EVOLUTION OF AN INTERGENERATIONAL GAY COUPLE

Hi Project,

I think I’m more or less your age, or maybe I’m a bit older than you, I read some of your very melancholic post. You did a lot, you could have done something wrong, but only those who do nothing make no mistakes. I have never had online sites, such things are not things for me, but somehow I have also spent some very melancholic periods and I have thought several times I had done everything wrong, as you say, that I “have done damage” but then I have realized that it was not like that.

I would like to tell you a story of a relationship, as you call it, intergenerational and I tell you why. Looking for things that talk about intergenerational relationships I came across the forum, I discovered your manual Being Gay and I read the chapter dealing with these things and I was very impressed. However there is an aspect that is practically lacking at all and is that of the evolution of these relationships over time, you speak of the inevitable anticipated widowhood, and you’re right, however, you forget the fact that before you get to that point there are years to live, there is not only the phase of falling in love and that of widowhood but there is a phase of progressive maturation of the relationship and it is precisely on this that I would like to draw your attention, perhaps to exchange with you some ideas and to induce you to expand the discussion on “Being Gay”. This is not a reproach but you, Project, tend to see things with the eye of the younger partner, but a manual dealing with being gay can make sense even for an elder.

I start from my personal experience, which follows quite well the progresses of these relationships as you have outlined them. Between me and Leo (this is not his true name, but he would have liked to be called so) there is a huge age difference, 38 years. We met when he still had to get out of the school, I was an old man even then, and I was counting down on when I would retire, I had my friends, obviously I had never had sexual relations with anyone and I had practically archived the problem. My peers did not like me very much, the guys between the ages of 20 and 30 fascinated me but I strongly perceived the generational gap, I practically lived only for my job. I had some friends, work colleagues, actually just a couple, I esteemed them a lot, but they didn’t know anything about me, they had children and grandchildren and sure not enough time to spend for me.

My story with Leo started in an absolutely unexpected way, I was in the car and I stopped at a traffic light when I heard a bang. Leo had crashed with his bicycle into my car, he had also made a little damage on my car but with the blow he had fallen to the ground. I went down and pulled him up from the ground and sat him in the car. He told me that he would pay me all the damage, but I told him: “Meanwhile let’s go to the hospital, let’s see if there’s something broken” He admitted that the fault had been his, but my damage was really minimal. I loaded the bike in the car and went to the hospital, he asked me not to say that it was a car accident but only that he had fallen from the bicycle, when he arrived at the hospital he thanked me, asked me the phone number and gave me his and told me he would call me for the damage. Then he entered the emergency room. I waited for him outside.

He came out after almost 5 hours, I asked him if he had traumas or something broken and he said that there X-rays showed nothing. I told him that I would have liked to take him home, he started talking about the damage and I told him it was a minimal thing and that an extra scratch on my car (an old car) wouldn’t change anything. In the car he asked me if I knew someone who could fix his bicycle and I told him I’d have found someone able to fix the bicycle and I would have brought it back to him. He didn’t know whether to accept, then he told me: “Ok! Thank you.”

Three days later I bought a new bicycle, because it was impossible to fix the old one and I brought it to him. When he saw the new bicycle he immediately told me he couldn’t pay it and I told him that he did not have to pay anything, I thought he would be happy and instead he told me. “No, I cannot pay for it and I don’t want a gift like that.” I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say. I just replied: “Ok, sorry, I didn’t really want to offend.” I reloaded the bike in the car and left. I thought it was all over. After almost a month he calls me, he asks me how much I had paid the bike, I tell him how much, he replies: “Ok, if you like, take it to the pyramid when you can” I took the bike to the pyramid and he gave me the money and told me: “You made me work for a month, but maybe it was worth it.” After the story of the bike we started to hear from each other often.

Then the sexual phase began very gradually, which lasted a little over three years, in practice, I feared that sex could destabilize our relationship, on the contrary I learned from him how much it can be important when it is something really desired by both partners. Then the thing went to fade, it was not completely lost and here began my scruples and the idea that Leo was wasting time because of me. During the university period he lived his stories, he spoke very little to me about such things but none of those stories ended up supplanting our story.

He was in crisis with his family, he spent critical moments with his studies and he has been very close to the idea of abandoning everything, he lost a lot of time, especially at the beginning, then he started to lengthen his pace, he concluded very well his studies and now works in a field that keeps him in tension, in short, he works and earns money but the work is certainly not his realization. He doesn’t have a partner, he has many friends and occasionally, when he can, he goes to visit them in various parts of Italy. Between us we are in a phase that I would call familiar, the relationship between us has nothing to do with a classic gay couple relationship, we are like father and son and it is really a beautiful thing.

Among us sex is a possibility left theoretically open, which in some rare cases is realized, but increasingly rarely and is in practice only a way that he uses to make me understand that he doesn’t feel repulsed by me, but now certainly sex is no longer what sustains our relationship. We often talk on the phone, we also tell each other the deepest melancholies, when he sends me text messages, sometimes (not always) he concludes with “I love you!” And it is not just an expression of courtesy. Now Leo is 32 and I’m really an old man, I turned 70 recently, Leo is quiet, he calls me, he comes to see me, he doesn’t have a stable boyfriend but I see him serene. I can’t deny that I still have a thousand scruples because I think that perhaps I have moved him away from a couple life with a peer and I could even have ruined his life, not by my choice but because I offered him an easy affective reference.

He has never seen things this way, what he tells me about it is more or less this: “I didn’t feel bound by you, I tried to build other stories and a couple of times even with guys I was in love with, but then it did not work with them, while so many years have passed with you and nothing has ever collapsed. You didn’t stop me, you haven’t conditioned me!” In essence, now, Leo considers me a father, when we go around together people always take him for my son. I can say that I like this phase of our relationship very much. It is suitable for my age, it is not a renunciation, it is not at all, I feel in the right dimension. I see him often but not every day, because we don’t live together and also because he must have its freedom, because he could find tomorrow the boyfriend he hasn’t found up until now (and in a sense I hope it happens),
but I feel him close to me all the same, we no longer ask each other questions, everything is spontaneous, there is no longer the risk of making mistakes.

Of course we are no longer a couple for a long time but we love each other. Leo, who is always very serious and almost professional with others, is affectionate, tender, I would say also happy when he is with me, and he seems to me quite serene and I think he feels completely at ease. Seeing Leo serene is a dream that has come true, maybe I would like better to see him happy with a guy who loves him. I think that now I can calmly leave this world too, because I see happy the only guy I really loved and who loved me. I believe that an intergenerational relationship that arrives at this stage gives the best of itself. There will also be widowhood, of course I hope as late as possible, but I somehow realized my dream of being father and Leo found a dad who loves him unconditionally! In practice we have built a family. I am grateful to Leo because he gave a radical change to my life and led me to be a happy man.

Since he was a guy, Leo has sought love and this has not only happened with me. Often people have tried to ask him or rather to impose him some conditions, to create obligations beforehand, to bring Leo back to the more or less classic rules of the couple and it all ended before starting because you cannot take him on a leash, he was born free, he cannot depend on anyone, to love you he needs to feel free. Now I feel a bit like an old dad and I start trusting him more than me, if I have to make a serious decision I consult with him, and he, instead of immediately giving me an answer, makes me speak to understand what I would do, and then, in practice, he always tells me that I’m right. Only on one thing he is a despot, on my health, I spontaneously tend to stay away from the doctors and take a somewhat fatalistic attitude, that’s why he books my visits and takes me to the doctors. I know that these are the attentions usually reserved to an old man, but to an old beloved man. I’ve never fixed the scratch that Leo made with his bicycle on the trunk of my car, when I see that scratch I smile and I feel like a happy old dad.

____________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-evolution-of-an-intergenerational-gay-couple

Advertisements

A GAY SON PROUD OF HIS FATHER

Hi Project,
I am a 55 year-old parent, unfortunately a widower for five years, who found himself in these days to discover that his son (his only child) is homosexual. If I still had my wife I could discuss with her, but unfortunately this is not possible. I have practically no knowledge of what homosexuality is and on what it may entail and I cannot talk to anyone about it because then they would ask themselves why I talk about it and I would risk to undermine my son’s privacy. My son is 21 years old, he has always been an exemplary guy, studious but also cheerful, sporty, I would say happy with his life. He never had a girlfriend, this is true, and I probably underestimated it, but he had female friends who came home to study with him, in short, it didn’t occur to me that he could be gay, he never had any effeminate attitudes, physically is a nice guy, normal and nobody identifies him as gay, at least according to what I think.
You’ll wonder how I got to know he’s gay, since he never mentioned it. I never spied on him, I would never have done it, but I didn’t even really have any reason to do it. One day when I had to work in the afternoon, I see Matthew go out to go to university. I go to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea, before entering the kitchen I see a piece of paper on the ground, or better a note of those accompanying the gifts, there were a few written words: “You’re my sweet puppy!” [The reader must keep in mind that in Italian, the language of the author of the email he’s reading, the masculine nouns are easily distinguishable from the feminine ones and the adjectives must be used in the masculine or feminine form according to the nouns to which they refer. In Italian, if you are addressing a man or a guy you have to tell “Cucciolo docissimo”, if you address a woman or a girl you have to say “Cucciola dolcissima”, in English it would be said in both cases “very sweet puppy”.] The thing that came absolutely spontaneous to me was to think that Matthew had a girl and that that note was a note that the girl had sent him, then I looked Attentively at the writing and I said to myself: “But this is Matthew’s writing!” Instinctively the first thing that came to my mind was to put everything back exactly as I had found it and leave the house, because I would never have wanted my son to feel embarrassed, and so I did, I returned late in the afternoon, when I knew that Matthew had to go to swim, and I noticed that the note was no more on the ground, evidently Matthew had returned, he had found the note on the ground and had reassured himself. But I was totally upset. I considered all of the possible hypothesis, but the ticket didn’t allow other interpretations: Matthew had written it for a guy! It didn’t seem likely that it was a joke, in short, the conclusion could only be that my son was gay. But how could such a thing be possible, he has missed his mother since he was 16, his father has always been present and even too present. I was comforted by telling myself that anyway the note was the only clue that led me to that conclusion and that it was a weak clue, but a minute later it didn’t seem so weak to me. I didn’t say anything to Matthew and everything between us continued exactly as usual. I had the idea of spying on him, but I put it aside immediately, because it seems to me an unworthy behavior, I know that the best thing would be to talk to Matthew and tell him exactly what happened and tell him that the note I had put it back on the ground after reading it because I felt agitated and embarrassed, but taking a step like that is not easy because Matthew could also feel embarrassed, and then I started trying to get an idea of what the homosexuality is. At the beginning I was literally upset by what I found on the net. I’ve read about some apps that allow gays to recognize each other, I read something about dating sites, but they were upsetting things. The biggest fear was for the HIV because I read that the risk of HIV for a homosexual is much higher than for a heterosexual guy. After a bit of research I arrived on your forum and read a few testimonials from parents. I must say that finding Gay Project has comforted me a lot, but unfortunately sites like your forum are a very rare and on the contrary there are a lot of risky situations. In short, I think you can give me some useful information on how to behave with Matthew. I’m not homophobe, I would like to help my son be gay but I don’t know how to do such a thing, I would like him to understand that I just want his happiness, I don’t want to make him straight, I just want him to be happy with his father.
I thank you in advance.
Guido
___________
 
Hi Guido,
I think that Matthew has every reason to be happy with his father! It would be very nice if there were many fathers like you! I understand very well that a father who doesn’t know the reality of homosexuality, can remain doubtful and agitated in discovering that his son is gay. If the writing is really that of your son (more than likely, because usually guys speak in the family of their girlfriend and don’t speak at all about their guys) there is no doubt at all, but the content of that note, even if very short, makes us think of a serious relationship, that is, of a relationship that has at its base a form of affection, of tenderness. The fact that your son is calm, has a good relationship with you and has never had problems with school or university suggests that he is a prudent guy and also aware of the risks that sex can involve and anyway, certainly  a guy doesn’t write: “you’re my very sweet puppy!” to a guy found in an erotic chat! So, instinctively, I would say that Matthew knows what he does, I could even be wrong but he doesn’t have the attitude of the guys who end up in trouble. What to do? You found the solution yourself: talk to Matthew, tell him exactly how things went, I don’t think he can take it badly. He is a guy, yes, but he’s also an adult and you have to treat him as such and then, from what you write, there is no doubt, you love him. Don’t be afraid of your son! And above all, be sure that he will be proud of you! A hug!
Project
 __________
 
Hi Project,
I spoke with my son last night. When I finished telling him about the note, he opened his arms, smiled and added: “I was afraid you would have taken it badly, oh God, I’ve had the idea of telling you that but I thought it would upset you … , but now the problem is over.” Then he told me about the guy, who is a university colleague who has also come to our home and met me sometimes and that I always thought was a very special guy. I told Matthew that I wrote to you and he stayed there wide-eyed, he said: “Did you write to Project? But do you know that I know him in person?” And then it was my turn to stay wide-eyed. He told me that he wrote to you several times (signing as Matthew97) and he met you in person with two other guys of the forum). I feel very reassured and then what you said to me happened: he patted my cheek and told me. “Fathers like you are few!” I don’t hide that I was happy.
Guido
___________
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-gay-son-proud-of-his-father

GAYS AND THE SYNOD OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE

In October 2014, just four years ago, at the conclusion of the Synod on the family, I wrote an article entitled “The Synod on the family and the gay mouse“. The title alluded to the fact that after the great expectations raised by the “Instrumentum laboris”, that is from the preparatory document, the “Relatio post discerptationem” had greatly reduced things, and the “Relatio Synodi”, the final document, had definitively mortified any expectation, limiting only to the material repetition of the contents of the “Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons” signed by Joseph Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2003. The mountain, after a long and stressing labor had given birth to the mouse but the Synod fathers had remained so terrified to hurry up to devour it before it left the Synod hall. But “Sic transit gloria mundi!”
 
On August 28th of this year I wrote another article “Pope Francis does not know what homosexuality is” when Pope Francis, on his flight back from Dublin, speaking informally, as he usually does, answering a question about the attitude that a parent should take in front of the coming out of the child, expressed himself this way:
 

“In what age does this concern of the child manifest itself, it is important, one thing is when it manifests as a child, there … there are so many things to do … with psychiatry or …, or … to see how things are. Another thing is when it manifests a little after, twenty years or something …

I was amazed that the Pope had absolutely no clear idea of what serious Psychiatry says about homosexuality, even if, objectively, homosexuality doesn’t appear and certainly is not the fundamental theme and even least the obsessive thinking of Pope Francis. It should be noted, however, that apart from this sudden nod, in the personal attitudes of Pope Francis the tones of the anti-gay crusade typical of Benedict XVI are absent, attitudes to which the Synod on the family of 2014 was also inspired.
 
From a few days the Synod on young people has concluded and I will try to follow its development on the theme of homosexuality.
 
The pre-Synodal Final Document, expresses itself on the theme this way:
 
Problems like pornography distort a young person’s perception of human sexuality. Technology used this way creates a delusional parallel reality that ignores human dignity.
 
“There is often great disagreement among young people, both within the Church and in the wider world, about some of her teachings which are especially controversial today. Examples of these include: contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage, and how the priesthood is perceived in different realities in the Church. What is important to note is that irrespective of their level of understanding of Church teaching, there is still disagreement and ongoing discussion among young people on these polemical issues. As a result, they may want the Church to change her teaching or at least to have access to a better explanation and to more formation on these questions. Even though there is internal debate, young Catholics whose convictions are in conflict with official teaching still desire to be part of the Church. Many young Catholics accept these teachings and find in them a source of joy. They desire the Church to not only hold fast to them amid unpopularity but to also proclaim them with greater depth of teaching.”
 
“We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo. Some perceive the Church to be “anti-science” so its dialogue with the scientific community is also important, as science can illuminate the beauty of creation.”
 
I would like to focus on each of these points in particular.
 
It is a clear fact that pornography distorts the perception of sexuality and not only that of young people, but the Church also condemns the undistorted representation of sexuality as pornography. I have often insisted on the fact that pornography doesn’t represent sexuality correctly but I believe that a realistic representation of sexuality, which doesn’t trivialize it and doesn’t reduce it to mere performance, is not only useful but necessary to understand that sexuality can be expression of a profound affectivity, but it can also be lived in a light way but respectful of the other, and can even turn into a form of abuse and violence and this is true both in gay and straight field. I hear many gay guys use expressions like: “I prefer a thousand times to see a gay love story with a little sex than a porn, which in the end makes no sense and was built for commercial purposes only.” We should meditate on the idea of a sexual education (also of adults) built on reality to leave no room for the sole exploitation of sexuality, but on this ground the Church has never expressed itself seriously.
 
