Queer I Stand
Where Do We Go From Here?
Most (but, we must be ever mindful, not all, on which more in a moment) forms of modern Paganism don't have much of a problem with same-sex marriage. Many, but not all, modern Pagans don't have problems including trans people in their activities, unless there are gender-specific rituals or "mysteries" involved, whereupon there are often problems. The theologies, religious cosmologies, and spiritual anthropologies and psychologies of many modern forms of Paganism simply do not accommodate LGBTQ people fully, and never will unless they are revised, which it is obvious a large number of acceptance-minded Pagans are simply not willing to do despite the fact of their social acceptance. If theology does not align with accepted social rhetoric, then there is a problem on the theological end of things.
As much as we respect the non-dogmatic nature of a great deal of modern Paganism, and as much as we laud the freedom and autonomy that every Pagan and every Pagan group has to practice its religion in the ways it determines are best, it is clear that the "mainstream" of modern Paganism prefers the social acceptance of LGBTQ people. Yet, the blatant intolerance shown toward LGBTQ people by some modern Pagans is actively tolerated. Not simply because I'm a vocal queer activist and queer Pagan theologian do I find this to be a problematic situation.
It would be very fair to say that I think a great deal of modern Paganism would do itself a favor, as well as making itself far more appealing to a wider audience amongst religious options in the world for LGBTQ people, if it embraced queer theologies and cosmologies on a more widespread basis as the norm rather than as an exception and a fringe possibility. Here's an example: in a Greek context, we usually think of Chaos bringing forth Gaia, and then Gaia bringing forth Ouranos, and then the two of them going on to have most of the divine entities we recognize as the Greek Titans and later Olympian gods, amongst many other powers of the universe. What if that wasn't what happened at all? What if the first two beings to come forth from Chaos were Gaia and Nyx, and they together produced a variety of divine beings, and it wasn't until Gaia on her own produced Ouranos, who then raped his mother and forced her to be his consort, that some of the more problematic beings started to come into existence? In a set of religions that often promotes the importance, prominence, and even supremacy of Goddesses over male gods, wouldn't this actually make a bit more sense?
Or, in an Egyptian context, rather than the theologies which make Atum the primal being who creates all the other gods, what if we instead went with the option that ends up being the basis for the system advocated by Brandy Williams in The Woman Magician that places the goddess Neith in that role?
While there is no universally recognized or accepted or canonized cosmological doctrine in the Ekklesía Antínoou, it just so happens that I accept both of these options on the Greek and the Egyptian side as my own preferred answers to these questions. My queer theology is so queer that even though my main deity is an ostensibly homoerotically-inclined god (Antinous), he emerges very remotely down the scale of being from a theogony that starts with, in essence, procreative lesbianism. But, I'm sure there are queerer possibilities out there, and I hope to see many of them proliferate in the future.
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.