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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Buddhism has the reputation of being tolerant of people with non-normative sexual orientations, and for the most part of its history Buddhism does not seek to control laypeople’s sexuality. This chapter first draws from the discourses of contemporary Buddhist teachers to show the ways in which core Buddhist teachings, such as co-arising, compassionate alleviation of suffering, and middle way, can lend themselves in support of sexual and gender minorities. Then it goes further back to classical resources and explores the ways in which the traditional portrayal of the multimorphic bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Chinese: Guanyin; Vietnamese: Quan Am; Korean: Kwan Um; Japanese: Kannon; Tibetan: Chenrezig) can inspire some rethinking on the issues of minoritized identities.

Keywords: Avalokitesvara, sexual orientation, sexuality, bodhisattva, compassion, gender

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