chapter  11
17 Pages

“Things I do are manifestations of love”

Queer religiosities and secular spirituality among Montreal Pagans
WithMartin Lepage

Since the 1980s, contemporary Paganism in the province of Quebec, Canada, has enabled women, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual, as well as gay men, to reconcile sexual diversity with a need for spirituality or religious life. Wicca, for instance, has offered a fertile alternative to the Catholic Church, especially in regards to normative popular—and very negative—discourses on religion in Quebec. Much research has shown how such religiosities have flourished in a context where Christian authority had lost dominion over people’s sexual lives and expressions of sexual identities. But few have explored the relationship, in terms of categories, between religion and spirituality, as they are part of a larger social debate, around power, agency, and normativity, pertaining to gender and sexual identities. This chapter will first explore the ways in which contemporary Paganism intersects specifically with the experience of queer individuals from Montreal, Quebec. Based on four years of fieldwork, this research illustrates how queer Montreal Pagans perceive their own spirituality in relation, mostly, to Quebec’s alleged secularization after the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. Furthermore, it will examine the ways in which queer Montreal Pagans understand and integrate negative perceptions of religion in general, a notable marker of Quebec “secular” society.