp of the collection, gleefully exhorting readers to revel in "the delicious absurdities of the world." Spiritual activist Ram Dass invites us to understand suffering as grace, to see one's "incarnation as a curriculum." Jungian psychotherapist Robert Hopcke suggests that drag queens embody the trickster archetype in American culture. And anthropologist Will Roscoe sees promise in the Native American berdache tradition of the third cultural gender accepted because he "mediates the divisions and contradictions within the community." Rife with uncommon visions, Gay Soul is an excellent sourcebook of psychical constructions of queerness.
Thomas Tavis, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062510401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062510402
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
At long last someone has done a study of gay spirituality! Soul and Spirituality among gay men are increasingly becoming much stronger and deeper as we approach the millenium and the Age of Aquarius. When overcoming difficulties of the modern age such as homophobia and the stigmatisation of the AIDS epidemic, gay men such as myself have started to look inside themselves for the fulfilment that lacks in society, and this book is one of very few available that studies the many different aspects of this new spritiuality. The interview format takes a bit of getting used to at first, but from the start the writing has a conversational style which makes it much easier to read, and more difficult to put down! I would highly recommend this for any gay man seeking to discover his true spirituality in whatever form- it truly is a brilliant book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. P. Jay on April 29, 2015
Format: Paperback
The Huffington Post includes it in its list of ‘20 books that changed the way we felt about ourselves as LGBT people.’ "It taught me that we are a unique tribe, but that sexuality was only one facet of who I really am."

The author has a series of with well-known community figures, spiritual leaders, and artists such as Harry Hay, Ram Dass, Andrew Harvey, Paul Monette, James Broughton.

We thought that the interview format was good, though there were some leading questions.

It was thought provoking.

The idea that gay men have some sort of shamanic, unique insight because they are outsiders and felt different from an early age was popular at the start of the last century. Whether this will last now that the stigma is lessening is questionable.

Richard Isay repeats the distant father thing but is it cause or effect? Chicken or egg?)

James Broughton reckons that gay men make a contribution to straights. He also points out the untruth of body/soul dualism.

Paul Monette has become discerning about enemies and advises gays to know their rich heritage.

The editor does well to point out that there are many fakes.

So far so good but I balk at Andrew Harvey saying that: The earth has AIDS because of the way we've treated it.

Instead of saying that ‘AIDS is God’s wrath’ he seems to be saying that it’s Gaia’s wrath.

So some gay men lack empathy and are fairly alien.

Harry Hay prefers ‘homophile’ to ‘homosexual’ because it moves the emphasis from sex to love. The Church of England produced a report which used this term though people thought it was because of a fear of sex.

If bishops produced a statement about the earth being flat, that wouldn’t make it true.
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Format: Paperback
If you are a gay man who is seeking to broaden your understanding of your own spirituality, if you are any other member of the gay community, or have gay friends or gay relations, then this lovely book is essential reading. I first read Gay Soul a few years ago and have gone back to it repeatedly. It opened doors for me regarding my own role as a gay man who has long sought a context for my unique spiritual expression. Written by men who have years of experience working as healers, teachers, and mediators the book outlines an historical context for gay spirituality as the shaman and the berdache. The writing is gentle, simple and yet profound. In a world where our histories as gay people have been brutally suppressed and denied, Gay Soul goes a long way towards recovery of what has been lost and towards presenting a real alternative to those of us who are deeply moved by nature, healing, shamanism, and other forms of spiritual mediation. It affirms how essential our roles as cross-dressers, taboo-breakers, faeries, and gender-benders are to a healthy social psychology. It is a book which has had such a profound effect on my partner and I, that we keep giving copies to friends and fellow seekers. The interview format means that you can read each chapter independently, yet there is a consistent flow of thought and energy running through all of the interviews. It is a must for all faeries and a voice of clear hope for young gays. Hold on; you are not alone; we have always been here; the magic you feel within you is real; you matter; your contribution is a critical one; the world cannot survive and be healthy without us.
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By A Customer on November 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a great resource for a gay male looking for viewpoints on sexuality, spirituality, and morality. The various essays included are mostly in interview form, and make it feel that you are "listening" into a conversation. In this indirect eavesdropping, you find a wealth of viewpoints and guidance on issues that have traditionally plagued many gay men -- sex, self-esteem, and sense of purpose in society.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Ramsay on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely phenomenal book. I wasn't notified that it would be liberally marked up with pink highlighter, otherwise I might have bought another used copy. But nothing can get in the way of this book being inspiring and incredible. Every gay man must read it.
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