Tag Archives: Harry Hay

Acknowledged and Lovingly embraced

“Third-gender people were and are those who were assigned responsibilities for discovering, developing, and managing the frontiers between the seen and unseen, between the known and unknown. Seen from a gay perspective one might say that homosexuality may present itself to a person simply as an instinctual behavioral given. But when it is acknowledged and lovingly embraced, it supports personal power to withstand the dictates of traditional belief when such dictates stand in the way of genuine advance.” Harry Hay

Indigo Ball

I open with words of Harry Hay to express a truly unique view of being gay and showing in the world around me. These words speak to me today in response to the ongoing discussion due to the recent suicides of at least a half a dozen youths in the past week due to bully in school, and hate expressed through media and politics as well as religious organizations that continue to tell the world that being gay, is amoral, sinful, that we as humans have not the same rights as other human to be loved and love, to serve in the military,  ha jokes on them, I came out in the military and many of my friends where gay as well.  That because I was considered a sinner in the eyes of the church, I sought a deeper relationship with my Higher Power, that did not include organized religion.

I sought to create a life for myself through relationships, through the bar culture, which lead down some deep dark places, yet I always found a way to live through it, to make the most of what was offered me. I found friends to support me, encourage me, my family was always accepting, even when they where not understanding.  My family continued to love me, and offer a place for me, it was myself that withdrew for years, diving into the gay world of boys, bars, booze, etc.

Movers and shakers

Deep within me I knew my life had deeper purpose, had more meaning that I was giving, more meaning than what showed up on the surface, yet I did not find it until I got sober, I did not find it until I began my inner search of who I was through the outer search of how my relationship with myself and with the Higher Power where interconnected. This journey is an on going, an ever evolving journey of discovery.  As Harry Hay states “when acknowledged and lovely embraced…” my gay nature sings, my spirit has a place to shine, to create, to live joyfully! In doing that if move and experience life from a higher place, a level of giving and receiving.

Often say the world is not like it was 30 years ago when I came out, that the world is more conscious, there is community space all over the world for GLBT people to live and to thrive, there is so many opportunities for GLBT people to social, to find assistance, to be of service. Communication is a resource to discovery of must more powerful tools, to grow, to heal, and to live a full happy healthy life.

Fan fair

I had the honor to attend, as a photographer,  the Indigo Ball a fund-raiser for the William Way Center held in the Doubletree Hotel in center city Philadelphia, attended by the cream of GLBT society in their best, as well as creatively attended by the Philly Radical Faeries who offered and supported the fun aspect of being yourself, of honoring the diversity of the GLBT community. The room was decorated with a Madi Gras theme of huge vases of Purple, green and gold feathers, mask, colorful Madi Gras beads laid on the tables to be worn and shared. Appetizers where pass around the room while the party goers viewed the silent auction selections, sipping on open bar liquor, for the first hour or so. Through out the rest of the evening food was to be found scattered about the Ormandy Ball Room, and entrance hall, in which could be found a chef slicing roast beef, on the other wall was a chef, offer Salmon that was baked with seasoned breaded herbs, in the main room two chefs, sautéed shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce served with angel hair pasta, all this was just delicious… Music was DJ ed by Philly’s own Robert Drake, at a sound and pace that was conversational, and danceable. Throughout the evening I was greeted by friends, walked around the room looking for candid moments to capture, yet many wanted to pose, so pose on they did.

Mayor Nutter, Chris Bartlett

Midway through the evening Chris Bartlett the William Way GLBT Center’s new Executive Director spoke to the crowd, thanking them all for their being there this evening, as well as the mission of the Indigo Ball to raise money for the Gay Way center to become one of the leading spaces in the city to offer safe space to offer the community opportunities to do their work, to reach to the community. Chris wished to assure the community that what was happening to the youth today was not acceptable, that what is happening with transgender people was not acceptable, that all GLBT people have a home at the William Way center. When the Mayor of Philadelphia Mayor Nutter arrived a little while later, he addressed the same issues, was grateful to be at this function, and invited us all to the Rainbow Flag raising ceremony which was to be held on Wednesday, to flag is to celebrate GLBT Month and to fly all month-long along side of the American flag on the north side of city hall. This gesture was greeted by great waves of applause and cheers.

Radical Faerie Fun

This is one of the events the flag raising was another of those that did not happen 30 years ago, 10 years, ago, it is the first time a Rainbow Flag to honor GLBT Month has ever hung outside of a city building, and as far as we know the first time anywhere in the country!

To embrace who we are, to see the larger communities reaching out, and supporting all GLBT people is a ray of hope for the gay youth, that there is acceptance, that there are brothers and sister of choice, of the heart my friend likes to say, to reach out to, they, we are here for each other, if we can not embrace our own can we embrace?

Growth Question: What is the language you use when speaking about GLBT people?

I am Love, Jeff

PS:

I wish to offer these site as a well to the GLBT youth: first one is Dan Savages It Gets Better video as well as all the other beautiful people who have step up and out to share their experiences.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=it+gets+better&aq=f

The Trevor Project : an organization started by a teenager to address GLBT issues: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

In Philadelphia: The Attic Youth program: http://www.atticyouthcenter.org/

Ever-expanding continuum

Tiny wonders
Tiny wonders

Spirit is the distillation arising from the rich and bubbly brew in the pot, out of which new possibilities keep emerging. The world of spirit is made up of an ever-expanding continuum that finds new ways to touch and enhance the human world. Harry Hay

In ever-expanding search for self the possibilities are endless. I was once again drawn to Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature. I find thoughts and ideas that inform me as gay man, a gay man of spirit, a gay man who has sought more from his life that the endless round of bars and dysfunctional lover relationship or ever surface relationships with other gay men. Which lead me to Easton Mt Retreat Center and Radical Faeries . This journey has led my along many paths, paths filled with gifts beyond imagining, as well as gifts of dancing with the shadow. Fighting the demons, journeying to underground places to restore parts of me that had been lost in addiction, broken hearts, seemingly wrong choices. Yet all choices led me to where I am today. Some choices where conscious, some where unconscious and unclear, even conscious choices sometimes seem to be unclear, until I can look back on why such a choice was made.

