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LGBTQ+ Companion to Symbol, Mythology, Folklore and Spirituality

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LGBTQ+ Companion to Symbol, Mythology, Folklore, and Spirituality is a revised, expanded edition of Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit (Cassell, 1997). The volume remains an unprecedented reference source on the theme of same sex desire, gender variance and the sacred with a multicultural, transhistorical focus. In anthropology this grouping of various related topics into a central theme is sometimes referred to as a “domain.” The Companion, useful for general readers and essential for scholars, is highly informative, entertaining and empowering.

The result of more than 30 years of research, the Companion is a collection of LGBTQ+ related deities, spiritual/symbolic figures, mythological stories and folklore (ancient and modern), symbols (e.g. sacred animals, flowers, colors, designs, or motifs), language/terms/slang (e.g. Polari, a linguistic code, or “cant” employed primarily by marginal persons since the Middle Ages), and literature and the arts (authors, artists, texts, and artifacts). This variety is extensively researched and presented from a broad range of historic evidence and perspectives in written records, from personal interviews, oral histories, the treasured folklore of our communities, ranging from the Ancient Mediterranean, Africa and Asia, to Europe and the Americas.

Entries and longer articles often include the analysis of, and approaches from various LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+-positive scholars of linguistics, religion, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, politics and popular culture. Negative and homophobic critiques and analysis, especially from the mid-19th-early 20th centuries, of spiritual leaders and academics, are also examined.

Published: May 1, 2023

Section Chapter Authors
Introduction David Sparks, Randy P. Conner, Mariah Sparks
Dictionary of Terms
Dictionary of Terms David Sparks, Randy P. Conner, Mariah Sparks
Bibliography David Sparks, Randy P. Conner, Mariah Sparks
Subject Index David Sparks, Randy P. Conner, Mariah Sparks


Reviews of the first edition

It's invaluable!
Clive Barker, writer and filmmaker

A unified romp through queer spiritualia ... accessible notes ... impressive bibliography.

The lives of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered people, the two-spirited, transsexuals and others ... are equally detailed .. this is not just an encyclopedia of European-derived experiences.