Hernestus Pheidos Akulas Kaemked Gill
Priest of Antinous
Long before I had ever heard of Antinous, I knew he must exist. I knew even as a small boy in West Texas that I was different from the other boys and that there was something special, something magical about me. I knew this something must have a name and must have a sacred purpose. I didn't understand it at the time, of course, so much as just feel it deep inside me.
Coming out as a gay man was part of a magical journey towards Antinous, which is to say it has been a spiritual journey towards realizing that gayness is in and of itself divine. All gay males are touched by the Divine Spirit of Antinous.
Antinous stands for all of us. He stands for the good times of being gay. But he also stands for the horrible times when we plunge into the depths and drown. Antinous was the first to die of AIDS, because Antinous is the spirit of gayness in all of us. Antinous was also burned at the stake in the Middle Ages. Antinous was beaten and tortured by homophobic brutes. Antinous was also the Men with the Pink Triangles, the gay men who were persecuted and put to death by the Nazis. Antinous is all the tender young souls who have overdosed or leapt from bridges because they were too fragile for this anti-gay world.
For many years I suffered from a spiritual vacuum in my heart. Like most gay men, I could not bring myself to continue to practice Christianity when I knew that I was regarded as a pariah by other Christians. Discovering Antinous led me to realize that there is an alternative. There is such a thing as Gay Spirituality. That discovery marked a major turning point in my life. The vacuum in my heart was replaced by love -- love for myself, love for my gay brothers, love for all of creation.
Discovering Antinous was like falling and drowning. I fell and allowed myself to be swallowed up by Him. One of the Great Secret Mystery Teachings of Antinous is that he can teach us how to "breathe" the atmosphere of the Duat, the Underworld, or the Elysian Fields or Olympia or Valhalla or Nirvana or whatever you want to call it.
The Secret is contained in the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Obelisk of Antinous which state that Antinous has plunged into the Celestial Nile and he "breathes" the "Semen of the First God" -- the creative force of the universe beyond Time and Space. Antinous is full of Divine Semen. He breathes the stuff. He wants us to take the plunge into the Celestial Nile.
He stands there at the edge of the Celestial Nile and beckons for me to follow, like Herr Aschenbach in the final scene of Luschino Visconti's Death in Venice.
Antinous took the plunge and learned to "breathe" in the Underworld (thanks in part I am sure to Serqet the Scorpion Goddess). He wants me to do it too. And he's not talking about literally dying. Antinous doesn't want me to die. He wants me to LIVE. He wants me to take the plunge right now while I am alive. Dive in spiritually and with all my
Antinous fell into the Nile, beneath the swirling waves, but when his body was pulled from the water…a God emerged. Antinous is my God, he has accomplished the salvation of all lovers of his beauty. His is my salvation. He is Antinous the Gay God. He is the last pagan God of Classical Rome. For centuries, he was worshiped in secret by gay men who were afraid to worship him publicly. Men such as Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman sang his praises. When the Nazis marched into the offices of gay-rights advocate Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin, they smashed a bust of Antinous which Dr. Hirschfeld had set in a place of reverence over the doorway.
And now, in the 21st Century, the "Most Great and Good God" (as he was known among his followers) is being discovered by a whole new generation of people seeking gay spirituality. I dedicate my life and my soul to fulfilling the Divine Hadrian's command to establish the Religion of Antinous for all who seek gay spirituality. I dedicate my life and my soul to serving Antinous the Gay God.
Hernestus Pheidos Akulas Kaemked Gill,
Priest and Aedificator of The New Religion of Antinous