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Mark Thompson
(? - living) U.S.A.

Mark Thompson

Author, editor, activist

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Mark was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, California, during the 1950s and '60s. In 1973, he helped found the Gay Students Coalition at San Francisco State University, where he was a journalism student, and has worked for gay causes since then.

He began his writing career at the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate in 1975, reporting on culture and politics in Europe. Mark continued to serve the publication during the next two decades in a number of capacities - as a feature writer, photographer, and Senior Editor. In 1994, he completed his tenure at the magazine by editing Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate History of the Gay and Lesbian Movement. The book was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards.

Mark ThompsonMark is best known, however, for his influential trilogy of books dealing with gay spirituality. The first is Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning (1987), followed by Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature (1994, Lambda Literary Award-nominated). The trilogy was completed with the publication of Gay Body: A Journey Through Shadow to Self (1997), an autobiographical memoir. Mark's work includes Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics and Practice (1991), an anthology.

He has lectured frequently on the psycho-spiritual aspects of gay experience, and has spoken at the University of California/Los Angeles, the City University of New York, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as to groups ranging from the National Organization of Changing Men to the Unitarian Church in cities across the United States.

Mark holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and works part-time as a psychotherapist with gay and lesbian youth and people living with HIV. He also serves on the board of ONE Institute & Archives, the largest gay and lesbian library in the world. In May 2002, a prominent Southern California gay and lesbian civic group honored Mark for his three decades of community service.

He lives in Los Angeles with his life partner of twenty years, Episcopal priest and author Malcolm Boyd, and is currently writing a new book about gay activism in the 1970s.

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Source: excerpts from The LGBT Religious Archives Network - http://www.lgbtran.org/Pioneers.asp

Top photo by Robert R. Cook

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