I have been openly gay/queer for almost 40 years; coming out as gay in 1978 and self-identifying as queer for almost two decades. Over the years I’ve studied a wide variety of spiritual traditions; nature-based ‘pagan’ as well as ‘major world religions’. Introduced to the Tarot by my partner in 1980; together with a roommate, we studied cards, astrology, numerology and other divination tools. My early Ministry in Toronto was most visible as a Sister of the Toronto Order of Perpetual Indulgence.
As an infant I was baptized in the United Church of Canada; and in The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto as a young adult. The first is a
mainstream Canadian denomination that has a strong track record of acceptance. MCC was founded in 1968 “to provide a Christian sanctuary for LGBT people” and is now “an international denomination committed to radical
inclusivity in all areas.”
I now identify as a nontheistic spiritual humanist.
I was born in Toronto about 60 years ago- the third of four children. We are at least the third generation of a cross-border family. Our Mom was born in the USA (her Mother was from Canada and her father from the US) but moved to Canada to marry her first husband. Dad was born in Canada; his father was from Ireland while his Mom was born in Canada but raised by a relative in upstate New York. Mom’s older brother was born in Canada but moved to the USA to join the USAF during WW II and raised two families (at different times) in the US. My brother (and family) now lives and works in the USA while our two sisters (and families) continue to live in south-western Ontario.
In addition to working various full-time jobs since leaving school, I’ve been producing photographic images for 40 years. My first assignment was for the high school yearbook. My photography is available on apparel & gift items, and as frame-able prints. I operate a number of web-sites and on-line shops; my on-line history goes back to CompuServe, Freenets and 2400 baud modems. In fact, Dad introduced me to ‘puters by letting me write code (in ‘basic’) for the IBM-5150.
Use of ‘First Nations’ Images and Traditions
I sometimes use decks that are based on North American aboriginal spiritual traditions. These decks have been designed by artists of Lakota, Iroquois, Cherokee and Choctaw descent. I make no claim to have been trained or raised within those traditions and do not identify as a ‘shaman’ or ‘medicine man’. I do not represent or ‘speak for’ those traditions beyond the cards’ artwork and published traditions of the First Nations that inspires some of our own practises. I can not totally remove my Anglo-Saxon heritage or my ‘modern western’ cultural upbringing from readings.