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Gay Spirit Visions Oral History Project: A

Abbott, Franklin

Interviewee: Franklin Abbott
Interviewer: Wesley Chenault
Date of Interview:
Extent: 2 compact discs; 1 DVD
Note: This interview was originally conducted for the Gender & Sexuality Oral History Project

Interviewee: Franklin Abbott
Interviewer: Jason Ezell
Date of Interview:
Note: This interview was originally conducted for the Gender & Sexuality Oral History Project


Franklin Abbott was both in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Buffalo, New York and Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Mercer College in Macon County in the 1960s, and later attended graduate school where he qualified as a therapist. For decades, Abbott has been associated with the Radical Fairies adn Gay Spirit Visions, both spiritual gay men’s groups. In addition to serving the community through spiritual practices and therapy, he is a writer and co-founder of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. Abbott's books include Boyhood: Growing Up Male, Men and Intimacy: Personal Accounts, and Pink Zinnia: Poems and Stories. Abbott continues both his literary work and therapy practice.


Abstract, September 20, 2011:
Abbott first discusses his grandparent’s and parent’s lives in Alabama. Then he describes the move from Birmingham to Buffalo to Nashville. He explains the challenges of his high school years and the freedom he gained while at Mercer College. Abbott describes his politicization with racial and gender justice while in school and details his coming out experiences in his mid-20s. He reflects on lesbian and gay organizing in Atlanta and the work he did in spiritual and faith-based communities in the 1970s. Abbott shares his experiences with AIDS in the 1980s. He talks about organizing, traveling and literary work that was both lost and came out because this time-period. He concludes with reflections on community.

Abstract, December 14, 2015:
Abbott shares the tensions between gay men and lesbians. He outlines the historical roles that religious groups' played in supporting the beginnings of the gay movement. Het then discusses the history of the Radical Faeries and Gay Spirit Visions and the friendships he developed because of these community spaces—particularly his friendship with Raven Wolfdancer. Abbott talks about AIDS and the impact of the disease on his writing and spiritual communities. He reflects on gender fluidity and identity. Abbott concludes by discussing the international impact of the Radical Faeries and the global community that participants have created together.


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