2014 Spring Panels

To kick off GSV’s 25th anniversary year, the Spring 2014 Conference will feature panels exploring four themes:

As brothers in the GSV community, each panelist has been invited to offer heart-centered sharing that speaks to both his personal experience and how GSV may have impacted his growth and development. Each panel will consist of three to four brothers in the GSV community, and listeners will be invited to pose questions and interact with panel members after each member has spoken.


Gay Spirit Visions is committed to: 1) creating safe, sacred space that is open to all spiritual paths, wherein men who love men may explore and strengthen spiritual identity; 2) creating a spiritual community with the intent to heal, nurture our gifts and potential, and live with integrity in the world; and 3) supporting others in their spiritual growth by sharing experiences and insights.

This panel will explore the varied spiritual experiences of men who love men, and how their identity has impacted their spiritual journey.

Panelists: Duncan Teague, Kurt Schreiber, Jim Best, Gary Kaupman

Erotic LifeErotic Life

Gay Spirit Visions honors each person’s unique exploration of spirituality, intimacy, and sexuality, celebrating both the choice to stand apart in order to connect with ourselves, and the choice to reach out in order to connect with each other.

Panel participants will share how their erotic life has developed, speaking to the larger context of human sexuality, their experiences with men who love men, and their communities.

Panelists: George Miller, Roger Beaumont, Hunter Flournoy, Bob Strain

Action in the WorldAction in the World

Men who love men often serve as scouts in the field, filling unconventional roles that reflect their authentic selves. This panel will explore how their offerings to society are linked to their identity and personal growth, and to their participation in the GSV community.

Panelists: Lem Arnold, Aric Rohner, Phil Robst, Todd Humphrey

Friends & Family NetworkFriend and Family Network

Family has many definitions, particularly among communities that aren’t able to participate in institutionalized models. This panel will discuss how their concepts of family were defined, redefined, and expanded, and how communities like GSV have contributed to these concepts.

Panelists: Terry Allen, Luis Alvarez, John Brock



2014 Spring Keynote: Franklin Abbott

Franklin Abbott
Franklin Abbott

One of the original radical faeries to gather at Running Water Farm in 1978, Franklin Abbott keynoted the first Gay Spirit Visions conference twenty-five years ago. We’re happy to welcome him back to keynote in preparation for GSV’s 25th Anniversary year. In addition to helping organize the early GSV conferences, he attended the first faerie gathering at Short Mountain Sanctuary and coordinated ritual and process at the first Eurofaerie gathering on Terchelling Island in the Netherlands.

Franklin is an Atlanta-based psychotherapist, poet and community organizer who has led numerous workshops on issues of gay identity, spirituality, and creativity. A clinical social worker by training, Franklin has been in independent private practice in Atlanta since 1979. He co-founded the Atlanta Circle of Healing, a monthly circle for the early years of the epidemic, and also co-founded and chairs the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival.

He has travelled broadly and written about his experiences in stories and poems published in his two books of poetry, Mortal Love and Pink Zinnia. He is a contributor to Radical Faerie Digest (RFD) and was its poetry editor for a number of years, also working as poetry editor of the profeminist men’s journal Changing Men. His first anthology, New Men, New Minds was collected from both RFD and Changing Men as well as other sources. Published in 1987, it brought together work by Essex Hemphill, Thomas Moore, Assotto Saint, James Broughton, Harry Hay and Robert Bly among others.

Franklin currently works with Special Collections at Georgia State University, both on his own papers and on a virtual symposium for the centennial of James Broughton. He has an ongoing interest in personal narratives drawing on Harry Hay’s three questions: who are we, where do we come from, and why are we here? He lives just outside of Decatur which is just outside of Atlanta with a cat and five fish.


Why We Pray

if your luck goes bad
get a witch to give you
a bath
get a shaman to cook
your supper
get a high priestess
to do your hair
get a siren to sing you
a lullaby
all ritual is illogical
and impractical
but when it works
the absurd
the sublime

—Franklin Abbott, Pink Zinnia

Holding The Future in Our Hearts

A few months ago, a group of men gathered to look at the rapid changes GSV has experienced in the past five years and how these changes might inform where we’re going. We’re grateful for the members of the visioning committee and all the men who participated with such love, commitment, vision, and honesty in service to our retreat goals, which included:

  • Reflect on the changes of the past four years and, with the guidance of spirit, seek a path forward by refining our process and identifying ways to open the organization through collaboration, community participation, and mutually supportive leadership.
  • Ensure the continuation, longevity, and sustainability of the GSV community, and consider how GSV can support men in their spiritual growth.

The retreat’s facilitator, John Ballew, delivered a wonderful report with recommendations for fulfilling our goals based on the voices he heard during that weekend. As our events quiet down for the summer, the Council of Nine will be working with John Ballew to look at how GSV can best integrate both the feedback from the men at the visioning conference and the recommendations in John’s report, and how best to make that information available.
Please keep the Council in your hearts as we work with John.