Toby Johnson

Last updated
Toby Johnson
Born1945 (age 7778)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
  • Novelist
  • writer
Alma mater California Institute of Asian Studies
GenreGay spirituality

Toby Johnson (born 1945 in San Antonio, Texas) is an American novelist and writer in the field of gay spirituality.



After leaving seminary in 1970, Johnson moved to San Francisco and lived in the Bay Area throughout the 1970s. While a student at the California Institute of Asian Studies (later renamed the California Institute of Integral Studies), from which he received a graduate degree in Comparative Religion and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, Johnson was on staff at the Mann Ranch Seminars, a Jungian-oriented summer retreat program. There he befriended religion scholar Joseph Campbell. [1]

Johnson authored three novels: Plague: A Novel About Healing, Secret Matter, and Getting Life in Perspective. Plague, produced by small gay-interest publisher Alyson Publications, was one of the first novels to treat AIDS through fiction. [2] [3] Secret Matter, a speculative, romantic comedy about truth-telling and gay identity featuring a retelling of the Genesis myth with a gay-positive outcome, won a Lambda Literary Award in 1990 and in 1999 was a nominee to the Gay Lesbian Science-Fiction Hall of Fame, the first year of the award. He collaborated with historian, anthropologist Walter L. Williams on the novel Two Spirits: A Story of Life With the Navajo. And co-edited, with Steve Berman, publisher of Lethe Press, an anthology of gay-positive stories, Charmed Lives: Gay Spirit in Storytelling.

He is also author of Gay Spirituality: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness [4] and Gay Perspective: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe, which explains how homosexuality can lead to a re-evaluation of people's role in the universe. [5]

From 1996 to 2003, Johnson was editor/publisher of White Crane Journal , a periodical focusing on gay men's spirituality. As of 2012, he worked as a literary editor with Lethe Press. [1]

His papers are held at the Happy Foundation, San Antonio, Texas. [6]


As editor

See also

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  1. 1 2 McDonald, Patrick Range (Jun 7, 2012). "Queer Town L.A. Gay Pride 2012: Author Toby Johnson Answers 'What Does It Mean to Be Gay?'". LA Weekly. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  2. Byrne, Joseph Patrick (2008). Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues: A-M. ABC-CLIO. p. 14. ISBN   9780313341021.
  3. Shaw, Marvin (2 Feb 1988). "Spirit, Psyche, Self". Advocate (491): 54.
  4. "Gay Spirituality: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness (review)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  5. Plessas, Peter J (Fall 2004). "Gay Perspective by Toby Johnson (Review)". Ashé Journal. 3 (3).
  6. "Lavender Legacies Guide: United States: Texas". Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable. Society of American Archivists. Retrieved 16 January 2013.