[PBP2013] GBLT and Queer Spirituality

So, for those coming in from the PBP list (I’m assuming that current and former recons / “revivalists” of all stripes are among my regular readers), meaning that you may not know this about me: “Hey, guess what? I’m queer!”

Now, contrary to popular belief, “queer” is not synonymous with “GBLT”, or any such variants. “Queer”, long prior the time its definitions included “(offensive) pejorative slang for homosexual males”, meant, and is still primarily defined as “unusual” and “eccentric”. Thus, when applied to a sexual subculture, it tends to carry those implications. You have to be GBLT to be Queer, but not all Queers are GBLT. Most gay and lesbian celebrities aren’t queer. Most of the gays, lesbians, bisexual, and TS/TG people who I have personally met aren’t queer. Hell, most of the people I’ve meg who self-identify as “queer” either aren’t, or only just barely qualify.

That said, I’ve had a hard time connecting with the concept of GBLT Spirituality. I feel like I have to, that I should be able to, and that if I can’t, I’m failing. If I can’t do this, I’m failing my GBLT community, I’m failing myself, and I’m failing the Theoi — or at least that’s how I feel.

This is where I’ve been at for years.

Generally speaking, there are a lot of “out” GBLT folks in the Hellenic community. Furthermore, the ancients didn’t really have a concept of gay, lesbian, or bisexual as sexual identities — as I’ve said before, ancient sexuality just was. Some degree of what’s now classified as “bisexuality” was considered normal, even somewhat expected, and yes, people with an exclusive preference for one gender or another were regarded as a little odd, but generally accepted, and most importantly, one’s sexuality was defined by a preference for activities, not a preference for genders. Historically, the closest thing to GBLT or Queer spirituality was the cult of Kybele and Attis, maybe the cult of Dionysos.

Unfortunately, a lot of people like to look to the Hellenic pantheon and repurpose several gods as being “queer” or of “alternative sexuality” when by ancient standards, these deities were often considered within the spectrum of “normal sexuality”, because of the simple fact that ancient people didn’t pathologise anything outside 0 on the Kinsey scale — indeed, it was a tad weird to be in that category at all.

That said, I just don’t have that calling for “queer spirituality”. I don’t see the point beyond rites of passage, and the idea of compulsory participation in a cult to certain aspects of a deity or collection of deities just seems like it’d insult Them.

On the other hand, I do devote time to commonly “queer deities”. Eros, Adonis, Hyakintos, Apollon, Narkissos, Ganymedes, Hermaphroditos. I just don’t compartmentalise them as “queer deities”, I don’t participate in “queer spirituality” groups. Hell, compared to some people’s Dionysos shrines, there’s a severe lack of dongs on my shrines for a queermo.

All this considered, I’m not the person to ask about “queer spirituality”. Go ask someone else.


One thought on “[PBP2013] GBLT and Queer Spirituality

  1. Pingback: Audi alteram partem | The House of Vines

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