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Mark Tobey (1890-1976),

famous artist, dedicated and devout Baha'i, was gay. His life and work were commemorated.. More

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We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

                          Joan Didion, title essay, The White Album (1979)


I grew up in a Baha'i family and community. At
one point I thought I may be gay or bisexual. I struggled with this
for many years. I married someone of the opposite sex and had
children and still wondered as my sexual relationship has not seemed
complete. I turned to pornography but that did not help and made
"real" sexuality even less satisfying.
Over time, I realized that I was thinking of my identity in relation to sexual
attraction. I am no longer trying to identify my sexuality as part of
who I am. I am finding that these questions of sexual identity are
finally beginning to fade for me and I am also finding that I am less
judgemental towards others who struggle with sexuality in our over-
sexualized society. I don't beat myself up because of homosexual
thoughts any more. I just try not to judge myself harshly and
redirect my thoughts and understand that we live in very difficult
times and must be patient with all in regards to sex-- especially
oneself. We must never judge another Baha'i or any other person. Love
and unity helps our Faith not judgement.



Queer Baha'i Teen?

I've grown up a Baha'i, and am now 15 and can declare, but the Baha'i views on homosexuality are what are holding me back from actually declaring I guess. I want to know more about the Baha'i views on it. I identify as bisexual, and I sometimes feel uncomfortable in Baha'i gathering and family situations in general where everything is quite straight oriented, and people assume I am straight. I've been reading about how homosexuality is seen in the Baha'i faith, but I really want to talk to someone and get advice from someone who has experienced all of this.



Treatment of an Intersex Person

I could never have imagined a website like this!
I was born as a male child in Melbourne. From
the age of four I wanted to dress as a girl and was happiest playing
with girls. As I grew older the conflict in my perceived sex and my
legal sex was to lead to decades of confusion and emotional pain.
During the years 1956 to 1961 I lived in Israel.
In March 1957 I visited the Shrine of the Bab. A Persian gentleman
met me in the gardens and showed me into the Innermost Shrine of the
Bab. There I experienced something I cannot describe other than I had
found something that was to be important to me. The gentleman was
Lotfullah Hakim who had been with Abdu’l-Baha on his European
journeys. This is going back a long way isn’t it? Indeed, I met two
who had been in the presence of Baha’u’llah Himself.
Eventually I made my Declaration in London in
March 1961 and pioneered several new Assemblies in the UK. In 1963 I
attended the First International Baha’i Convention in London. I
took the opportunity to introduce myself to Lotfullah Hakim who not
only remembered me, five years later, but informed me “You were
I became a Registered Nurse while in England and
married. My wife was a beautiful lady from India, Also a Registered
Nurse. We sought permission to marry from the London LSA. Wow!
I could supply all the ID they demanded, but as
for my wife-to-be it was impossible and very upsetting emotionally.
We made every effort to find her birth info in India, but
unsuccessfully. Her mother had been unwed and my wife-to-be was
raised in an orphanage. Later she gained admission into an Anglican
school where became school Captain and captain of the netball team.
When she decided to train as a nurse, the school
Principal managed to have a fake birth certificate issued to her.
Eventually, years later when in India I did find a record of her
birth and parents. Anyway, I was rather annoyed that the LSA was
imposing Baha’i requirements upon my non-Baha’i wife, so we went
ahead and had a civil wedding. The outcome was the removal of my
voting rights, which, to Baha’is, was much as if one was a Covenant
After the election of the first UHJ in 1963 I
appealed the ‘sentence’ handed down by the British NSA. The UHJ
instructed the NSA to restore my voting rights. We return to OZ in
We had two beautiful children and have four
My wife accepted my conflict as to whether I was
a male or a female. When the children were independent I sought
medical advice and, after many tests and assessments I was diagnosed
with an Intersex condition – a congenital sex identity disorder –
probably due to ovarian tissue on my kidneys. I went ahead with the
medical and surgical sex change procedures and become emotionally,
physically and legally a female.
I was kicked out of the Faith. Not the NSA or
the UHJ would respond to my emails enquiring about my status. 
It is years since I have had any info. About the
Faith which seems to have gone beneath the radar. It does seem to
have acquired the characteristics of a fanatical sect. 
Gayle, Perth, WA


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