Professor Williams has published eleven books, including an award-winning historical novel, Two Spirits: A Story of Life with the Navajo, with gay novelist Toby Johnson; a sourcebook on Gay and Lesbian Rights in the United States: A Documentary History, with lesbian herstorian Dr. Yolanda Retter; a book of essays Overcoming Heterosexism and Homophobia: Strategies That Work, with Professor James Sears; and a theoretical book Homophile Studies in Theory and Practice, with ONE Institute‘s legendary founder Dorr Legg.
But Walter Williams is most known for his own award-winning book The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. When it was published in 1986, this book revolutionized our thinking about the acceptance of homosexual behavior and transgenderism in ancient and non-western cultures and religions, with its revelations that queer people were considered sacred, and were highly respected religious leaders, in Native American and many other ancient religions.
Dr. Williams has not only had an impact in America, but in other countries as well. He helped to start the gay movement in Indonesia, has had a major impact on helping to reduce homophobia in China and to persuade the Chinese government to change its homophobic policies, and he is currently involved in a campaign to challenge the persecution and torture of homosexuals in Malaysia (see the lead article about him in the March 2009 issue of the online journal NEBULA). For his work he has been awarded the “Gandhi King Ikeda Lifetime Achievement Award, for Scholarship and Activism in the Expansion of Human Rights” that was presented by the Gandhi Institute for Reconciliation, at Morehouse College (see “Walter Williams Life of Activism in Human Rights“).
For the last five years, Dr. Williams has been living much of the time in Thailand, including part of that time living on a Buddhist monastery. Two years ago in Bangkok he gave a televised much-noted speech at the 4th International Buddhist Conference, calling for the absolute equality of women and sexual minorities in all Buddhist institutions. He is currently doing research for a book about the social acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism in Thai Buddhism.