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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The literature of the five Zen colleges (Gozan Bungaku) contained numerous love
poems for young men who had been educated there. Unfortunately, the majority
of these poems remain untranslated, due in part to the homophobic attitudes of ...
In these poems, the younger beloved male is associated with a host of other
symbols as well - he is a fawn, a "branch who has exalted my heart with its
blossoms," and a "bough of myrtle which passion has planted." His cheeks are "
apples of ...
In other poems, Rich alludes to figures and rites of classical antiquity, especially
to the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES of DEMETER and her daughter PERSEPHONE.
In "Cartographies of Silence" (1975), she envisions herself as "the Eleusinian ...
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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