LGBT and Earth-based Religion

Earth-based religions - such as wicca, etc.usually view the Divine as being all encompassing, and yet easily 'split' into gender forms, the Goddess and the God. The Spirit is seen as the ultimate divinity, the merging of the God and Goddess, the bringing together of both female and male aspects. Earth-based religions are not necessarily pantheistic, but most practioners recognise that individual gods and goddesses worshipped in the past, present, or indeed the future are representations of the ultimate divinity. For example, the Egyptian goddess Isis is often seen as a 'personality trait' of the Goddess, and as such a valid focus for worship if the practitioner so desires. Earth-based religions is often seen as closely linked with magickal systems, as it is one of the only religions that allows the use of magick as a form of worship.

Due to the esoteric nature of Earth-based religions, there are no set teachings that talk about homosexuality, transexuality or other queer identities. From personal experience, however, I find wicca to be a religion that goes hand in hand with social constructionism, especially with those that have a close relationship to magickal systems. Due to the concept that reality is easily changed by people; every thought and action changes the world around us, means that it is pretty much accepted that peoples sexual and gender identities will differ from other peoples, and change during each individuals lifetime. It also means that people don't have to fall back on the age old justification that religious LGBTQ people often make, that 'God made me that way' - Because identity is not fixed in such relgions, there is more space for discussion on the nature and nurture debate than in most other religions.
It can be noted, though, that most traditional systems use the male/female pairing (reflecting the duality of the God/Goddess) in coven systems that enforce a notion of heteronormativity and gender binary. It is however completely accepted to just ignore gender and worship the Spirit directly. It can be argued that the inclusion of the 'Goddess/God' binary is a feminist addition to the faith - for so long the feminine aspect of the divine has seemingly been ignored by the abrahamic faiths, that a more permanent feminine aspect to the divine was designed to readdress the balance.

There are a few gay-centred wiccan groups such as The Feri Tradition who encourage ritual bisexuality, The Minoan Brotherhood a gay-only wiccan group, and the Minoan Sisterhood (which I can't find a good site for) which is exclusively lesbian. These groups are mainly active in the USA, so you might be hard-pressed to find an active group in Yorkshire!

The Radical Faeries are a queer-centred group. The are closely linked with the Gay Liberation movement and often campaign politically. They have larger active groups in Europe .

Due to the recent rise in solitary wiccan practitioners, it is mostly up to you what path such religions can take you. There are some good books dealing with earth centred religions and LGBT issues out there.

It is also worth noting that a lot of deities used by some practitioners are non-gendered, bisexual or gay, such as:
Zeus, who had affairs with both women and men, such as Ganymedes. (Greek Systems)
Pan, the bisexual nature god, having sex with both shepherds and maidens. (Greek Systems)
Inanna had a creature neither male nor female rescue her from the underworld, named Asushunamir, who is reportedly the source of queer peoples, according to some groups. (Sumerian Systems)
Apollo, who was bisexual, and associated with the hyacinth (the traditional flower symbolic of homosexuality).(Greek Systems)
The Greek goddesses, Artemis and Hestia were specifically virgin goddesses, implying asexuality.
Hermaphoditus was the child of Hermes and Aphrodite and was intersex. This is the root of the word hermaphrodite. (Greek Systems).

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