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Tantra In A Queer World.

Queer theory, queer philosophy, 'fucking queers...', 'Jesus, what a queer thing'... weird, off beam, strange, difficult, homosexual, perverse, fringe, surprising, astonishing, perplexing, funny, odd, curious, unexpected, remarkable... The latter part of this list comes from the virginal thesaurus of the Microsoft Word system. Others come from supposedly insulting things said in the street. And some from the historical use of the word and of course the list begins with the resurrection or transmutation of the word in the academic world and the gay and lesbian movement.

Queer is part of a whole movement originating in the gay and lesbian movement to breakdown the imposed categorizations of people according to sexual orientation based on the disease paradigm. This disease approach originated in the nineteenth century and has profoundly affected the way many people (not just gays and lesbians) have been treated by the 'system' - medicine, law, media and culture, including the church. Queer expands the sexual liberation movement, beyond the women's and gay and lesbian liberation into supporting the freedom of desire and of human heart.

Queer says, at essence, that categories of people - stereotypes - are dangerous in whatever form. Now many liberal thinkers for a long time have understood this, but often still resorted to categorizing their enemies and so allowed the enemy to set the agenda for dialogue.

Queer is a lovers' way, and this is where it meets Tantra. Queer says we all should meet eye to eye as equals even with those who would attack us. Because if we look deeply in each person no one fits the categories they put on themselves or are put on them by others. Many people however find security in their labels. Most especially the gender and sexuality labels.

The power of labels, categories, stereotypes is not based on what they name rather it comes from what they delineate against. 'Heterosexuals' do not have sex with the same gender, 'homosexuals' do not have sex with the opposite gender. 'Normal sex' means pleasure that is not pain, that is not in the anus, that is not based on the excitement of feet or of helplessness or of humiliation or of submission or of rubber and leather. Of course, what they actually do is important but is not the source of anxiety and therefore the focal point when making the definintion.

Tantra understands that desires, passions - including fear and anger - that human being-ness is relative. That taboo is a source of great restriction on the growth of the spirit, it is not what you do but how you do it that is the fundamental issue of morality and ethics.

"Safe, sane and consensual" are moral precepts which can be far reaching  and profoundly freeing. But admittedly can create new taboos in the hands of those who need them, like anti-drugs and anti-meat (because sanity is not a drug state according to some and animals can't consent to being eaten). We humans are pack animals in need of structures based on power and status. 

Tantra and Queer can be expressions of the eternal struggle to get to a deeper meaning for who we are as identities beyond externally imposed cultural norms based on fears (taboos) and desires, but including them. Most of us have been subjected to the fears of others often expressed as anger, derision, rejection. Everyone, whatever their gender identity, hides things out of fear of other people's fear. 

There are lots of other places in this site where we look at taboo in its broadest sense - but especially the question of chosen poverty as a spiritual discipline. A new site we are developing is worth looking at the will be an online learning facility as soon as we can get the mechanics worked out. in the meantime check it out.

And, of course, there is the workshop which is part of the New Mardi Gras Festival, on the 17th of February  (the day before Fair Day). In it we will explore identity through the passions using the the Chakras as structure. check this image for a summary...




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