Every June, the LGBTQ community and allies around the world celebrate Pride Month. The tradition has grown out of the June 1969 rebellion that ignited the gay rights movement, when gay clubgoers in New York City’s Greenwich Village retaliated against police officers who raided the Stonewall Inn.

Although there have been great strides toward equality in recent years, the work is far from finished, including within the Buddhist world.

In solidarity, here are 12 articles from the Tricycle archives that highlight and share the stories of queer Buddhists across history.

‘This Monk Wears Heels’: An Interview with Kodo Nishimura

The Buddhist monk, makeup artist, and LGBTQ activist shares his journey to self-acceptance in his memoir, This Monk Wears Heels: Be Who You Are, which was recently translated to English.

In the Cabin of the Crazy One 

Diana Goetsch, a poet, essayist, and Vajrayana practitioner, recounts her late-in-life gender transition while on a 12-day solo meditation retreat.  

A Gender-Diverse Sangha

How Kevin Manders’s groundbreaking anthology, Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices, created a community for trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary Buddhists. 

Hair Hair

A transfemme theater artist and educator reflects on a crucial—if unexpectedly painful—moment of autonomy after getting hair extensions.

Tenzin Mariko: Tibetan Trailblazer

A former monk gains renown as one of the first openly transgender people in the Tibetan community, opening the door to acceptance.

Coming Out Whole

Caitriona Reed, the first openly transgender Buddhist teacher, came out as a “woman of transgender experience” in an article from Inquiring Mind in 1998. Read the article from Inquiring Mind’s archives.

A Transgender Buddhist Trailblazer 20+ Years Later

Over 20 years after the publication of Reed’s article, she speaks with Tricycle about what has changed.

We’re Queer and We’ve Been Here

Dr. Jay Michaelson shares four examples that demonstrate the breadth of queer experience throughout Buddhism, from its history of gay monks and homoerotic samurai to gender-nonconforming practitioners and gods.

Working Through the Strong Emotions of Sexual Identity
On a 40-day meditation retreat, dharma teacher and LGBTQ activist Jay Michaelson came to the shocking realization that, deep down, he would change his orientation if he could.

Becoming Jivaka
How Lobzang Jivaka, a transgender man, shed his English identity and found (some) solace as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in India.

A Big Gay History of Same-sex Marriage in the Sangha
Buddhist same-sex marriage was born in the US. American Buddhists have been performing same-sex marriages for more than 40 years without fanfare. 

Street Zen
How the drag performer Issan Dorsey became a Zen master and caretaker for gay men living with HIV/AIDS.

[This article was originally published in 2017.]

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