Category Archives: WC76 – Ancestors

WC76 – Review of Double Cross & The Transcended Christian

Rvu_ranandoublecrossRoman Catholicism:
The Wrong Way and the Right Way

Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church
By David Ranan

Theo Press, pb,
426 pages, $25.95

The Transcended Christian:
Spiritual Lessons for the 21st Century

By Daniel A. Helminiak

Alyson Books, pb, 315 pages, $16.95

Reviewed by Toby Johnson

On a flight to Easton Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York for a gathering of “leaders” in Gay spirituality, I read David Ranan’s scathing report on the history and organizational structure of the Catholic Church in regard to power and politics. As disturbing as the book was, it was interesting reading and held my attention even through all the distractions of air travel.

Ranan is surprisingly evenhanded and low-key in reporting on a history of unbelievable abuse of power, corruption and hypocrisy (especially regarding sexual ethics). In almost every case he calmly presents the facts and explains that the various abuses seem to come from organizational imperatives and maintenance concerns rather than from flaws in doctrine. At times you wonder how he can keep cataloguing all these apparent crimes against humanity without ever quite calling for the abolition of the institution and the damnation of all its layers of minions.

The book begins with an explanation of the structure of the Church and particularly the Vatican authority. He explains the origins of the church, the notion of miracles as evidence for authority, and the place of sin—and the sacramental power to forgive sin—as a tool of social control. The next chapters report on the Inquisition, the Index of Forbidden Books, and, specifically, the case against Galileo in the 17th century at the beginning of the development of the scientific method and observation as the source of truth (rather than religious authority or revelation).

Poor Galileo, the prelates showed the seventy-year-old man the instruments of torture they’d use to question him and scared him into recanting facts he’d seen with his own eyes about the movement of the heavenly bodies. All because Psalm 104 says: “The earth is firmly fixed; it shall not be moved.” Even a cursory reading of the verses in context can see the Psalmist was praising the wonder of God’s creation, not describing astrophysical dynamics! Yet for that verse, the advance of Western science was delayed centuries. Of course, in the end, the Church lost. And in due course the pope forgave Galileo. Though the pope to do so was John Paul II, in our own lifetimes—a little late. And even then, JP II didn’t admit the Church was wrong, only that Galileo turned out to have been right about the astronomy.

The next chapters deal with the corruption of popes, religious violence, anti-Semitism (and the Holocaust). Some of the medieval popes amassed huge fortunes that some passed on to their illegitimate offspring, all the while calling the faithful to obey the rules about avoiding sexual pleasure and giving generously to the Church. The list of popes with offspring just goes on and on. Popes apparently don’t have “children”; they have “nephews.” By the 20th century these kinds of abuses had disappeared, but there was still a Vatican banking scandal around the time of the election of John Paul II. (Lucien Gregoire’s Gay consciousness-sourced book Murder in the Vatican, reviewed previously in White Crane #67, gave the banking scandal even more sinister overtones.)

Then there’s the chapter on sexual morality and the Church’s intransigence with regard to issues like the dignity of women, divorce, homosexuality, contraception and family planning, even condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS. At every point, Ranan shows, the Church opted to ignore human suffering and up-to-date solutions to age-old problems and to insist instead on reiterating its errors from the past in order to assert that it had never made any mistakes. A classic example Ranan cites is telling women whose husbands are HIV+ that they should trust in God’s will for their health since they are not permitted to use condoms to prevent their infection.

And finally there’s a long discussion of the sexual abuse scandal that has surfaced in the last decades. Ranan focuses mainly on the cover-up, rather than the supposed evils of pedophilia itself, since that is the institutionally generated criminality. The catalogue is long.

The conclusion the book reaches, a little equivocally, is that maybe the Church needs dismantling, but that “matters of faith such as virgin birth or transubstantiation” are not necessarily threatened by this critique of the institutional structure.

I personally would go a bit further. Bringing a Buddhistic perspective to the question of the Catholic Church and its elaborate system of doctrines, I’d say the bad behavior Double Cross documents is empirical proof—like that Galileo saw with his own eyes—that there is no God, at least the way the Church teaches, and that that God has no power over human affairs and does not answer prayers. That’s a bold and difficult assertion (though thoroughly and reverently Buddhist). But some huge number of the prayers that go up daily from Catholics is for the guidance of Church leaders. It is abundantly clear they aren’t getting any divine guidance. The behavior of the Church doesn’t seem to reflect any awareness at all of the teachings of Jesus about love trumping rules.

Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church certainly challenged my affection and nostalgia for the religion of my youth. It was much more readable and compelling than I’d expected. It’s well written and it is pretty convincing.

The final paragraph sums up the argument that Gay people, in particular, should take to heart: “Faithful Catholic liberals hope and believe that change can be effected within the Church. They hope for reform. Such reform, however, is unlikely to suffice. The shape-up which is necessary is beyond the scope of a reform.”

Rvu_helminiakGay spiritual writer, theologian, psychologist, scholar Daniel Helminiak offers another way to think of the Catholic Church. Helminiak was for many years a Dignity priest. He still speaks to Catholic—and non-Catholic—groups around the country about the real meaning of Christian and Catholic religion. His book What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality is one of the perennial bestsellers in the Gay genre, addressing a central question religious homosexuals have to ask themselves in the process of coming out.

Helminiak has far surpassed traditional Catholic religiousness, yet without dissing the tradition. His most important insight (and that is an important word in a discussion of his thought because it is the name of the major book by Helminiak’s great intellectual influence, the 20th C. Canadian Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan, author of Insight: A Study of Human Understanding) is that “spirituality” is about human consciousness and personality and only tangentially about “God.” Indeed, you don’t need a concept of “God” to be spiritual, and your accomplishment at being “spiritual” will be to understand what God really is. This is religion in service of the human spirit, not the human in the service of institutional power structures.

Not only is Daniel Helminiak an astute thinker and an accomplished writer, he is also a wonderful and interesting teacher and, from his history as a priest, a marvelous preacher. His most recent book, The Transcended Christian: Spiritual Lessons for the Twenty-First Century, is, in fact, based on sermons he gave during his Dignity years that were preserved by members of his flock because they were so impactful. Now these sermon notes have been updated and rewritten into eighteen interesting and sometimes entertaining essays that demonstrate the right way to think about Catholic teaching and tradition. Readers of Helminiak’s serious theological works will find this book just as intelligent, but also as readable and personable as it is intelligent. There’s a sweetness to his voice that reveals the pastoral origins of the texts.

Let me proudly report that Daniel credits me with the inspiration for his title. Years ago when I was the Gay therapist and a community spokesperson in San Antonio and he was the Dignity priest, we had a delightful conversation about the evolution of religion. Coming out of my Campbellian/comparative religions vision of “the new myth” as the understanding of religious imagery and myth from outside and over and above — in which all myths are true insofar as it’s possible to rise to a higher perspective and transcend the conflicting details, I called Daniel, with his post-mythical, post-institutional spirituality, a “transcended Catholic.”

Each chapter of the book begins with a Scripture text. The commentaries then offer insightful ways of understanding what the texts can really mean to us two thousand years later. This isn’t religion looking back at a fantasized past to give it validity, but rather the familiar symbols and metaphors of religion applied to our lives today to give our lives validity — and that’s especially so, of course, of our Gay lives.

To offer but one example, in the essay on Christmas and Jesus as a prophet revealing a new kind of attitude about God (based in love of others, not obedience to taboos), Helminiak offers recognition of Gay identity as an experience of such “a revelation from God”: “In the depths of our own soul, we experience a dawning, a realization. We grasp an intuition, and from it we form a new message, we configure a new vision. It comes from the source of all goodness. It emerges out of the Life Force that is working in and through us all. Our vision or message points toward a more wholesome life for everybody. Isn’t this what ‘revelation from God’ is about?” Helminiak ties in the Christmas story with the image of John the Baptist, the prophet who calls for the transformation of society, as opposed to the popular character of modern Christmas, Santa Claus. Santa Claus represents the mythological, fairytale side of the story that just reconfirms conventional assumptions, while John the Baptist represents the transcended vision.

Over and over again in the book, Helminiak gives a Queer twist to usual stories. And I mean the double entendre. He offers new and unexpected ways to understand the familiar stories, and he interprets them to offer positive and inclusive meaning for us Queer Gay people.

This is a book I’ve been reading slowly, one chapter at a time, relishing the twists.

