Mitchell L. Walker

This article is about the psychologist. For the goalkeeper, see Mitch Walker (footballer).

Mitchell Lynn Walker (born 1951) is an American gay activist and Jungian psychologist who has written many influential articles and books on gay-centered psychology.[1][2][3]


Walker enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles where he saw a therapist who tried to persuade him to not be gay.[1] Although Walker rejected the therapist he did get "an invaluable introduction to inner work, to the techniques of dream analysis, and to other tools of psychological investigation."[1] Walker transferred to the Berkeley campus and majored in psychology.[1] He became more outspoken on gay issues and became one of the first to join the Berkeley Free Clinic's Gay Men Collective.[1] After graduation he worked on a master's-level in psychology at San Francisco's Lone Mountain College focussing on same-sex love from Jung's "archetypal perspective" using the basis that archetypes are "primal indwelling sources after which behavior is patterned and images are perceived."[1] In 1974 Walker had a realization that same-sex love was archetypal, not "a mere accident or adaption," answering the question if one was born gay or does gayness come from social experience.[1] His revelation led to his master's thesis "discussing the then unheard-of topic of gay depth psychology."[1]

Walker was the first openly gay writer to be published in the formal Jungian literature, for his paper, "The Double: An Archetypal Configuration," appeared in Spring in 1976.[4][5] followed by "Jung and Homophobia," published in Spring in 1991. He is also the author of Men Loving Men: A Gay Sex Guide & Consciousness Book (Gay Sunshine Press, 1977/1994) - which was involved in an obscenity-importing case in England[6] - and Visionary Love: A Spirit Book of Gay Mythology and Transmutational Faerie (Treeroots Press, 1980).[1]

In 1979, Walker co-created with activists Harry Hay, John Burnside, and Don Kilhefner the first gay-centered spiritual movement, the Radical Faeries,[7][8][9] a loosely affiliated, worldwide network and counter-cultural movement seeking to reject hetero-imitation and redefine queer identity through spirituality.[10]

In 1987 Walker received a Ph.D. in psychology with the dissertation, A Uranian Conjunction: The Individual Model of C. G. Jung as Applied to Gay Men.[1] He has continued lecturing, teaching and running a private practice in Los Angeles.[1]

Selected works


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Thompson, Mark (1995). Gay Soul: Finding the Heart of Gay Spirit and Nature with Sixteen Writers, Healers, Teachers, and Visionaries. HarperOne. pp. 248–250. ISBN 0-06-251041-X.
  2. Curzon, David (July 26, 1987). "Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning by Mark Thompson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  3. Isherwood, Charles (July 11, 1994). "Confessions of a Playgirl Centerfold". The Advocate. pp. 44–51. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. "The Double: An Archetypal Configuration." Spring 1976: An Annual of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought
  5. Matthew Wilhelm Kapell, Stephen McVeigh (2011). The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays. McFarland. ISBN 9780786462797. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  6. Salisbury, Stephen (November 7, 1986). "Gay Bookstore Battles British Law". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  7. Timmons, Stuart (1990), The Trouble with Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement, Alyson Publications, p. 261 ISBN 1-55583-175-3
  8. Ghys, Clement (July 19, 2011). "Conte de gays (Gay Fairy)". Liberation. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  9. Najafi, Yusef (January 24, 2008). "Sink or Swim: Faerie founder to guide locals to midlife awakening". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  10. Monteagudo, Jesse (April 19, 2011). "Tales of the Radical Faeries". South Florida Gay News. Retrieved 23 January 2013.

External links

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