Amara Das Wilhelm
Amara Das is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the Madhva-Gaudiya line of Vaishnava Hinduism. He joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1974 and received harinama and brahmana (priestly) initations in 1976. After serving as temple priest for more than twenty years in Washington, D.C., and Hawaii, Amara Das retired in 1997 to fully devote his time to writing and ministering to the GLBTI Vaishnava and Hindu communities. In 2001 he founded the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA), the world's first GLBTI Hindu religious organization and, in 2003, he published Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex, a book explaining Vedic Hinduim's traditional accommodation of gender minorities in society. Despite his ascetic lifestyle and various disabilities, Amara Das currently serves the Vaishnava and Hindu communities through GALVA and related Internet support groups. He also writes about Hindu perspectives for the Religion and Faith Program of the Human Rights Campaign.
(This biographical statement taken from the "Stances of Faith on GLBT Issues: Hinduism" page of www.hrc.org.)
Biography: December, 2007