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Gay Spirit Visions records

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Gay Spirit Visions:

A Guide to the Records at Georgia State University Library

GSU Special Collections and Archives working area
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303

June 2015

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2016-07-22T12:29-0400
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
Creator: Gay Spirit Visions
Title: Gay Spirit Visions records
Dates: 1978-2010
Quantity: 4.6 Linear feet (in 11 boxes)
Abstract: Gay Spirit Visions organizes gatherings for gay men to explore their spirituality and identity in a safe, nurturing, and sacred environment. The records mostly detail the planning, financing, and recording of retreats, and include correspondence, financial records, flyers, invitations, programs, audiovisual materials, and photographs dating from 1978-2010.
Identification: W127
Language: English

Scope and Contents

Gay Spirit Visions records, 1978-2010, are organized in four series. Series I, Administrative, 1993-2008, contains documents in both paper and electronic form, as well as Stories of our people: a journey book for men who love men by Andrew Ramer and Raven Wolfdancer. Series II, Conference and Planning Materials, 1978-1981; 1990-2008, includes both planning and descriptive material. Series III, Financial, 2000-2010, primarily relates to the conferences. Series IV, Photographs and Audio Visual, includes photographs and recordings of conference events in various formats.

History of Gay Spirit Visions

Gay Spirit Visions began with the Southeastern Conference of Lesbians and Gay Men in 1978. The experiences at the conference inspired a group to begin a series of annual spiritual retreats for gay men at Running Water Farm in North Carolina. Harry Hay called together the first Radical Faerie Gathering there in 1979. Running Water became one of the sanctuaries of the Radical Faerie Movement, along with Short Mountain Sanctuary and the Atlanta Faerie Circle. The Faeries emphasized questioning social structure, honoring one's own individuality, and respecting the freedom and human equality of others. The Faeries organized around a consensual structure that honors the individuals involved and gives consideration to all points of view.

By 1989 Running Water was being surrounded by development making it impractical to gather there. With this need to find another location, the men organizing these gatherings saw this as an opportunity to design more organized and concise meetings. In the past, even though the experience was spiritually powerful, the retreats were also long and disorganized. Maintaining the original founding philosophy of Running Water, Gay Spirit Visions founded a new retreat at "The Mountain," a Unitarian Universalist retreat center just outside of Highlands, N.C., and has been holding conferences since 1990. Harry Hay was invited to give the keynote address at the 1990 meeting, and author Andrew Ramer and poet Franklin Abbott also presented.

Over the years a few traditions began to form, but the conference, as well as other activities, remain open to new inspiration and ever changing creative process. Most of the rituals are Neo-pagan in form but the content is as diverse as their members' personal spirituality. The Fall Conference, the Spring Retreat and the Winter Meditation in addition to the monthly pot-luck dinners, web-site and triannual newsletter, "Visionary," are all used as the means in which to introduce mainstream gay men to alternative spiritualities.

Index Terms

Gay activists
Gay community
Gay men
Radical Faeries (New Age movement)
Spiritual retreats
Abbott, Franklin
Andrew, Ramer
Harry, Hay
Wolfdancer, Raven, 1946-1993
Atlanta (Ga.)
Highlands (N.C.)
Southern States
audiovisual materials
financial records


Restrictions on Access

Some records containing personal information are available only in redacted form. Consult archivist.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], [series title], Gay Spirit Visions records, W127. Archives for Research on Women and Gender. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Gay Spirit Visions, courtesy of Jim Jones, August 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Hilary Morrish, Spring 2015. EAD created by Hilary Morrish, June 2015; revised by Harold Victor Hansen, Jr., February 2016.

