This one is a review of my experience at Between the Worlds last month.
I want to take a moment to announce what I hope will be my next big project. For a long time, I’ve been contemplating the idea of starting a campground of some type. I’ve often thought it might be a retirement project, but I’ve become more and more compelled to make it a reality sooner. Perhaps it’s dissatisfaction with my current day-to-day job, the call (or perhaps crisis) of midlife, feelings of deep loss after my mom sold my childhood home, the desire to get back to living in a rural area closer to nature, or some combination of the above. Whatever the reasons, I’ve decided to embark on the journey to making this dream of a campground a reality. I’m still in the early stages, and don’t know entirely whether the dream will be achieved, but I know it’s the direction I want to be heading.
Over the past year, I’ve been researching LGBTQ, Pagan, and even a few other types of campgrounds; I’ve formulated a business plan; and I’ve created a web page to mark the start of the project and to track its progress, as well as to start building an interested community. The first major milestone will be purchasing land and relocating. I hope to do this within the next year or two, and will also need to find a new job in the new town to hold me over until the campground opens. The likely location will be somewhere in central Virginia. I’ll be looking for a second business partner to help found and run the business. Things really won’t get moving in a big way until after the land purchase. At that point, I’ll be looking for investors and other sources of start-up finances to build the rest of the campground. I’ll also be looking for campground members and outside groups looking to host gatherings there. I’m hoping the campground itself could open within the next 3-5 years.
My concept uses many of the gay and bi men’s campground resorts already out there as a base, but merges those with other communities such as Pagans, and some adult lifestyle communities. While gay and bi men, and Pagan men will likely be the base audiences, other adult audiences would be welcome regardless of sexual orientation, gender, etc. This will be a membership-based adult campground resort. I hope to host a variety of theme weekends and even a handful of gatherings. I’d also open up the campground to outside conferences and gatherings. I’d like to create an open air Pagan / Hellenistic temple that could host drum circles and solar / lunar celebrations and rituals.
I wanted to take a moment to announce the start of the project, but I also look forward to input, advice, etc. If anyone is interested in helping this dream become a reality; if you think you might be interested in becoming the second business partner (or know someone who would be interested); if you think you might want to become a future investor once I get to that stage; if you think you might want to become a member, camper, or host a gathering there; if any of these things intrigues you, please visit my website for the campground and feel free to contact me with your ideas or to be put on the mailing list.
The website is: www.olympuscampgroundresort.com
In episode 14: The Update Show, I provide updates on what I’ve been up to including:
- Conferences and gatherings – The Hero’s Adventure, Querent, and Between the Worlds
- Updates on my book and an LGBT werewolf workshop I’m hoping to do at Marscon
- My photography
- My local LGBTQ / Pagan / Alternative website
- Groups including the New Order of Chaeronea and Order of the Stone Circle
- My big project – I’m working toward starting a campground / retreat center
- Personal updates
You can find my show on my website: http://www.melmystery.com, and through iTunes and Podbean.
You may have heard the expression in school never to wear green on Thursday because that makes you a “queer” or a “fairy”. What seems like a cruel made up children’s game to identify gay people actually underscores a long history of the color green being associated with gay men.
The term “fairy” has long been a term used to identify gay men. Its use has been largely derogatory, but some gay men have reclaimed it. In the book, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, by Judy Grahn, the author points out that green was the primary color worn by mythical fairies, and this connection ties into this tradition. The fairies have freer sexual morals than Christian cultures are comfortable with. In fact, given their extremely long, perhaps even immortal lives, the idea of eternal marriage and coupledom would only give way to boredom. So homosexual bonds were likely to have been acceptable. The color green is a useful color for mythical fairies because it helps them to blend in and remain hidden in their natural environment among the plants and trees.
As for the connection with Thursday, Thursday was considered by some to be “Fairy Day”. There is an additional connection to Thursday with medieval witches. When questioned under torture about their practices, some witches confessed that they practiced different sexual rites on different nights, and Thursday was the night associated with homosexual rites.
But the association with the color green and homosexuals goes back even further. Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit has more to say on the color green. At Ephesus, the transgender and often homosexual priests of the goddess Artemis / Diana wore garments of scarlet, violet, saffron, and yellow-green. In ancient Rome, green and especially yellow-green was associated with male gender variance and especially the passive role in male homosexual acts. These men were called galbinati, and are mentioned in Martial’s Epigrams. Martial talks about how these soft, effeminate men garbed in green lie on purple couches while being fanned by other men using red feathers. It sounds like the good life to me, but Martial criticizes their morality as being quote “grass-green.”
In pre-Modern France, bisexual and homosexually inclined courtiers called mignons wore green as the primary color in their tights, along with yellow or red. Often one leg of their tights would be green and the other yellow, and they might have a red cape. Their costumes were derived from three sources — the costumes of traditional troubadours, the costumes of fools, and the costumes of the legendary fairies.
Because green was associated with the margins of society, it also became associated with heretics who carried a green cross in their ceremonies.
Green was also a signifier of homosexuality among British poets. The association of the color green with homosexuality survived into the 19th Century and may even have been reclaimed at that time. A green carnation was adopted as a kindred symbol by Oscar Wilde and the English Decadents, and during the same time a band of men in Paris wore a green cravat to signify their homosexual inclinations.
So as you can see, the color green has a long history of associations with homosexuality, fairies, and magick. Wear it proudly — especially on Thursdays.