Just as David Ranan’s book about the Church makes one question the usefulness and validity of Catholic tradition, so Daniel Helminiak’s redeems the tradition by showing how transcending it is, in fact, doing it right, doing it the way Jesus would have intended.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Toby Johnson is the author and editor of countless fine books like Gay Spirituality, and Charmed Lives.  He is also former publisher of White Crane Journal and currently Reviews editor. He lives in San Antonio Texas.  Visit him at

WC76 – Review of Fenway Guide

Rvu_fenwaylgbthealthFenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
and Transgender Health American College of Physicians

ISBN-10: 193051395X
544 pages $54.95
Reviewed by Jeff Huyett, NP

A colleague asked if I would talk with a friend, also a nurse, about her college-age son who is “just out.” “Would you just talk with her about how to keep safe, which vaccinations to get and all that? Should he get an anal pap smear?” Working in a college environment in New York City, I play the role of homo-expert since I’m an “out, Queer nurse” who is also proficient in LGBTQQ health concerns. (I add QQ to cover “Queer and questioning,” too, as many folks will never fit into a neat and tidy box of sexual identification.) I take this seriously because formal education about sexual minority “health” is missing in most nursing and medical curricula. Mental health programs tend to lead in teaching professionals about particular LGBT health issues.

Mother’s fears about her son’s coming out are about his medical safety. As a health issue, sexually-transmitted disease risks and prevention are the focus of mainstream education about LGBT patients. So it’s typical she would see these as primary concerns for her son’s health. But, really, risk of diseases specific to LGBT sex are easy to obviate with measures like protected sex and preventive vaccines. Our medically modeled “healthcare system” focuses on diseases, though, not health. So, many health concerns of an LGBT patient will not be met in our current health care system.

I encouraged her to focus on the social and emotional issues her son will be faced with and not just the sex/safety. She knows that he is aging into a world that is still pretty hostile to Queers. She knows that her son will experience hateful conversations, slurs, taunting, and possible physical violence just for being Gay. His experiences will shape a worldview that will inform him and affect his health throughout life.

Or, maybe she doesn’t know this. That’s why the Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health is essential for anyone practicing healthcare. I say ‘anyone’ because every healthcare provider is likely to take care of someone who is not heterosexual at some point in their career.

This scholarly text takes a holistic view of the term “health” in the title. “Health” affected by self-concept, the people around you, the place you live, and the air you breathe. The reader learns about LGBT people, history, culture, sexual minority phobias, politics and the effects these have on individual health and well-being. Much of the information about living in environments of oppression, repression and stigma will be fresh and thought-provoking for the reader.

I write this review with great pleasure and respect for the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston and all the people who have been associated with it. Full disclosure: I practiced there for six years, during a time of expansion from a basement clinic to large, multi-service health center in a state-of-the-art facility. It all happened as AIDS raged around us. Fenway endures and advances the LGBT health movement for all of us, not just Boston. Those times and this “model” of care permeate my own caregiving, teaching, research, and political activism.

Like the few other urban LGBT health services, Fenway came into being because men having Gay sex didn’t have a comfortable place to get checked and treated for sexually transmitted infections. Most communities forming post-Stonewall realized that “out” people had difficulty finding any kind of health care that was welcoming. The emergence of HIV further compounded the deficiencies of a mainstream system to care for sexual minorities. The fact that Fenway is expanding again exemplifies that specific agencies are still needed for LGBT health. The mainstream health care system still doesn’t get it. I advise corporate health executives, managers, and industry leaders: read this book. You are TOTALLY missing our market niche when it comes to LGBT health care.

For most clinicians, the Fenway Guide will fill in virtually all the information gaps about LGBT health. The style is scholarly, with footnoting and referencing. It reads like a textbook for a really interesting class. Each chapter reviews current scientific literature and synthesizes the findings into cogent practice recommendations for medical, nursing and mental health clinicians. Authors provide community and professional organizations information, websites, and resources. Sample intake forms, patient handouts, and health proxy forms are provided in the appendix for reader use in the clinical setting. Scientific literature and clinical recommendations will help clinicians to shape programs, staff offices, and provide care that is evidence-based. There are facts, figures, statistics and charts to highlight areas of strengths and deficiencies in programs. The 544-page text is a tome, but I cannot find information to edit, because, frankly, this is a primer, a beginner course. It is Queer health essentials.

