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Thank you to everyone for creating a wonderful space for all! 

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I had an amazing time at queer spirit. Would definitely return! 

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There is not a moment I would not was such a wonderful time... thank you all

On Queer Spirituality

A collection of thoughts, ideas and viewpoints on 'Queer Spirituality', collected together by Shokti.

Judy Grahn
Judy Grahn, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds:
“The tribal attitude said, and continues to say, that Gay people are especially empowered because we are able to identify with both sexes and can see into more than one world at once, having the capacity to see from more than one point of view at a time.” 
Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox: The Spiritual Life of Homosexuals and Just About Everybody Else
“Who knows more about the beauty of creation and the New Creation than those who have been told verbally and non-verbally by religion and society that the way they were created was a mistake and even sinful.” 

Rev. Mona West

Rev. Mona West, Ph. D. Queer Spirituality | Religious Institute.

“Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people have a unique history as spiritual people and our expressions of spirituality are being manifested in powerful and healing ways today. Those expressions are known as “Queer Spirituality.” 

“Queer spirituality often involves the process and practice of letting go of ideas about God, the Bible, church, family, sexuality, and our own bodies that are not true to our experience. What is most important in this spiritual practice is honoring and recognizing that our experience is a source of revelation and can be trusted to point us to the Divine.”  

Toby Johnson

Toby Johnson: Gay Spirituality, The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness:

“There is an enlightenment that goes with being gay, an understanding of the real meaning and message of religion. Not all gay people avail themselves of this enlightenment. Some are blinded to it by momentary attractions of the flesh and the glamour of a liberated gay life. Some are blinded by the guilt and confusion instilled in them by a homophobic society. And some are blinded by the misinformation perpetuated by institutionalized religion. Yet this spiritual enlightenment is there for us, if only we open our eyes.

“The conflict between church teaching and the reality of gay feelings can create a spiritual crisis that causes homosexuals to reevaluate religion and the meaning of their lives. This spiritual crisis leads some to reject their religious/spiritual sensitivities, often out of indignation at the blindness and stupidity of conventional religion. While this may be an act of spiritual integrity, it can cost these people an important part of life. After all, spirituality can offer a vision of hope and meaning in a world that sometimes appears to be a hopeless miasma of pain and suffering. At its best, spirituality bestows vision and love of life. It widens our perspective. It sensitizes us to beauty and vitality...” 

Revd Ruth Harley

Revd Ruth Harley, an ordained minister in the Church of England.

“Spirituality and spiritual wellbeing is an important issue for everyone, whatever their sexuality or gender identity, and whether or not they practice a faith.

Understanding our own identity and how we relate to the world around us is a core part of what it means to be human.

Seeing ourselves in relation to something greater than ourselves – whether or not we name that as God – is for many of us an important part of our self-understanding.”

Tracey Anne Duncan

Tracey Anne Duncan on

“We’ve been mostly denied entry into many houses of worship, much less the pearly gates of heaven. But we are no longer accepting that rejection as evidence of our original sin. Instead, we are reconceptualizing religion and spirituality in pursuit of both personal liberation and healing the collective. Queer people aren’t coming for your old gods, we’re making God anew.

“I see a new trinity emerging in this queer spiritual revolution: body, story and collective. These are the places where we can find the inspiration to enliven our world, animate our bodies and speak a language suited to the soul. This is a trinity without hierarchy. Contemporary queer spiritual leaders know that we must address all three at once to help us move, not just away from the harms of the past but toward new visions of healing for our collective future.” 

  Spirituality Has A New Face — And It’s Queer As Hell (

Michael Bernard Kelly

Michael Bernard Kelly: Queer Flame of Love Re-imagining the Christian Mystical Tradition in Light of the Experience of Contemporary Gay Men.

“People who are part of sexual minorities, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex people, have experienced particularly intensely the failure of religious leaders to engage with contemporary issues and experiences—indeed, they have often been explicitly excluded from religious communities and disenfranchised from traditional sources of spiritual wisdom. They have also faced the continued silencing of queer and non-hetero-normative voices within many spiritual traditions, a silencing that, after many centuries, is only now beginning to be challenged. Perhaps for the first time in history, queer people are beginning to speak openly about their faith, their experience of grace, and their spirituality...

“One of the essential gifts and challenges offered by a creative engagement of spiritual and mystical traditions with contemporary queer experience is the possibility of a new, passionate and frank embrace of and insight into the spiritual dimensions of sexuality and of the body...

“The exploitation and abuse of the earth and her creatures are not unrelated to the long-standing, religiously sanctioned suspicion and denigration of all that is corporeal, material, sensual and sexual in our human selves. It is in our bodies, with all of our earthy passions and desires, that we most immediately touch the “earth”...”  

Rev. Mona West, Ph. D. Queer Spirituality | Religious Institute.

“Throughout history and across different cultures Queer people have not only been spiritually inclined but respected and revered for their spiritual leadership. In her ground breaking book, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, Judy Grahn attempted to trace many of the words and behaviors that have been used to define and describe Queer people. There are several chapters in her book that mention the spiritual roles Queer people have played in tribal cultures as shamans, priests and priestesses, and go-betweens.

In his book, Coming Out Spiritually, Christian de la Huerta identifies ten spiritual roles that Queer people have assumed throughout the course of history: catalytic transformers, outsiders, consciousness scouts, sacred clowns, keepers of beauty, caregivers, mediators, shamans and priests, the Divine androgyne and gatekeepers. John Boswell has also emphasized the leading role Queer people have played in the Western monastic tradition in his book, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century.

Walter L. Williams has studied American Indian cultures that venerate the berdache, androgynous, cross-dressing people who were considered neither men nor women and thought to be “two-spirited.” The berdache had important spiritual functions within the tribe such as healers, dreamers and visionaries, and mediators between the spirit world and the human world.

“Because of prejudice and religious abuse Queer people today have rejected or lost our connection with our spiritual heritage. It is time for us to look inside, to do the work of self-discovery and reclaim our spiritual nature as teachers, healers, prophets, artists, visionaries, mediators, messengers, entertainers, priests and priestesses, and keepers of beauty.” 

John McNeil

John McNeil: Gay Dimensions to Spiritual Life
National Catholic Reporter. March 26, 1993 :

“Carl Jung recognized a special spiritual quality that characterized the homosexuals with whom he worked as a therapist: “He [the homosexual] is endowed with a wealth of religious feelings which help him to bring the ecclesia spiritualis into reality and a spirituality which makes him responsive to revelation.”

“Anthropologists note that in many [pre-urban] cultures, gays and lesbians play a strong role in spiritual leadership. For example, an American Indian tradition, the berdache or the heyoehkah who gave spiritual leadership to the tribe were usually drawn from among the gay members of the tribe.

“Gays and lesbians also have played a leading, if hidden, role in Western monastic tradition. Matthew Kelty, the Trappist monk, speaks of a special spiritual quality in his life as a hermit and contemplative that he attributes to his homosexuality: “The reason [for this special quality], as I have worked it out, is that [homosexuals] are more closely related to the anima than is usual. The man with a strong anima will always experience some inadequacy until he comes to terms with his inner spirit and establishes communion – no small achievement.” (Flute Solo: Reflections of a Trappist Hermit, Doubleday, 1980.)

“... gay people have a keen awareness that spiritual life is not a head trip but a heart trip. Thus, a healthy spiritual life must be holistic; it cannot be based on a denial and rejection of the necessary sexual component in our search for intimacy with God. To totally suppress that component can place a major obstacle in the path of spiritual growth.

“Gay people constantly are in a process of discernment on how to integrate their growth in intimacy with God with their search to live out human intimacy in its fullness. Many gays are fully aware of their need for spiritual community to successfully carry out this discernment process.” 

Caitlin Breedlove

Caitlin Breedlove, Auburn Seminary in Phoenix:

“There are ancient ways of understanding spirituality and our spiritual connection that predate monotheism and contemporary white supremacy and capitalism.”

"I actually believe it is not overstated to say we are in a struggle for the Soul of the LGBTQ movement—to see if we are about Queer Liberation–which means the liberation of bodies and spirits from colonialisms of all kind–or if we are simply exchanging limited rights for more rights through the quiet but gruesome process of assimilation. LGBTQ people are so much more than a set of peoples who have to prove that we are like anyone else to ‘merit’ rights–we have fought too bravely for our lives on our terms to surrender that now."    Feminists We Love: Caitlin Breedlove & SONG – The Feminist Wire

Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey, Gay Mystics (1997): 

