White Crane Institute promotes the study of the role of Gay men, queer sexualities and gender variation and orientation in the evolution, psychology, sociology, and practice of spirituality, ritual, and religion.
White Crane Institute’s goal is to foster the gathering and dissemination of information about the critical role sexuality and gender has played and continues to play in the development of cultural, spiritual and religious traditions and to provide a nurturing environment for the continuation and expansion of those explorations for the greater good of all society.
White Crane Institute is dedicated to researching, exploring and documenting the variety of manifestations of the spiritual search — both mainstream and individual — among contemporary GLBT men and women. To disseminate this information, we publish the quarterly, reader-written journal, White Crane.
Evolutionary theory posits that nothing endures in Nature that doesn’t provide some kind of adaptive behavior for the good of Nature as a whole. There is ample historical, scientific and anthropological evidence to demonstrate that same-sex oriented people have been and are, critical components in the development of healthy, integrated societies concerned with deeper values and spiritual community.
To demonstrate the essential, unique gifts that the often marginalized GLBT community plays in the spiritual development of humankind, White Crane Institute seeks to reclaim, through self reflection, scholarly study, and research, the traditional and natural role of GLBT people in the holistic, spiritual evolution of contemporary society.
White Crane and White Crane Institute will therefore:
- Encourage self-reflection and examination through the writing and publishing of both scholarly and idiosyncratic spiritual, cultural and wisdom exploration in White Crane and other publishing enterprises.
- Conduct and support scientific and historical research to create a body of empirical knowledge.
- Provide venues for the individual voice of reflection in search of a deeper relationship with self, others, and the environment.
- Sponsor conferences, workshops and retreats to provide “time-out-of-time” and safe space for individuals of diverse paths to come together to share, learn and expand their choices.
- Maintain a resource center and archive dedicated to the diverse paths that lead to an enhancement of interconnected, holistic community.
- Provide support to other groups and individuals dedicated to these same concepts.
We are a Talking Circle, a Heart Circle, convened to share stories and create a community whose wisdom is greater than — a synergy — its individual parts. White Crane operates with the core belief that there is a certain, rational, definable and observable role that Gay people (and for the purposes of this discussion, we use the single term “Gay” to be inclusive of the GLBT community) play in the evolution of life on Earth. Further, we believe that Gay people make unique contributions to all culture, and represent a subculture of their own. This statement has been included in the masthead of the White Crane Journal since the very first issue, in one form or another.
It is a very deliberate use of language starting with the reference to “evolution.” Old Man Harry Hay used to tell anyone who would listen that from a purely scientific, evolutionary point of view, nothing survives in Nature that doesn’t serve Nature.
In other words, there must be an evolutionary, adaptive role that same-sex people play that explains the survival of homosexuality across cultures, time and even species. Only recently have scientists even begun to see homosexuality in the animal world and we now have cutesy human-interest stories in daily newspapers about Gay penguins and the erotic play of Bonobo monkeys making the academic rounds in scientific journals.
Our operating belief — a belief that can be supported with history, reason and intuition — is that Gay people serve a balancing role between and among the sexes, as well as other observable and definable roles. The manifestations of these roles can be seen in different forms in the field anthropology: Mediator, Shaman, Teacher, Healer, Culture Carrier and Protocol Expert… but also the Jester, the Sacred Fool, the Clown and the Contrary. When we have this map as we look at stories of same-sex peoples in history, as well as just looking at modern culture, it isn’t difficult to see the tendency among our people to fit into these various roles.
We seek to re-contextualize spirituality in our everyday lives. We define “spirituality” in the broadest possible terms, not to water it down but to reinsert it into every activity and occupation we have, to make it as inclusive an idea as possible. White Crane’s definition of spirituality is “that which provides a deeper relationship with yourself, your community and the world at large.”
We intend to sanctify our lives and the world in which we live them.