“When we begin to love and respect Great Mother Nature’s gift to us of gayness, we’ll discover that the bondage of our childhood and adolescence in the trials and tribulations of neitherness was actually an apprenticeship for teaching her children new cutting edges of consciousness and social change. In stunning paradox, our neitherness is our talisman, our fairie wand, our gift we bring to the hetero world to….transform their pain into healings; …transform their tears to laughter: …transform their hand-me-downs to visions of loveliness.” Harry Hay.
Harry Hay posited that by empathizing with all people, relating to each other as equal-to-equal, society would change drastically and social injustices would be eradicated. He saw gay people as born with this natural ‘subject:SUBJECT’ consciousness in place.
In 1976, in a ‘position paper’ called “Gay Liberation: Chapter Two,” which he regarded as his most important piece of writing and as a central catalyst of the Radical Faerie movement, Harry Hay “used personal experiences to illustrate his points, and halfway through, recalled his peers in high school manipulating their opposite-sex dates like objects in order to “score.” This he contrasted to his secret fantasy of finding a lover who was “a wondrous being with whom I would always share as I shared with myself, not subject to object, but subject to subject.” As he wrote this, he realized he had made a breakthrough. “I was just beside myself with excitement,” he recalled.
This from ‘The Trouble with Harry Hay’, by Stuart Timmons (1990):
““Chapter Two” presents a new theory about gay people and politics. As background, Hay traced the development of models of modern thought, from the Cartesian-Newtonian model of a limited universe that man could control, to the Twentieth century view, which, though modified, still survives in most social sciences and refuses to allow for the existence of gay people.
“Add or subtract, Go or NO-GO, (if you’re not a man you’re a substitute woman—what else is there?)” was Hay’s characterization of the dominant mode of thinking, which he called binary, or subject-object, thinking. But the style Hay promoted, which he called analog thinking, factors in relativity and other expansive dimensions of comprehending the universe. He proposed that it had an attendant “subject-subject relationship” that was similarly more dimensional. He also posited that this was inherent to all gay people, arising from the egalitarian bond of love and sex between two similars, but it went on to pervade all the relationships of a gay person—even relationships with things not human, such as nature, craftsmanship or ideals.
From Chapter 2: “The way out of our comprehensional stalemate, the quagmire which the Binary inheritances of our brain-training and our cultural superstructure have hurled us would appear to be to find ways to activate the seven-eighths of our minds which up to now have not been made responsive to consciousness. Humanity must expand its experience from persons (subjects) thinking objectively thinking competitively in a nutshell, thinking opportunistically and nearly always in terms of self-advantage-to thinking subject-to-SUBJECT, equal to equal, sharer to sharer, to thinking in terms of loving-sharing. Humanity must expand its experience to thinking of another, that other, not as object-to be used, to be manipulated, to be mastered, to be consumed-but as subject, as another like him/her self, another self to be respected, to be appreciated, to be cherished.”
Timmons: “With Einstein’s famous warning in mind, that “the unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save for our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes,” Hay then called for mass change in thinking. He proposed that the qualities of noncompetitiveness and creativity, characteristics often observed in gay people, made gays naturally suited to guide this change in thinking:
Chapter 2: “Natural selection, early on in human evolution, set into the evolving whirl a small percentage of beings that appeared to counterbalance a number of prevalent characteristics of the emerging human conformity. Humanity, thus, would be wise to finally give consideration to these deviants in their ranks … to begin to grant the GAYS the peace and growing space they will need to display and to further develop in communicable words and in models of activity, the “gift”—the singular mutation we GAYS have been carrying so unfalteringly and preserving so passionately, even over the not infrequent centuries of despair and persecution since the Great Mother Nature breathed the first incandescent spark into our primevals.”
Timmons: “To Harry, this “Gay gift” was a difference in consciousness that could introduce new ideas necessary for human survival…
“Harry’s ideas caught the imagination of many who found in the concept of subject-Subject consciousness a deeply felt yet unspoken truth. The argument that there existed a gay reservoir of untapped potential was refreshing to those for whom ghetto liberation had grown hollow. Continuing his tendency to take up the baton of such thinkers as Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter, Harry posed that homosexuals carried an intermediary consciousness and that, once this was made clear, a new era would begin.”
Edward Carpenter had written, in ‘Intermediate types among primitive folks’ (1913) that the genderfluidity of homosexual, the “…interaction in fact between the masculine and the feminine, this mutual illumination of logic and meditation, may not only raise and increase the power of each of these faculties, but it may give the mind a new quality, and a new power of perception corresponding to the blending of subject and object in consciousness. It may possibly lead to the development of that third order of perception which has been called the cosmic consciousness and which may also be termed divination.”
In the global Radical Faerie Community, which came into being after a ‘Spiritual Conference’ in an Arizona desert, August 31-September 1, 1979, Hay’s philosophy of subject:SUBJECT consciousness is explored and expanded. At gatherings and in permanent sanctuaries, Radical Faeries meet to commune with nature and each other, build community through heart circle, get creative and “shake off the filthy green frog-skin of hetero-imitation,” as Hay put it, and become more conscious… From the start, Harry recalled, the Faeries experienced a “collective gear-shift of consciousness which galvanized us as a group. That consensus of shared consciousness subject-to-Subject was the doorway we went through, and once through it, you knew you had changed irrevocably.”
Will Roscoe, another of the original Rad Fae, wrote in his book ‘Radically Gay’ that Harry was “long intrigued with he considers to be the untapped potentials of Gay sexual responsiveness. Why is sex so important for Gay men? For Hay, the answer relates to a “vision I’ve held since I was a boy: that the overwhelming urge to sexuality I’ve felt since perhaps the age of eight or nine (and which I had always recognized was far more powerful in me than in Hetero boys my age) had been always urging me that we are supposed to discover something about our sexuality collectively-some-thing it is supposed to accomplish when we invoke it as one voice collectively”. One thing sexuality does for us, Hay believes, is heal. Beginning in 1991, he has held yearly “sex magic” workshops to explore these potentials with other Gay men committed subject-SUBJECT relating.” The Sex Magic workshops still take place, two decades after Hay’s passing.
Following the first ever Radical Faerie meeting in 1979 Harry Hay wrote an article called ‘This New Planet of Faerie Vision…subject-SUBJECT consciousness’ in which he said:
“We must not suppose that we share subject-SUBJECT vision only in the spheres of Love and personal relations. Actually, almost at once, we also begin to become aware that we have been accumulating bits and pieces of subject-SUBJECT perceptions and insights all our lives – talking to trees and birds and rocks and Teddy Bears and remembering what all we had shared by putting it down in poetry, storing it all up for that wonderful day when we finally would flash on to what it all meant. The personal collecting and storing up of these secret treasures, these beautiful beckoning not-as-yet comprehensible secret sacra, is part of the hidden misery-cum-exaltation of growing up Gay. For the world we inherit, the total Hetero-Male-oriented-and-dominated world of Tradition and of daily environment, the summum bonum of our history, our philosophy, our psychology, our culture, and very languages of communication – all are totally subject – OBJECT in concept, in definition, in evolution, in self-serving orientation. Men and Women are – sexually, emotionally, and spiritually – objects to one another.
