Posted by: aediculaantinoi | October 20, 2013

Spirit Day 2013

Though the “official” observance of Spirit Day was on Thursday, today is the Ekklesía Antínoou’s observance of the same occasion. (As we don’t have any school-aged members at the moment, to my knowledge, I don’t think there’s any great call to switch over our observance at this point.)

There’s a lot that could be said about Spirit Day, and I’ve said various things about it in the past: 2010 and 2011. But, I think I’ll leave commentary on this occasion to other people for this year.

I thank Galina Krasskova for making the following known to me. Dan Fishback is a young New York-based performer, who presented the following draft of a chapter of a potential future book he’s working on. The chapter itself is called “Prostalgia and Collective Protagonism: A Queer Nationalist Suggestion,” and while it is about 90 minutes long, it’s well worth watching every minute of it, including the questions and discussion at the end. Amongst other matters, he talks about Jamey Rodemeyer (one of our Sancti), who took part in the “It Gets Better” project, but committed suicide, and despite he himself saying that he was not bothered by bullying, that narrative continued to be spouted about him by his parents, amongst others; Fishback then goes on to focus on how obsessed with Lady GaGa Jamey was, and how she did a tribute to him at a concert just after he committed suicide, but it was almost as if he’d won a contest or something. The great difficulty, Fishback argues, is not necessarily bullying or any of the other things that modern queer people have to deal with, but instead the feeling that almost all of us have of “we don’t belong here,” and how to address that through greater historical consciousness of queerness. He draws upon his own Jewish heritage, and the exilic experience of finding meaning and continuity in history and in collective identity. (I’ve written about this before as “religion in exile,” though it’s been a while…) Without further ado…

While there’s a hundred things in this that I think are brilliant and important points, I was especially intrigued–given the present context of Antinoan devotion, on the observations that one of Fishback’s audience members gave regarding the historical consciousness present in those who are involved with intergenerational sex/relationships, but the lack of it otherwise. I wonder, is this why the Ekklesía Antínoou is so (relatively speaking) “unpopular” amongst queer spiritual/theological and pagan movements, whereas newer/nouveau queer cults and ones that don’t hearken to earlier ideas or a continuing historical thread of queerness, and which are thus are less historically-based or historically-interested, are more popular? Hmm…it’s something to ponder, certainly.

Here, also, is another appearance by Dan Fishback on the radio show Beyond the Pale:

And, some things that will help to educate everyone on the continuing negative effects of homophobia on the wider world, courtesy of Stephen Fry, who goes to Russia, Uganda, Brazil, India (and the hijras he meets in the second episode are awesome!), and the U.S. to speak with everyday (mostly) gay people (including Neil Patrick Harris and Sir Elton John), as well as with some truly virulent and horrific homophobes, some of whom are truly laughable, and others of whom are quite frightening.

So, there’s nearly four hours of material you can watch to get you thinking about these things further.

May we remember all of those who have been members of this greater community of queerness, whether they realized it or not, and thank them for how they have made what we are doing today possible!


Responses

  1. “I wonder, is this why the Ekklesía Antínoou is so (relatively speaking) “unpopular” amongst queer spiritual/theological and pagan movements, whereas newer/nouveau queer cults and ones that don’t hearken to earlier ideas or a continuing historical thread of queerness, and which are thus are less historically-based or historically-interested, are more popular? Hmm…it’s something to ponder, certainly.”

    Such an interesting thought…and something I want to think over. Also makes me wonder if some unpopularity and resistance to historical queerness is because it can often challenge rigid monosexuality ideas of heterosexuality OR homosexuality, as well as challenging our own concepts and understandings of gender…

    • Yes…

      That’s one of the things that really wasn’t “popular” in the earlier Antinous group, i.e. talking about how Hadrian and Antinous would have not at all understood, historically, what we mean by “gay,” and therefore neither of them could have been “gay gods” as people in the other group insisted they were. They suggested that such historicist/social constructionist arguments “erased” gayness and said that it doesn’t exist, which is a) not correct at all, and b) is not what the MODERN GAY people who came up with those ideas thought or wanted to suggest, either.

      There might be a kind of “honesty” issue at work, so to speak. Looking at things in historical context forces one to be honest about them, and about where one is oneself in the present, and many people just don’t want that at all, especially in their (usually romantically-leaning) religious life. It’s probably similarly why so many people want to be “druids” but don’t want to actually study Celtic cultures as they were, in all of their reality and ferocity and beauty and also all of their faults and disappointments and their (*shudder, shudder*…at least where some folks are concerned) Christian influences. All of the “nature poetry” and “ecology” and so forth attributed to “druids” and “the Celts”?–Christian hermits wrote all of it, and there’s no indication whatsoever that pre-Christian Celtic peoples had any such ideas whatsoever, beyond reading into any bit of evidence one would like to muster.


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