The authors are physicians, social workers, psychologists, therapists, public health, health education professionals, lawyers and a physician’s assistant. These LGBT health experts practice in a variety of settings around the country, but most are from Boston. Some are in Gay-identified health service organizations similar to Fenway. Others are “out” and working in universities, hospitals, government agencies and grassroots organizations. Most of the authors are involved in ground-breaking research and community development. They acknowledge the extreme lack of population-based evidence of LGBT-particular health needs to guide us scientifically. They reinforce the clinician’s need to practice the “art of medicine” as stated in the preface by the editors. The term “art of healing” would have been more inclusive and better reflect the wide array of disciplines represented by the authors involved in this ground-breaking book.

This brings up my biggest criticism: there is a lack of nurse authors in the contributor list, though nurses are mentioned in the reading. This glaring omission demonstrates how nursing is reflected, or not, in the medical community, especially on the East Coast. Nurses have had great impact in the development of a wide array of LGBT services across the country.

Most authors use case studies to illustrate particular health topics. Many clinicians will be shocked when reading stories of coming out, abandonment, violence, and flat-out rejection by parents, family, friends and health care providers. Clinicians will learn how to better interpret the effects of oppression and stigma on individual health. This learning can readily be transposed to any care provided trans-culturally to assess the health affects of minority status. Effective history taking is reviewed in detail. Concrete examples are given for language and question formation to improve patient encounters, engender trust, and enhance the patient-provider relationship. The tone is matter-of-fact when it comes to discussing drug use, fetishes, and sexual behaviors. Especially important, the book reviews the need for sensitivity development in non-clinical staff as well as providing a safe, welcoming office environment for LGBT patients. Suggestions include LGBT representation in artwork, education materials, forms and questionnaires.

Families are explored from chosen families, bearing and raising children, Queer kids in straight families, and the notion that American families are just plain changing. LGBT folks are well aware of the importance of our close-knit circle of friends or chosen family. Fenway Guide carefully illustrates how society and laws dishonor these families. It teaches the clinician how to explore this realm with a patient to provide care to all who are family. Clinicians can use draft health proxy and living will forms to legally document the patient’s wishes in their medical record. The paradox is that America professes “family” as a core value, and yet we dismiss so much of what family is or can be.

Bearing and raising children happens in a variety of ways for parents in LGBT communities. The complexities of our couplings, alternative insemination, and the realities of raising children in same-sex-parent families is taught with census data, clinical research, and case studies. Like so much of this book, the discussions are full of examples from clinical experiences. I found this imparted a human-ness to the repeated statistics and study regurgitation. From a learner’s standpoint, I found this a good way to acculturate clinicians to the realities of Queer people.

Readings about transgender health are new and insightful. The reader will have a better understanding of the psychological, emotional, and cultural underpinnings of being transgender. This text does not outline methods of cross-gender hormone therapy but refers the reader to other resources. Given the lack of evidence-based research in cross-gender hormone therapy, the editors avoid recommendations about pharmacological measures. This reflects the reluctance of agencies to incur liability for recommendations in light of a lack of research. There is ample overview of hormone management and side effects monitoring as well as methods of surgical interventions for feminization and masculinization.

The Guide discusses physical, emotional, and familial experiences of people with disorders of sexual development (DSD) or intersex patients. This helpful chapter guides the family and clinician in the difficult decision making when it comes to treatment of infants with hormone therapy when there is ambiguous genital formation.

Evidence and recommendations for screening, treating and preventing sexually-transmitted infections are well provided. The specifics of HIV care are abbreviated, given the constant emergence of new studies. The reader is referred to current scientific guidelines and literature regarding HIV treatment specifics.

When a clinician wants to initiate practice changes in a health care environment, they must present documented need and proven methods of improvement. Getting clinicians to perform new behaviors or interview techniques is typically met with groans of “I’m already so busy. How will I have time to ask that or do this?” The Guide recognizes the over-worked, stressful environment that is health care today. Feasible suggestions are made for practice improvement, with average times given for elements of an interview or intervention. This allows the clinician to see how to integrate practice changes into the “ten-minute office visit.” There is ample discussion about the LGBT provider, navigation of coming out in the system, staying out, and helping colleagues with the coming-out process. The Guide is not simplistic about the value and risk still inherent in being out in today’s health care environment. There are good legal, professional, educational, and support resources.

Health care professionals and consumers alike must take the opportunity to educate with this book. We recommend it for coursework in universities, libraries in health care institutions, and reference book shelves in offices everywhere. Similarly, we challenge organizations to develop non-discrimination policies in practice and employment. The Guide gives helpful suggestions for doing this.

