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Friday, February 3, 2012

Eugene Weekly on nude yoga gayest city rating criteria

nude yoga demonstrated on cover of book edited by Winston Leyland, 'Queer Dharma Vol. 2,' Gay Sunshine Press, San Francisco, 1998

PHOTO: cover of book edited by Winston Leyland, "Queer Dharma Vol. 1," Gay Sunshine Press, San Francisco, 1998. Also see Winston Leyland, "Queer Dharma Vol. 2," Gay Sunshine Press, San Francisco, 2000.

Eugene, Oregon was rated the 22nd gayest city in America in a magazine article by Matthew Breen, "Gayest Cities in America, 2012," The Advocate, Feb. 2012, p. 30-34. This article was referenced in the alternative newspaper column by Staff, "Slant," Eugene Weekly, Jan. 12, 2012, p. 9. Salem, Oregon was rated the 20th gayest and, Portland, Oregon was rated the 12th gayest. I wrote the following letter in response:

The Eugene Weekly's Jan. 12 "Slant" column said "Flexible minds want to know" how nude yoga is one of the rating criteria for Eugene being the 22nd gayest city in America according to a February "The Advocate" magazine article.

Perhaps it comes from "The Advocate" magazine's four-decade-long archives. In the 1970s, nude yoga became common in gay hippie communities from Eugene to San Francisco.

Nude yoga was practiced by the famous Eugene and University of Oregon journalism graduate Randy Shilts (1951-1994), whose first job was at "The Advocate," then a national biweekly gay newspaper financially subsidized by a millionaire. In 1982, Shilts moved on to "The San Francisco Chronicle" to become a famous reporter and author of several books made into major motion pictures before he died of AIDS.

The poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997 and other authors of the book "Queer Dharma" mixed nude yoga with Buddhism. Photos of men in nude yoga spiritual positions appear on the cover of this book, edited by Winston Leyland and published by his Gay Sunshine Press of San Francisco in 1998.

I doubt "The Advocate" has the resources to fact check it because they are struggling financially, similar to most other print magazines.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Nude Yoga: A History," Eugene Weekly, Feb. 2, 2012, p. 4)

My blindness caused me to write several wrong dates in the letter. I apologize for the errors and I have corrected them in the text above.

Some other links of interest: