Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love - An Interview with Gilles Herrada

In this interview from last summer, Vanessa Fisher (co-editor of Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Spirituality, scheduled for release in July, 2014) interviews one of the contributors, Gilles Herrada, about his book, The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love. Here is the publisher's ad copy for the book:
If homosexual behavior is an aberration from the standpoint of reproduction, why is it widespread among humans, primates, and a myriad of other animal species, and why has it been favored by evolution? And if homosexuality is considered a moral problem based on religious beliefs, why were more homosexuals exterminated under the brief reigns of such secular regimes as the Communists and the Nazis than during the entire Christian Inquisition. Why is everything about homosexuality always a paradox? In The Missing Myth, Gilles Herrada tackles the many questions about the role and meaning of homosexuality in the evolution of our species and the development of civilization: what evolutionary edge same-sex relationships have provided to the human species; what biological mechanisms generate the sexual diversity that we observe; why homosexual behavior ended up being prohibited worldwide; why homophobia has persisted throughout history; why the homosexual community resurfaced after World War II; and others.
I've had the good fortune of reading Gilles book and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to understand the depth and complexities of same-sex love - including its rejection and the still persistent homophobia many people express.

The interview is excellent - enjoy.

The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love

An Interview with Gilles Herrada by Vanessa D. Fisher

Download this Dialogue as an MP3

Gilles Herrada, Ph.D., is a research scientist, a writer, and life coach at LifeAsACreation. He has worked at the universities of Nice, Paris, Columbia, and Harvard, and is published internationally.

In this Dialogue, I interview Gilles about his recently published book, The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love.

Below is a short quote from the book, which offers a taste of the new and expansive context Gilles opens in his book for re-visioning same-sex love...
After having been stigmatized as a sin or a perversion by two millenniums of homophobic culture, a mere half-century of well-intentioned pro-homosexual discourse has left homosexuality impoverished, truncated, disjointed, and ripped apart. Why is this? Modern homosexual identity only started to emerge in the nineteenth century and really grounded itself no earlier than the second half of the twentieth century. In this respect, this identity is extremely young, and because of the historical cultural context in which it was born, modern homosexuality has essentially been conceived and theorized within a biological, psychoanalytic, and sociological, and hence profoundly materialistic context.

As a result, modern homosexuality exists in body and mind, but has no soul.

Modern homosexuality has been analyzed and rationalized by modernists, contextualized and even deconstructed by postmodernists, but not many have dared to give it meaning…. As a consequence, the sacred dimension of modern homosexuality—symbolic and spiritual, inevitably—has remained largely ignored by the homosexual discourse, leaving its brutal rejection by traditional religions still unanswered.
In this sense, the original and somewhat humble premise of The Missing Myth is that homosexuality has yet to discover itself..."

While at Harvard, Gilles discovered a large family of genes involved in the detection of pheromones, those “secret” odors that trigger animal sexual and social behaviors. Gilles also attended and facilitated programs in what is commonly labeled as “personal development.” These workshops gave him the rare opportunity to discuss with homophobic men in an open and intimate setup. This offered him a unique chance to inquire into the mechanisms of homophobia empathically, that is from a homophobic standpoint.

Part of his research work regarding homosexuality’s history was presented at the First Integral Theory Conference in 2008 and will soon be published in the anthology titled Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Spirituality, co-edited by Sarah Nicholson and Vanessa D. Fisher, to be published by SUNY Press.

Gilles currently lives in New York City.
This Dialogue was recorded July 11, 2013

No comments: