This is an interesting question, which was recently posed through a contact I have made via Kaliido, a gay social community primarily founded to network with others around the world, without the usual baggage associated with dating sites. Kaliido is a place to get to know one another in a comfortable and relaxed online environment, actually find out about others, share views, gain a broader mindset and further information can be found here.

Now there are many ways that this question can be answered, and I am not going to pretend here that my answer is in anyway the correct one, nor absolute. Being gay and the issue of spirituality falls on a wide spectrum of views, thoughts and beliefs, and hinges particularly on ones religious values. So I am going to tackle this issue the way I was taught by a lecturer from my days at law school, and that is by starting out by looking at definitions. My view is, if you define the words you understand what they mean, can place them in context, and then argue a particular view point depending on how you sit on the issue. But before I do so, I will give my initial view: gay spirituality does exist.

Now many definitions are ascribed to the word ‘gay’, and I am not going to list them all here. Instead I am going to take two definitions from Princeton’s WordNet: ‘having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex’ and ‘bright and pleasant, promoting a feeling of cheer.’ Against these two definitions I am going to place it in the context of ‘spirituality, the first from Princeton’s WordNet and the other from US National Library of Medicine. The former defines it as ‘incorporeality and heavenly-mindedness’ and the latter, as ‘sensitivity or attachment to religious values, or to things of the spirit as opposed to material or wordly interests.’

On balance it would appear in many ways to contradict with one another. Coming from a Roman Catholic background myself, to have a sexual attract to persons of the same sex, is a mortal sin and is bulwark to its very foundations. On this basis, you can not assign the word ‘gay’ and connect it to spirituality as the two defy each other, especially if you set it in the context of the definition provided by the US National Library of Medicine. However, if you take the definition provided by Princeton’s WordNet, i.e. being gay is ‘bright and pleasant, promoting a feeling of cheer’ then clearly this seems to coincide with what spirituality is all about, ‘a feeling of heavenly-mindedness’, as defined above.

However, perhaps the words are not to be fashioned. Instead it could be a question of merely saying that yes, you are gay i.e. attracted to the same sex, and you are spiritual. These can be deemed as two separate things, you can be both. As they say, being ‘gay’ is just part of who you are, it does not define what you are. Therefore, they can both live together harmoniously. Take me for example, whilst I am gay, and whilst I cannot exactly say I am Roman Catholic, as I am basically cast out from my church, I do believe in a greater being. Whether a great being is real, or just a manifestation to keep people in check and to live their life to the fullest, I do not know. However, I am gay, and I am spiritual when I want to be, and I do consider things greater than myself.

So in summary, yes gay spirituality does exist if you define it broadly. If you define it narrowly however, with a religious slant, then questionably it does not. But ultimately you can be both: you can be a ‘gay’ and you can be ‘spiritual’.

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