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Blossom of Bone - Reclaiming the Connections Between Homoeroticism and the Sacred Paperback – November 1, 1993
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The first multi-cultural exploration of the sacred experience, roles, and rituals of gay and gender-bending men, from the ancient priests of the goddess to Oscar Wilde and pop music icon Sylvester--a rich tradition of men who have embodied the interrelationship between androgyny, homoeroticism, and the quest for the sacred. Illustrations and photos.
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The author's use of carefully academic terminology, such as "gender-variant" and "same-sex erotically identified" becomes tiresome very quickly. And his blatant bias against anything "patriachal" or Judaeo-Christian renders his judgements highly suspect. He seems blind to the fact that paganism itself was as often as not patriarchal. And he ignores the historical truth that Christianity arose out of paganism, was made-up of converted pagans who obviously saw something in it that they preferred to the pagan ethos. Not to mention, it began as a subversive movement largely spread, and to some extent led, by women.
The characterization of Christianity as a purely oppressive domination system, with a view of God as merely a transcendant father-figure is simply false, ignoring the place of immanent and incarnational theology in the tradition, and the often radically egalitarian forces the faith unloosed in the world. Not to mention the fact that gay men and women played just as many roles in that tradition as they did in any other.
Another problem is the author's over-focus on transvestism and transexualism. Certainly these were roles often found in gay spiritual practioners in traditional societies. But undoubtedly this had as much to do with the narrow categories heterosexuals imposed on gay people as it did with any inherent spiritual worth in those roles. The result is that the book often comes-off as a drag queen's desperate attempt to find intellectual justification for her own existence.
The constant use of derogatory words like "queer," "faggot," "fairy," etc. in reference to gay people is indicative of the narrow academic world the author apparently lives in, where the affected co-option of such oppresive terminology, in a self-destructive attempt to de-fang them, is endemic. It is characteristic of the arrogance and ivory-tower snobbery of such types to be clueless as to the destruction they cause in reviving terms that people in the real world labored desperately for decades to eradicate.
In all, "Blossom of Bone" (terrible title) is a dated product of late 20th century "gay studies" sophistry. While it contains much important research, it is marred by it's biased agenda.
For me, personally, this book is one among many that shows that the Goddess (or the Divine Feminine, take your pick) was never completely subdued, and She is taking her rightful place once again within the kaleidoscope of human religious experience and spirituality. In addition, this work shows by its very existence that ALL of Her former clergy, not just Priestesses, is being resurrected. Those of us who actively serve a Goddess or "The Goddess" who are also homoerotically inclined should all have a copy of this book. I won't say that it has dramatically changed my life, but has certainly fanned the flames of my devotion and service.