“Under the “fair-play-without-which-there-ain’t-no-game” rules of Hetero-Male aggressive territoriality, even the Hetero-Males- precisely because they conceive of themselves as in lifelong com- petition each with the others-engage themselves endlessly in tug-of-war games of Domination and Submission…
“To all of this we fairies should be, essentially, alien. Because those others with whom we seek to link, to engage, to slip into, to merge with are others like me, are SUBJECTS… like ME! I say “we fairies should be alien” to as many aspects of our Hetero-Male- dominated surroundings as we can be sensitive to, because we also know, all too glumly, just how easily and how often we fall prey to self-invited oppressions. How often do we allow ourselves, through fuzzy thinking, to accept or to identify with Hetero- originating definitions or misinterpretations of ourselves? The Hetero-male, incapable of conceiving that there could possibly be a window on the world other than his own, is equally incapable of perceiving that we Gay People might not fit in either of his Man/ Woman categories, that we might turn out to belong to quite other classifications. He might not be able to handle perceiving that the notion of all persons being only varying combinations of male and female is simply a Hetero-male-derived notion suitable only to Heteros and holding nothing of validity insofar as Gay people are concerned...
“Let us enter this brave new world of subject SUBJECT consciousness, this new planet of Fairy-vision…
“Of course, we haven’t as yet spoken because we haven’t as yet learned how to communicate subject-SUBJECT realities. Subject-SUBJECT is a multidimensional consciousness which may never be readily conveyable in the Hetero-male-evolved two-dimensional, or Binary, language to which we are presently confined. And we need more than mere words and phrases. We need what Scientists invent out of whole cloth when they attempt to describe and communicate new concepts. We need working models, a whole new mathematics, perhaps a new poetry-allegories-metaphors -a music-a new way of dancing. We must re-examine every system of thought heretofore developed, every Hetero-male-evolved subject-OBJECT philosophy, science, religion, mythology, political system, language-divesting them every one of their binary subject-OBJECT base and re-inserting a subject-SUBJECT relation. Confronted with the loving-sharing Consensus of subject-SUBJECT relationships all Authoritarianism must vanish. The Fairy Family Circle, co-joined in the shared vision of non- possessive love-which is the granting to any other and all others that total space wherein each may grow and soar to his own freely selected, full potential-reaching out to one another subject-to- SUBJECT, becomes for the first time in history the true working model of a Sharing Consensus!
“To even begin to prepare ourselves for a fuller participation in our Gay subject-SUBJECT inheritance, we must, both daily and hourly, practice throwing off all those Hetero-imitating habits, compulsions, and ways of misperceiving which we constantly breathe in from our environmental surround. For this practice we need the constant company of our Fairy Families. We need the spiritual and emotional support of that non-verbal empathy which Sociologists assure us comprises almost seven-eighths of communication in any culture, that empathy we now refer to as Body Language. We need the marvelous input of each other’s minute-by- minute new discoveries, as each of us begins to explore this vast new universe, this subject-SUBJECT frontier of human consciousness. As ours are the first deliberate feet upon this pristine shore, there are no guide-posts as yet erected, nor maps to be found in bottles, nor even the prospectuses of ancient visionary seers…
“In the meantime, Fairies everywhere must begin to stand tall and beautiful in the sun. Fairies must begin to throw off the filthy green frog-skin of Hetero-imitation and discover the lovely Gay- Conscious not-MAN (anandros, as the discerning early Greeks called us) shining underneath. Fairies must begin creating their new world through fashioning for themselves supportive Families of Conscious Choice within which they can explore, in the loving security of shared consensus, the endless depths and diversities of the newly revealed subject-SUBJECT inheritances of the Gay Vision!”
post by Shokti.
Let us gather therefore- in secure and consecrated places. To re-invoke from ancient ashes our Fairy Circle… To dance…
To meditate-not in the singular isolation of Hetero subject- OBJECT praxis, but rather in Fairy Circles reaching out to one another in subject-SUBJECT evocation.
To find new ways to cherish one another…
To break through to ever more spiritually encompassing and Temotionally resurrective Gay Families and Fairy Family Collectives, who by the very mutuality of their subject- SUBJECT sharing are strengthened to reach out contributively to the Hetero community around them.
And so finally- To penetrate ever more comprehensively the essential nature of covenants needed to lay the groundwork of a new worldwide subject-SUBJECT Consciousness SHARABLE BY ALL!
Harry Hay 1980