“Delving into the truth of homosexual history, one begins to understand that homophobia is a purely human and relatively recent cultural construct, and it has no basis in divine ordination. In earlier times, up until the Roman era, contemporary cultural historians such as Riane Eisler and Randy Conner make clear in their calmly groundbreaking work, rever- ence for the Sacred Feminine and the Divine Mother led to a reverence for all forms of life and love. Many shamans were and are homosexual; many of the worshipers of the Goddess under her various names and in her various cults all over the world-from the Mediterranean to the Near East to the Celtic parts of northern Europe-openly avowed their homosexuality and were accepted and even specially revered as priests, oracles, healers, and diviners. Homosexuals, far from being rejected, were seen as sacred-people who, by virtue of a mysterious fusion of feminine and masculine traits, participated with particular intensity in the life of the Source. The Source of Godhead is, after all, both masculine and feminine, and exists in a unity that includes but transcends both. The homosexual was thought to mirror this unity and its enigmatic fertility and power in a special way. The tribe or culture gave to him or her specific du- ties that were highly important and sacred, acknowledging this intimacy with divine truth and the clairvoyant help it could bring to the whole society. This wise and spacious understanding of what some cultural histo- rians and sociologists have called the third and fourth sexes continues, however fragmentarily, in the Native American traditions in which the berdache or gay, cross-dressing shaman (know in different tribes by dif- ferent names) holds an honored, essential place in the life of the tribe.”

Matthew Fox, It's about Love! 

“Homophobia makes a very big mistake about God, the author of nature’s immense diversity. Including sexual diversity. God is author of nature and that means that God is author…yes, of gay as well as straight passions.”

“The religious rhetoric against gay love is always buttressed by the famous line, “it’s not natural. It’s against nature.” But Science, whose job it is to explore nature, has found just the opposite. That there are gay couples among at least 464 other species ranging from dolphins to birds, from dogs to seals.”

Mark Pitstick

Mark Pitstick, author, clinical psychologist

“For those with awakened hearts and minds, the high road about this topic is very clear. Whatever the reasons for a person’s sexual orientation, it is none of your business so get over it! I don’t have to justify why I’m heterosexual; why should it be any different for people who aren’t?

“As all spiritual wisdom traditions have taught, what is most important is to love one another. Another key is to observe the updated Golden Rule: ‘Treat others the way they would like to be treated.’ Doing this regarding matters of sexual orientation is clearly overdue. 
“This is especially important given the hate crimes that have occurred around the world against LGBTQI people.

“However you look at it, we each are unique and important parts of life who are interconnected in meaningful ways. This recognition calls for respecting and valuing all people regardless of any trivial differences involving sexuality, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, physical appearance, etc. These are inconsequential details in the grand scheme of things.

“More and more people are awakening to our essential oneness. Having shaken off the fetters of fear, they are focusing more on the unique beauty and gifts that each person has to offer. From this perspective, we can love ourselves and others more.”

Rev. Mona West, Ph. D. Queer Spirituality | Religious Institute 

“Coming Out is a life long spiritual practice. Because we live in a heterosexist society, Queers will always be invited to claim their unique identity. It is a lifelong process because it involves the integration and transformation of our Queer identity into the whole of our lives. To speak of coming out as a lifelong process of integration and transformation is to invoke the classic spiritual model of “purgation, illumination, and union.” Coming out as a spiritual practice takes us through these three stages over and over again as we ‘purge’ ourselves of false images and expectations forced upon us by a heterosexist society; welcome the ‘illumination’ or insight that comes from living out of an identity that is more authentic to ourselves; and with every purging of a false life image and illumination from our true or authentic life image will come ‘union,’ connection, and abiding with the Divine that is at the deepest center of ourselves.”


Shokti, one of the organisers of Queer Spirit Festival

“I believe that Queer Spirituality is about the lgbt+ people of the planet becoming conscious of the Unity of all life: it’s not that we have ONE LIFE, it’s that there is ONE LIFE and we are it. We can use religious terms and imagery to describe this, but we can also find our own forms of expression. By being outside the mainstream norms of society queers are perfectly placed to work our own answers, this applies to spirituality as much as to our sexual expression, the relationships and cultures that we create. Everyone on earth is an incarnation of the oneness, and deserving of the right to self-expression, to be who they truly are and to love whom they wish to love. This is the message Queer Spirit brings to the world, the same message that the Gay Liberation Front was voicing from the early 1970s, and which is the point of Gay Prides the world over, but now we need to take that liberation into the spiritual realms.

“Spiritual liberation is the missing element in the modern journey of lgbtq+ people around the world.”



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