This book can shape a paradigm for health care that is sensitive to our needs as patients and as people. The majority of LGBT patients and clinicians will not have access to the resources offered in urban centers. Therefore, all clinicians need to develop an LGBT health care vocabulary because we are everywhere.

And I have to tell you, I love the rainbow umbrella on the cover.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Jeff Huyett is a contributing editor to White Crane and a nurse practitioner in NYC.  His clinical work has primarily been in Queer Health with a focus on HIV, rectal and Transgender care.  He is the Radical Faerie Daisy Shaver and is involved with the development of Faerie Camp Destiny Radical Sanctuary in Vermont.  He can be reached at  He writes the "Owner’s Manual" health column in each issue.

WC76 – Review of Seduced by Grace

Rvu_kellyseducedbyfaith_2Seduced by Grace:
Contemporary Spirituality, Gay Experience and Christian Faith

By Michael Bernard Kelly, Helen Kelley [Editor]
Melbourne: Clouds of Magellan, 2007
ISBN 9780980298321
Reviewed by Victor Marsh

You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced. -Jeremiah 20:7

While the dyspeptic (iconoclastic?) Christopher Hitchens is content to go on bashing his straw-man ‘God’ (see God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007), a more interesting set of insights into that tired, overworked tradition has come from what might seem to be an unlikely source — a self-professed Gay man and, moreover, one who knows from first-hand experience the shortcomings of his Church (specifically, its Roman Catholic incarnation). For Michael Bernard Kelly, as David Marr puts it, has ‘has come out but stayed in’—rather than quitting a homophobic Church in disgust, he is pushing for it to renovate itself from within. A potent collection of thoughtful writings by Kelly, the noted Australian Catholic dissident, Seduced by Grace gathers essays, articles, letters and talks he has produced over almost a decade, from late 1998 to May 2004, that are at once an acutely accurate critique of the shortcomings of the Church and a poignant testimonial to the heroic spirit that has, at times, invigorated it.

Kelly the activist is (in)famous in Australia. He was one of the founders of the Rainbow Sash movement that has been a thorn in Cardinal George Pell’s side, with its public challenge to the Catholic Church’s treatment of Gay and Lesbian people (the movement has been taken up in the United States, also) and in this role, he has become a prominent media spokesperson for Gay Catholics. But as is clear from the opening piece in this collection, “On the Peninsula, alone with God,” Kelly’s activism is grounded in contemplative practice. He has produced a stimulating video lecture series, “The Erotic Contemplative: the spiritual journey of the Gay Christian” (through Joseph Kramer’s Erospirit Institute) and leads Gay spirit retreats at Easton Mountain, in New York State, as well as in Australia and the U.K. His voice reaches loudly and clearly across the once impassable divide between eros and spiritus. Kelly is now working on a doctorate in the field of Christian mysticism and Gay experience at an Australian university.

Raised in an Irish Catholic family in Melbourne and educated in Church schools, Kelly was smitten early with the religious life and served as an altar boy, assisting priests in the celebration of Mass, as all good Catholic sons would do. As a teenager, he was inspired by the life and example of Francis of Assisi —“Who could resist a dancing saint?” he asks in his short piece on the inspiring 12th Century figure. He actually joined the Franciscans at 17, but eventually left the Order, and while remaining celibate, continued to work as a religious education specialist and campus minister in Catholic schools and universities for a further seventeen years, before taking the fateful decision to come out, and to come to terms with his sexuality — a decision which, of course, cost him his job. But he continued his studies in theology (including a master’s in spirituality in San Francisco) and today inspires many men with his revisioning of a spiritual life not predicated on a denial of the body. Kelly says his dick keeps him honest.

More power to him. This is the kind of “real world” starting point that earths his spirituality and renders his positions convincing to those of us who have found more breathing room outside the stifling environs of Christian idealism. Before reading this collection, I might have presumed that it could only be a perversely masochistic urge that would compel a man to persevere with a manifestly homophobic Church, especially considering that his own difficult struggle to come to terms with his “abominable” sexuality would appear to stem so directly from the unreconstructed teachings of that very institution. In fact, even on the eve of his re-birth as an activist, adopting the rainbow sash for the first time, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he writes of his reluctance “to re-engage publicly with church structures.” A dyed-in-the-wool skeptic might ask: Does the Church really deserve the attentions of such conscientious objectors?