Related Material

Related Material in This Respository
Franklin Abbott oral history interview, September 30, 2011 (W101.01). Gender and Sexuality Oral History Project
Franklin Abbott papers, 1960-2013 (W108)
Gay Spirit Visions Oral History Project

Separated Material

Separated to the Gender and Sexuality Periodical Collection
Gay Spirit Visions Newsletter, vol. 1, no.1, Welcome, February 1995
Visionary, vol. 1, no. 2, GSV -- The Post-Conference Lull, June 1995
Visionary, vol. 1, no. 3, GSV -- The Post Conference Lull, December 1995
Visionary, vol. 2, no. 1, Elders Perch, May 1996
Visionary, vol. 2, no. 2, Elders Perch: A Proud Moment, August 1996
Visionary, vol. 2, no. 3, Elders Perch, November 1996
Visionary, vol. 3, no. 1, Elders Perch, March 1997
Visionary, vol. 3, no. 2, Elders Perch, June 1997
Visionary, vol. 3, no. 3, Elders Perch, September 1997
Visionary, vol. 3, no. 4, Elders Perch, December 1997
Visionary, vol. 4, no. 1, Word from the Trusted Elders, February 1998
Visionary, vol. 4, no. 2, Report on a Dialogue on Diversity, July 1998
Visionary, vol. 4, no. 3, Cultivating Sacred Sex, September 1998
Visionary, vol. 4, no. 4, Truth Without Malice, December 1998
Visionary, vol. 5, no. 1, Outrage, March 1999
Visionary, vol. 5, no. 2, A Call to Joy, May 1999
Visionary, vol. 5, no. 3, My Energetic History, September 1999
Visionary, vol. 6, no. 1, Words, Birds, Numbers and Roses, February 2000
Visionary, vol. 6, no. 2, Your Sacred Body, June/July 2000
Visionary, vol. 6. no. 3, Living in Radiance: The Passion Connection, October/November 2000
Visionary, vol. 7, no. 1, Becoming Fully Tribal, Spring 2001
Visionary, vol. 7, no. 2, Gratefulness as a Spiritual Path, Summer 2001
Visionary, vol. 7, no. 3, Telling Our Spiritual Stories, Fall 2001
Visionary, vol. 8, no. 1, More of Our Spiritual Stories, Spring 2002
Visionary, vol. 8, no. 2, Summer Reflection on Nature, Summer 2002
Visionary, vol. 8, no. 3, Embrasing Our Masculine Spirit, Fall 2002
Visionary, vol. 9, no. 1, Work and Passion, Spring 2003
Visionary, vol. 9, no. 2, Music, Summer 2003
Visionary, vol. 9, no. 3, Daily Spiritual Practices, Fall 2003
Visionary, vol. 10, no. 1, Sacred Friendship, Spring 2004
Visionary, vol. 10, no. 2, Forgiveness, Summer 2004
Visionary, vol. 10, no. 3, Gay Elderhood, Fall 2004
Visionary, vol. 11, no. 1, Reclaiming Jesus, Winter 2005
Visionary, vol. 11, no. 2, Revealing Our Authentic Selves, Summer 2005
Visionary, vol. 11, no. 3, Spirituality and Anger, Fall 2005
Visionary, vol. 12, no. 1, Our Sacred Texts, Winter 2006
Visionary, vol. 12, no. 2, Follow Your Bliss, Summer 2006
Visionary, vol. 12, no. 3, Letting Go, Fall 2006
Visionary, vol. 13, no. 1, Magic of Spirit, Winter 2007
Visionary, vol. 13, no. 2, Finding and Keeping Balance in Your Life as Spiritual Gay Man! Summer 2007
Visionary, vol. 14, no. 1, Addiction, Winter 2008
Visionary, vol. 14, no. 2, Imaginings of the Afterlife
Visionary, vol. 14, no. 3, Judgment, Fall 2008
Visionary, vol. 15, no. 1, Connection Between Sexuality and Spirituality, Spring 2009
Visionary, vol. 15, no. 2, Turning Challenges Into Blessings, Summer 2009
Visionary, vol. 16, no. 1, Gay Spirit Visions 20 Years, Winter 2010
Visionary, vol. 16, no. 2, Insights, Thoughts and Stories About Same-Sex Relationships by Men of Gay Spirit Visions, Summer 2010

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