Regarding the disagreement among young people, both inside and outside the Church, on issues that are now particularly debated, among which there is also the homosexuality, it must be said that the disagreement doesn’t exist only among the young people but also among persons of mature age and even within the same hierarchical Church. When the preparatory document speaks of “young Catholics whose convictions are in contrast with the official teaching of the Church, who wish nevertheless to be part of it” it affirms that one can feel Catholic and at the same time contrary to the official teaching of the Church and this happens precisely because it is believed that this teaching is not in conformity with the evangelical spirit and is vitiated by prejudicial visions, by legacies of other eras that should be radically revised in the light of a vision scientifically founded on reality, for this purpose I remember that the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal documents concerning homosexuality speak of “grave depravity”, “fatal consequence of a rejection of God”, “lack of normal sexual evolution”, “pathological constitution”, “intrinsically bad behavior from the moral point of view”. Saint Pius X, in his Catechism of 1910, classifies the “impure sin against nature” as second by gravity only to the voluntary homicide, among the sins that “cry revenge in the presence of God”.
 
All these things, besides being dangerous, are even ridiculous for those who have a minimum of knowledge of the reality, such judgements are very distant from scientific objectivity, are the result of pure prejudices and should be radically reviewed with intellectual honesty. The idea of homosexuality as “guilt” or “pathology” is a legacy of the past and has been archived by the scientific community a few decades ago. The statement according to which “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered“, contained in the art. 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly clashes with the statement many times repeated by the World Health Organization, according to which homosexuality is “a natural and non-pathological variant of human sexuality”. 
 
The preparatory document states that the Church’s doctrine is for many Catholics a source of joy. From what I see every day among young gays, the Church’s doctrine on homosexuality is one of the basic motivations for which gays abandon the Church, sometimes migrating to other religious confessions. Young gays abandon a Church that condemns them as severely depraved, as people who pay the fatal consequences of a rejection of God, as sexually non-normal individuals, pathological cases that put into practice intrinsically bad behaviors from the moral point of view, of such gravity that only voluntary homicide is worse! I wonder how it is possible to feel joy in the face of these statements that are not only dangerous and violently homophobic but radically anti-Christian. 
 
In the preparatory document we read: “ We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo.” I stop on a single element whose presence is surprising: the “gender”, a modernized species of “Arabic phoenix” of metastasian memory, something that everyone talks about but that no one has ever seen! Benedict XVI speaks about “gender” in an insistent manner, and this doesn’t surprise too much, but even Pope Francis has expressed some concern for the theory of gender, that anyway has no scientific evidence, neither Sociology nor serious Psychiatry have ever spoken of this phantom topic and even less in the absolutely improbable manner described by the acts of the catholic Church. The so-called gender theory is an invention of Mons. Tony Anatrella. “The “gender” theory prepares us for a world where nothing will be perceived as stable,” says psychoanalyst Tony Anatrella. «The damages caused by the divorce are nothing compared to those that can cause the LGBT ideology» (https://www.tempi.it/e-vietato-dirlo-ma-col-sesso-non-si-gioca/#.WBRzvPmLSUl). I add only by the way that Mons. Anatrella is accused of sexual abuse and Mediapart’s article: “De nouveaux témoignages accablent Mgr Anatrella et ses thérapies sexuelles” provides ample information about it. I wonder how it is possible to give space to the extemporaneous theories of Mons. Tony Anatrella neglecting all that the World Health Organization has been repeating for several decades. And one should be amazed that someone can accuse the Church of anti-scientific attitudes? Galileo docet: “the wolf loses the fur but not the vice.” [an Italian way of saying that reminds us that what happened once will most likely happen many times] 
 
I now come to the examination of the final document of the Synod on the parts concerning homosexuality. 
 

I start with an observation: in the final document all references to the theory of gender are completely omitted, and it is a big step forward, like saying that the fight against witches has stopped! 

