Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Lore
Did you know that in medieval French folklore a person might change sex by passing under a rainbow? Or that same-sex unions have been celebrated by peoples of the ancient Mediterranean, Africa, China, and indigenous America? Or that Sappho, da Vinci, Emily Dickinson, Nijinsky, Benjamin Britten, Mishima, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Boy George, and Derek Jarman number among those who have explored the spiritual dimension of gender and sexuality in their works? While the terms many of us employ today to identify ourselves - 'queer', 'lesbian', 'gay', 'bisexual', 'transgendered' - differ markedly from those of peoples of other times and places, we are nevertheless the bearers of a rich spiritual history that has been ignored or suppressed, a history encoded in sacred texts as well as in works of art, music, dance and other media. Drawing upon religion, mythology, folklore, anthropology, history and the arts, the Encyclopedia is a cornucopia of queer spirituality, containing over 1,500 alphabetically arranged entries from Aakulujjuusi to Zeus.
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More than twenty-five terms, most of African origin, are employed to describe
such persons. These include adodi, which may be applied to homosexual,
bisexual, or transgendered males, and alakuata, which may be applied to lesbian
Vladimir Bogoras wrote of the Chukchi soft male shaman: "He throws away the . .
. lance, the lasso of the reindeer-herdsmen, and the harpoon of the seal-hunter,
and takes to the needle and the skin-scraper . . . Even his pronunciation changes
For Mishima, the ultimate aesthetic experience, as well as the ultimate spiritual
experience, was to be found in the encounter of male beauty and death. As he
wrote of Sebastian, "was not such beauty as his a thing destined for death?
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Cassell's encyclopedia of queer myth, symbol, and spirit: gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender loreUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Conner (Blossom of Bone: Reclaiming the Connections Between Homoeroticism and the Sacred, HarperCollins, 1993), ethnomusicologist David Sparks, and their daughter, Mariya Sparks, have written an ... Read full review