Gay Affirmative

gay-love2By Joe Perez

Today the war between homosexuality and religion rages on in the churches, mosques, and synagogues. Most conservative or orthodox or traditional religionists reject homosexual acts or the orientation itself as incompatible with ethical and righteous living. And worldwide these are the loudest voices and the most powerful and influential forces in society.

But things are changing surprisingly rapidly. In only a few decades gays and lesbians have made enormous strides towards social acceptability and won key rights and liberties. Governments in many nations recognize gay unions or marriages and attitudes have changed such that the sight of two men or two women kissing or holding hands in public does not arouse approbation.

Spiritual individualists (a.k.a. “nones” or the “spiritual, but not religious” types) tend to be more accepting of gay people because they have thrown off religions which they by and large view negatively. They have insisted upon being spiritually independent which gives them the freedom to choose their own attitude towards homosexuality rather than sheepishly obeying the dictates of church officials or fundamentalist doctrines. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your point-of-view.

But if you ask spiritual individualists for a rationale for their views, they are an incoherent and incohesive chorus. Some will tell you that discrimination against gays is wrong because it just feels uncompassionate or unloving or too judgmental. In other words, they root their disapproval of homophobes on their own individual feelings, whims. notions, and fancies. By and large, they don’t appeal to anything more substantial than their own conscience because they know better possibilities.

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Gay Love Is God’s Love

God-sistine-chapelBy Joe Perez

Don’t tell me you don’t believe in God and therefore you don’t need to care about spirituality. Spirituality, as Paul Tillich tells us, is about our ultimate concerns. And everyone has ultimate concerns. Joseph Campbell once said words to the effect that half the world thinks their religious metaphors are literal truths and totally real and the other half things their religious metaphors are literal falsehoods and therefore totally false.

In fact, Campbell’s postmodern view from the mountaintop which allows him to dismiss the errors of the religious and secular alike is its own kind of illusion:  a pretense that the capacity for tolerance and peace and understanding and the sort of high-level abstract thinking about mythology exists is totally real and universal, whereas in fact it exists only as an artifact of complex developmental systems in which the worldviews of the traditional religionists and atheists each play important and valuable roles in themselves, and not merely as false versions to Campbell’s higher consciousness to be deconstructed or condescendingly embraced merely as means to an end.

Premodern, modern, and postmodern views of God each have ways of understanding the value and dignity of Spirit and Gay Love as playing an important role in the Divine, however it is conceived — as a Tradition-based belief system, as a scientifically-based understanding of the general systems of evolution within Nature, or as a postmodern embrace of virtually irreducible diversity and plurality.

There are ways of embracing the essential truth behind the notion that Gay Love is God’s Love whatever your worldview and in a way that respects the integrity of that worldview as offering a genuine platform for enlightened or awakened consciousness. Maybe you will say Gay is a face of God, or maybe you will prefer to say that Homophilic self-immanence is a fundamental drive of all evolving things, or maybe you will say the same essential truth in a different formulation. Whatever the exact phrasing, Gay Love is God’s Love must be the gay liberation movement’s next great mantra.


Photo: Wikimedia

The Significance Of Sameness

twins1By Joe Perez

Either you are reading this or you are not. If you are not, then a philosopher may wonder if this article is being read all. But let’s say that you are reading this article. In that case, I am addressing you. You are not merely a reader, but the subject. You are what this article is about. Because when you understand that you are indeed you, then you have implicitly recognized that there is someone else who is not you. You may know nothing else about the author of this article, but of this much you can be certain: difference exists.

Whether difference exists absolutely or is a by-product of an alienated, distorted, or false consciousness is a matter which has concerned thinkers for thousands of years. For the moment let us just agree that difference exists in some sense, a point which is clearly indisputable. Let us agree for argument’s sake that there are at least two perspectives from which to consider the question or whether difference exists: absolute and relative. The former perspective is that of an unconditioned, indistinct reality which is All-In-All, including all that exists in every world from every perspective. The latter perspective is relative, conditioned by finite human perspectives on reality. Furthermore, let us say that from an absolute perspective difference has no reality; but from relative perspectives, differences are real.

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The Practice Of Homophilia

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABy Joe Perez

Homo- means same, and philia means love. Homophilia is literally love of the same. It applies to the love of same-sex couples, one for the other; more generally, it applies to any form of same-directed love.

Hetero– means other, and philia means love. Heterophilia is literally love of the same. It applies to the love of opposite-sex couples, one for the other; more generally, it applies to any form of other-directed love.

Bi– carries the meaning of two, and philia means love. Biphilia is literally love of two. In the case of sexual orientation, it means the love of both sexes; more generally, it applies to any form of love manifesting in two directions.

The practice of Homophilia is the practice of Love, seen from a gay perspective. Gays and lesbians teach us through the way they love about the practice of Homophilia.

The practice of Heterophilia is the practice of Love, seen from a straight perspective. Heterosexuals teach us through the way they love about the practice of Heterophilia.

The practice of Biphilia is the practice of Love, seen from a bi perspective. Bisexuals teach us through the way they love about the practice of Biphilia.

Love (philia) is the essence of the world we live in together and co-evolve. It is the essence of the real, not merely an emotion.

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Joe Perez On God’s Gayness

gay-kiss1By Joe Perez

A spiritual teaching from my book Soulfully Gay (2007):

Human nature teaches us about the nature of God. We include gay people and straight people. Gay people love in gay ways and straight people love in straight ways. We can try to express what human nature reveals about God with words, but only poorly. We could say, for instance: God is gay. God is not gay. God is straight. God is not straight. These are fine (but limited) ways of talking about God.

God is like a gay person and God is like a straight person. There is beauty in gay people and in straight people, and God is so beautiful that God’s beauty includes all the beauty of gays and straights. There is beauty in gay ways of loving and in straight ways of loving, and God’s ways of loving are so beautiful that they include all the beauty of gay and straight ways of loving.

God made some men gay, because He made them in His image. God made gay men to love in gay ways, because God loves in gay ways. The beauty of gay men reflects the beauty of God. The beauty of gay ways of loving reflects the beauty of God’s gay ways of loving. When someone fears and hates a gay man, he or she fears and hates God. When someone denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms a gay man, he or she denigrates, despises, loathes, and harms God.

Some people have repressed the truth about God’s gayness, because they have hated and feared God. Some who have repressed the truth about God are straight and others are gay. The truth about God’s gayness has been revealed to those whose eyes are open.


Photo Credit: William Hamon (aka Ewns) via Compfight cc