Gay Spirit Visions Records

Span Dates: 1978-2010
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 4.8 linear feet in 12 boxes


Gay Spirit Visions Records primarily detail the planning, financing, and recording of retreats, and include correspondence, financial records, flyers, invitations, programs, audiovisual materials, and photographs dating from 1978-2010. The collection is 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

Hist/Bio Note

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.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available.


Part of the Special Collections Repository of Georgia State University 100 Decatur St., S.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Neo-Pagan/New Age Movements/Occultism/Spirituality | Radical Faeries | North Carolina | Artist/musician/poet