"I am god of the space I occupy"
Short Mountain commune is home to a group of Gay men (and some women)
who refer to themselves as "Radical
Fairies". This subculture first emerged in the late 1960's
and early 70's with Gay men who did not fit into the urban-based
Gay culture of the cities and who wanted a simpler "country" life.
Beyond that, it is difficult to generalize about the Fairies except
to note that many are non-Christian, basing their spirituality on Paganism
or Eastern philosophies. Short Mountain, in existence for around
twenty years, is home to RFD magazine, a quarterly reader-written
journal of articles, poetry, art, and photography that has become one
of the strongest voices of the movement. Many Fairies are scattered
throughout the world and a small number live in communes similar to
Short Mountain all around the United States.
concept of the "Radical Satyr" is a direct descendent of this movement.
Goat underwent a difficult period in his life when he came to grips with
his sexuality. He was a practicing Pagan and was dating a woman
who was eventually murdered. During the high-profile trial that
resulted, Christian extremists in the state where the trial occurred,
used the case as an opportunity to stereotype all Gays as "devil worshippers"
when Goat was forced to reveal intimate details of his life on the witness
stand. As a result, Goat was ostracized from the Gay community there.
this difficult period, Goat tried to "fit in", but nothing seemed to work.
He began going through a process of spiritual and physical transformation
to deal with the fear, verbal abuse, and hatred that had resulted because
of the trial. He received threats and began working out in a local
gym, packing on over fifty pounds, in order to be able to protect himself.
"Eventually, people started leaving me alone," he said. He heard
about the Fairies and went to a couple of gatherings, feeling that their
emphasis on personal spirituality and country living were the antidote
to the "Advocate"-male
lifestyle that he could not fit into.
first, his experiences with the Fairies were mixed. They felt that
Goatboy exhibited "too much male energy", since the Fairies focused on
the "Female mysteries, the Goddess" and so forth. "I wanted male
enchantment", Goat said, noting that he wanted to find the ideas of masculinity
and self-reliance in terms of his own Pagan spirituality. After
visiting a gathering at Short Mountain, he said, "I knew this was the
place I had to be," even if he did not live at the commune itself.
Through his experiences playing with the goats at Short Mountain and a
series of visions and dreams, Goatboy saw a different path revealed to
Audio - Goatboy describes the moment
he realized the essence of the Radical Satyr
the shooting of the documentary, Goatboy took me to the Pan Meadow, his
"most sacred spot", near his cabin. I witnessed a remarkable transformation
of Goat as we walked to the Meadow; he carried a simple Celtic flute playing
tunes such as "Paddy McGinty's
Goat" as we walked there. Watching his eyes dance, his fingers
adeptly playing songs on the flute, his face seemed to change, his features
softening in the glow of the sunset, his face revealing a sense of wisdom
and peace I had not witnessed before.
Audio - Goatboy describes Pan and
was no longer "Brian" standing in front of me, this was a manifestation
of the balance between body and spirit. This was a being that had
become an integral part of its surroundings. This was Pan.
This was Goatboy.