To an outside observer, it would seem that the Church has traded its mystical power – of initiating believers into a direct encounter with the mysteries of the divine – to take up a default position as a bastion for normative social mores. In this limited imagining, the radical figure of Jesus is trimmed to size to serve as a standard bearer for petit-bourgeois sexual morality, and large swathes of the population, banished from the membership reserved for the select, are expected to survive on the margins. That is, of course, unless they are willing to trade their own sexual life for the questionable benefits of membership among the socially respectable (as if the Church were the only possible model for the conscientious life). Kelly is aware of the countless men who stay “in” and, because they remain silent, advance their careers in the hierarchy, somehow making their peace with the institutionalized hypocrisy their masters continue to promulgate (and then, in some cases, becoming the “masters” themselves).

The sociologist Erving Goffman showed how institutions often produce the very behaviors they are intending to overturn; hence, for example, jails produce criminals, hospitals disease, and churches sinners. Or, as the Chinese sage Lao Tse wrote (in Stephen Mitchell’s translation), “Try to make the people moral, and you lay the groundwork for vice.”

If, like myself, you have written off the churches (even in their nouveau, charismatic forms) as unredeemable, as long as individual seekers like Kelly find useful tools within what is left of those traditions, you might be persuaded, reading this collection, that a divine child may well have been discarded with the bathwater in the long, sad aftermath of the “Enlightenment.” Meanwhile, as Kelly so cogently and persuasively argues, what he calls “the Holy Spirit” will continue to manifest wherever and in whatever forms “she” will. On the cusp of the new millennium, human intelligence continues to seek out new pathways for spiritual inquiry and growth.

As articulate as he is as an activist (and the various pieces that make up this collection would make good source material for other non-conformist Catholics trying to find their own voice in the context of an authoritarian religious culture that sanctions silence and obedience in place of discussion), the personal tone of the writing gives room for some very touching testimony. The clarity and passion are, in places, almost combustible, and all the signs of a sincere and effective engagement with the spiritual life are movingly present, proving, ultimately, worthy of deep respect.

It seems to me that in the long journey of coming to accept and celebrate his sexuality, Kelly’s message reaches beyond the community of the faithful. When he writes that, in his experience, the official teaching “has virtually always been based on distaste for and even hostility towards sexuality,” with rules and regulations “based not in reverence and honest reflection but in rejection,” he insists on addressing the broader issue of sexuality per se, “including heterosexuality.” Relegating “deviants” to the margins, in theory (even while nursing them close to its bosom, in practice), allows the Church — and too many of us in the wider, secular population — to refuse to face the challenge of marrying the physical with the spiritual. That challenge is posed, uncomfortably, in the dignity and wisdom of the position he had already reached by 1997:

What if the very thing that we had been told was a curse, the very thing we had hidden and feared and been told was intrinsically evil, unclean, unnatural, turns out to be Blessing, Gift, Grace. Such a position confronts even the contemporary squishy liberal compassion that would promote “tolerance” towards Queers. But it is also a challenge to those who would abjure the life of the spirit altogether, just as much as it is to those who simply cannot come to terms with the body — “Gay” and “straight” alike.

Having taken the Church more than 350 years to recognize it was in error over the findings of someone like Galileo, for the sincere seeker the urgent question arises — Do Queers really have the time to wait for better guidance to emerge from such recalcitrant troglodytes? Reading Kelly’s impassioned and eloquent diatribes, one gets the feeling that it is only through the peculiar insights of its Queer sons and daughters that the Church will find its own way. Highly recommended.

Victor Marsh is a research associate at the University of Queensland. His PhD Thesis, The Journey of the Queer ‘I’, focused on spiritual memoirs by Gay men. He is working on two books: a memoir, The Boy in the Yellow Dress, and a study of Christopher Isherwood. Victor interviewed artist Don Bachardy for White Crane #71.

This is just an excerpt from this issue of White Crane.   We are a reader-supported journaland need you to subscribe to keep this conversation going.  So to read more from this wonderful issue SUBSCRIBE to White Crane. Thanks!

Victor Marsh is a research associate at the University of Queensland. His PhD Thesis, The Journey of the Queer ‘I’, focused on spiritual memoirs by Gay men. He is working on two books: a memoir, The Boy in the Yellow Dress, and a study of Christopher Isherwood. Victor interviewed artist Don Bachardy for White Crane #71.