Boyd was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Beatrice Lowrie, a fashion model, and Melville Boyd, a financier and investment banker whose own father was an Episcopalian minister. Boyd was raised Episcopalian (one of his grandparents - his maternal grandfather - was Jewish).
In the early 1930's Boyd's parents divorced and his mother retained custody of him. Boyd moved with his mother to Colorado Springs, CO and then to Denver. During his time in college, despite early spiritual interests, he decided he was an atheist.
In the 1940's Boyd moved to California and eventually became a Hollywood junior producer. He began moving up in the Hollywood world eventually founding PRB with Mary Pickford. At the same time, amidst all the abundance he found himself looking for meaning - including in churches.
In 1951 Malcolm began studying to become a priest at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. In 1954 he graduated and was ordained a deacon. In 1955 he continued his studies abroad in England and Switzerland and then returned to Los Angeles for ordination as a priest. During 1956 and 1957 Boyd studied further at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and wrote his first book - "Crisis in Communication."
©Crawford Barton, Courtesy of Mark Thompson. Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson, 1989 (©15)
Malcolm Boyd was an American Episcopal Priest and author. In 1977 Boyd came out of the closet becoming the most prominent Gay clergy person to come out. He was the author of over 30 books. It was in the 1980's that Boyd would meet the gay activist and author Mark Thompson, who would become his long-time partner. Boyd and Thompson married in July 2013, after Proposition 8 was overturned and same-sex unions resumed in California. They lived together in Los Angeles, until Malcolm's death.
by Don Bachardy
Malcolm Boyd and Mark Thompson in Sausalito, 2010. Photograph by Andrew Thomas
In 1959 Malcolm became Episcopal Chaplain at Colorado State University.
In the 1960s, Boyd became known as “The Espresso Priest” for his religiously-themed poetry-reading sessions at the “Hungry i” nightclub in San Francisco.
Boyd went on to become a prominent white clergyman in the American Civil Rights Movement. He participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. Later that year he became the Episcopal Chaplain at Wayne State University in Detroit. It was while he was here that he attended an interfaith conference for racial integration in Chicago. His presence at the event is mentioned by Malcolm X in his 1963 speech "The Old Negro and the New Negro." Malcolm X references Boyd's criticism of the speakers chosen for the conference. As Malcolm says, "Rev. Boyd believes that the conference might have accomplished much good if the speakers had included a white supremacist and a Negro race leader, preferably a top man in the American Black Muslim movement." And then he quotes Boyd: "A debate between them (meaning this white racist and a Black Muslim) would undoubtedly be bitter, but it would accomplish one thing: it would get some of the real issues out into the open. In this conference we have not done that. The money spent to bring these people here has been wasted. We have done nothing to solve the race problem either in our churches or in our communities." (pages 94-95 in The End of White World Supremacy: Four Speeches by Malcolm X ed. by Benjamin Karim. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1971)
Boyd was also active in the anti-Vietnam War movement, marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.
In 1977 Boyd came out of the closet becoming the most prominent Gay clergy person to come out. He is the author of over 30 books.
Boyd serves on the Advisory Board of White Crane Institute and is a frequent contributor to the gay wisdom and culture magazine White Crane.
Malcolm Boyd recorded a video interview in June 2008 in Los Angeles (Janet Kawamoto, interviewer) as a remembrance on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Timothy's Episcopal parish in Indianapolis, of which Malcolm was rector (priest in charge). This 57-minute video was commissioned by the vestry (governing board) of the parish and is featured in three parts on Tangle.com, as well as on the St. Timothy's Web site.
Malcom Boyd, 1989, by Robert Giard
Mark Thompson and Malcolm Boyd, 1989, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123736)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Mark Thompson (born 19 August 1952 in Monterey (Monterey) CA) is an american writer, editor and activist. His work centers around gay issues, particularly spirituality. He is the author of "Gay Spirit," "Leatherfolk," Gay Soul" and others. From 1975 to 1994, he worked at the "Advocate" as a writer, photographer, and ultimately senior editor.
Mark Thompson was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, California, during the 1950s and '60s. In 1973, Thompson helped found the Gay Students Coalition at San Francisco State University, where he was a journalism student, and has worked for Gay causes since that time.
He began his writing career at the national Gay and Lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate in 1975, reporting on culture and politics in Europe. Thompson 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 (St. Martin's Press), a massive volume of half a million words and over seven hundred images documenting the Gay and Lesbian struggle for civil rights. The book was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards.
Thompson is best known, however, for his influential trilogy of books dealing with Gay spirituality. The first in the series, Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning (Lethe Press/White Crane Books) was published in 1987. The anthology has been acclaimed around the world and was recently included on a list compiled by the Lambda Book Report of the "100 Lesbian and Gay Books That Changed Our Lives." The Los Angeles Times called Gay Spirit an "exciting challenge to conventional thinking."
Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature (HarperSan Francisco) followed in 1994. The Lambda Literary Award-nominated book consists of indepth conversations and photographs with sixteen prominent writers, teachers, and visionaries. "Gay Soul is an outpouring of much-needed love – from new kinds of 'fathers'," commented poet Judy Grahn. Christine Downing, author of Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, described the book as "a wake-up call to Gay souls." Robert Goss, author of Jesus Acted Up said, "I came away with a great deal of hope, for Gay spiritualities have the potentiality for profound cultural transformation."
The trilogy was completed in 1997 with the publication of Gay Body: A Journey Through Shadow to Self (St. Martin's Press), an autobiographical memoir combining elements of Jungian archetypes, Gay history and mythology, and New Age spirituality. The Washington Post said "the road Thompson travels is fascinating, as he unlocks closets within closets." Library Journal called the Lambda Literary Award- nominated book "a provocative work, seamlessly woven."
He lives in Los Angeles with his life partner, Episcopal priest and author Malcolm Boyd, until Malcolm's death. They gave a substantive interview about their twenty-year relationship in the fall 2005 issue of White Crane. Thompson is currently writing a new book about Gay activism in the 1970s.
Mark Thompson, 1989, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1124068)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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