Queer I Stand
Queer I Stood: An Exit Interview
But, I also must admit that for many months now, since the beginning of this calendar year, I've had some uncertainties, including about the future of the present column. I did what devotional polytheists usually do when there are uncertainties in their lives, and entreated the advice of a trusted colleague who is very good at divination and oracular work, and tried to find out if Antinous and my other deities had any insights or suggestions for me in terms of my future prospects here. They did have some direct suggestions, and while they did not set a time constraint on compliance, or even a condition of following their suggestions, nonetheless I did not ask the question lightly, nor would I dismiss their answers casually.
As a result, I've known since late January of this year that "Queer I Stand" at Patheos' Pagan channel would not be lasting much longer. I'm grateful for the time I've had here and the chance I've been given to share aspects of my viewpoint with this community. There are many more queer-specific columns and blogs (or, at very least, gay-specific ones) on Patheos overall since when my column first began, which was the only queer-specific game in this particular town at the time. And the queer theory street cred of such current bloggers here, like A Sense of Place author Rhyd Wildermuth and Agora author Julian Betkowski, far surpasses my meager abilities, and so I feel that the queer dimension of the Pagan channel is in very good hands with them.
While I've addressed a variety of matters on queer-specific issues over the years here, and have had some good conversations on some of these topics, I've found that I've been given more grief over my gender identity on Patheos by other Pagans elsewhere on this channel than almost anywhere else I've encountered such opposition. I find that truly dismaying, and it tells me there is a great deal of work to do, indeed, before the gender-dualist essentialism of mainstream modern Paganism gets any kind of re-evaluation. Here's a suggestion that I've made many times before: if "he or she" is still in your phrasebook as a way to refer to "humans-in-general," then you are excluding many of us who aren't "hes" or "shes," never have been, and never will be; and if you intend to exclude us consciously and deliberately, that's fine, but then don't claim to be all-embracing or all-accepting at some later point when you are operating under a cisgender and gender-dualist privilege mindset.
I've found, though, that the "queerer" thing about me in the present context is not so much my gender identity or my sexual orientation, but my polytheistic viewpoint. There are other polytheists at Patheos' Pagan channel (and there are more now than there used to be), but polytheism has never been more controversial than it has been since the beginning of 2013. While it certainly doesn't need to be the case that anyone else must have a theological viewpoint even remotely similar to mine, it would be nice if the pluralism that Pagans so often speak about actually applied to theological opinions (even those that are stated not as absolutes but instead as personal preferences) as much as it does to other issues. But, that's a much larger and more involved issue than this brief column can usefully address at present, much less do anything to "fix."
P. Sufenas Virius Lupus is a metagender and a founding member of the Ekklesía Antínoou (a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist religious group dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and other related gods and divine figures). E is a contributing member of Neos Alexandria and a Celtic Reconstructionist pagan in the filidecht and gentlidecht traditions. Follow Lupus' work on the Aedicula Antinoi blog.