Refreshing

I have attracted these gifts and blessing to me to create or awaken within me more of spirit, more of the Divine that sings and shines within as well as stands aside when the choices I make are not of the best interest to spirit but ego. Allowing the gift of confusion, pain, to inform me of where the work is that I may need to do, to evolve into the Being I wish to be.

One of my spiritual mentor Andrew Harvey shares this about the nature of the world using the Buddhists sense of Samsara,” is the endless, unending round of birth and death, and everything in samsara is designed to break and be inadequate: we are not  meant to be comforted or safe in anything. The only safety is in the realization of our divine nature, a condition of complete simplicity that cost us not less the everything.”

I have recently wrote about what Julia Cameron writes about as Virtue Trap, that trap of doing something out of service but with the wrong mind-set. For without taking care of ourselves first, finding our own space, to write, to create, to pray, meditate, learning to love ourselves service is a tool for resentment, it is a block to creativity and block of our spirit to infuse ourselves to be fully present in the world. Julia ask us to create a list of activities that would seem crazy to others but playful, joyful events for our spirit and maybe ego. Those opportunities that I wrote about yesterday of Reiki sharing, Shaman Circle, other photograph groups and events, even just socializing more to create friendships, and maybe more.  In the past few days I have had to opportunity to chat with some young men who are seeking their path. Friends of the heart have shared here of their own Virtue Traps, and I am grateful for their feeling safe to share those self-destructive patterns, for in writing them allows the light to shine on blocks, even if we don’t see or feel the shift just yet how to get out, the moment is coming, the opportunities will keep presenting themselves until taken or completely ignored.

Start small

Two of the Basic Principles share this : Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

The Refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our nature.

In those principles I find guidance and strength, I find purpose to continue to allow spirit to inform me, to create with me and for me as I evolve into the being I truly am.

Growth Question: Make a list of activities that you may think are crazy in other peoples minds.

I am Love, Jeff

Self-Defining

… one spirit child can lead a hundred of the physical children out of the woods. Therefore, give freely of our ideas, our poetry, out art-in other words, our spirit children. In this way we reach out to all kinds of people, we speak in many different dimensions. We bring the world to the village.” Harry Hay

pale yellow/green

The quote above resonated with me as I read it yesterday and I did not have the time to give to writing blog/pages yet it called to me this morning once again even though I was drawn to another quote which may show here as well.

Harry Hay was and his partner John Burnside are the founding fathers of the Radical Faeries as well as Harry Hay’s continued work on redefining gender and the rights of GLBT people. Is influence is all over the modern-day gay moment, even though many are unaware of his contributions to our freedom and expression of spirituality and sexuality in a more conscious way.

I bring this forth as I begin to re-define who I am, in what defines me as a person. In Self-Definition section of the Life Harmony course Laurie Buchanan ask us to examine or make a list of the Shades of color and contrast of canvas that is our life. Which gives it depth and captures our attention, drawing us in to experience who we are from a deeper level of self, in other words from outside in, yet giving the inside the opportunity to shine the light that illuminates out being. The questions are Who are your favorite teachers and authors? Who are  your heros? What are your favorite things?

A few years ago while in workshop, I think, Body Electric a ten-day intensive erotic awareness workshop, we where ask to claim our ancestors, in two minutes, I said immediately my gay ancestors, the men and women who came before me so that I could now stand there among other gay man claiming my sexuality in wholeness and healthiness. I had a the time some knowledge of the GLBT community who came before me, but not as rich as it became later or is still unfolding. One of the reasons I went to Easton Mt Retreat center was to claim my space among those people. To learn, to hear their wisdom, to gain knowledge  about who I was as a gay man from a different perspective then bars, bath houses, back-rooms, and unconscious sexual behavior. To reach out beyond the surface to polish the gems, to open the gifts in awareness to define me as a whole being. Those who where unheard of heros, ordinary men an women who made life for the GLBT community that much more open an honest.

Rusty Swan

My favorite teachers are Fr Joe Orsini, Father Jack, Sister Barbara, later in community collage there where a hand full of men and women who ran the Behavioral Health and Human Services department who influenced my learning greatly.

Authors: Neale Donald Walsch, Wayne Dryer, Mark Thompson, Caroline Myss, Dan Millman, Anne Rice, Michael Connelly, Eckhart Toole, Andrew Harvey. And so many more…

These author and teacher and heros all define different groups I identify with as well. Spiritual community, wellness, wholeness communities, GLBT community.

Of course the photography community as well as the arts which is a newer more powerful identification than it had been before. Inspiration is all around me in all forms of life, interest expand and wane as the shifting moods. Being creative has opened new doors, new vistas of ever evolving consciousness.

Got to stop now none of this is making and sense the flow seems to have pooled somewhere.

Thank you! I Love you!

Growth Question: What colors and contrast you canvas of Life?

I am Love, Jeff