I must add that the full reading of the document, which requires time and attention, leaves the reader with some impression of novelty. The references to the magisterium of Benedict XVI are rare, the underlining of the intangibility of the doctrine is replaced by some timid openness to the need for a deepening, the tendency is to dialogue and not to castling, the document doesn’t identify an enemy in those who don’t share certain elements of Catholic morality, but an attempt is made to keep a dialogue open.
 
The Vatican has also published the results of the voting on the individual articles of the document. It is significant that the art. 149 and 150 that deal with sexuality have registered the highest number of non-placet in the Synod. Art. 149, which deals with sexuality in a generic way has obtained 214 votes in favor and 26 against, the art. 150, which deals more specifically with homosexuality “without tones of crusade” obtained 178 votes in favor and 65 against, the maximum number of votes against among all the articles of the Synod.
I remember that to be approved an article must get 2/3 of the votes. Article 150 has passed but with the minor quorum compared to all the other articles.
  
There are some references to the dark side of the web: “a channel for the dissemination of pornography and exploitation of people for sexual purposes or through the game of gamble.”
 
The reference to sexual abuse and sexual scandals within the Church, which could provoke controversy, hasn’t been omitted.
 
It is  stated that “Along with the persistence of ancient phenomena, such as the precocious sexuality, the promiscuity, the sexual tourism, the exaggerated cult of the physical aspect, today we see the pervasive diffusion of digital pornography and the display of one’s own body online.” Church therefore becomes aware of objective and objectively dangerous things. 
 
It is possible to note the embarrassment of the Church in presenting and defending its own sexual morality and it is stressed that: “In fact, sexual morality often causes misunderstanding and estrangement from the Church, as it is perceived as a space of judgment and condemnation. Faced with social changes and ways of experiencing affectivity and the multiplicity of ethical perspectives, young people are sensitive to the value of authenticity and dedication, but are often disoriented. They express more particularly an explicit desire for confrontation on issues related to the difference between male and female identity, to the reciprocity between men and women, to homosexuality.” And here too there are no judgments.
 
The mention of authenticity as the underlying value of sexuality had never been present in the official documents of the Church. 
 
The final document refers to sexual exploitation, to rapes of war, that are deeply considered by secular morality. In essence, the distance between secular and Catholic morality seems to shrink at least marginally and perhaps not only, because many of the great Christian values are also great secular values.
 
I quote hereinafter in full the art. 149-150 which are more closely related to homosexuality:
_____
 
Sexuality: a clear, free, authentic word.
 
Art. 149. In the current cultural context, the Church struggles to convey the beauty of the Christian vision of corporeity and sexuality, as emerges from the Holy Scriptures, Tradition and the Magisterium of the last Popes. Therefore, a search for more adequate methods is urgently needed, that can result concretely to the elaboration of renewed training paths. It is necessary to propose to young people an anthropology of affectivity and sexuality capable of giving the right value to chastity, showing pedagogically its most authentic meaning for the growth of the person, in all the states of life. It is a matter of focusing on the empathic listening, the accompaniment and the discernment, on the line indicated by the recent Magisterium. For this reason it is necessary to take care of the formation of pastoral workers who are credible, starting from the maturation of their affective and sexual dimensions.
 
Art. 150. There are questions concerning the body, affectivity and sexuality that need a more in-depth anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration, to be carried out in the most convenient modalities and levels, from local to universal. Among these emerge in particular those related to the difference and harmony between male and female identity and sexual inclinations. In this regard, the Synod reaffirms that God loves every person and so does the Church, renewing its commitment against any discrimination and violence on a sexual basis. Equally reaffirms the determinant anthropological relevance of the difference and reciprocity between man and woman and considers it reductive to define the identity of people starting only from their “sexual orientation” (CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter to the Catholic Church Bishops on pastoral care of homosexual persons, October 1, 1986, No. 16).
 
There are already in many Christian communities accompaniment walks in the faith of homosexual persons: the Synod recommends encouraging such paths. In these ways people are helped to read their own story; to adhere freely and responsibly to one’s baptismal call; to recognize the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community; to discern the best forms to make it happen. In this way we help every young person, no one excluded, to increasingly integrate the sexual dimension in his personality, growing in the quality of relationships and walking towards the gift of oneself.
 
[I translated the text from Italian, because the official English translation is not yet on line]
____________
 
I limit myself to observe that the reference to the Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral care of homosexual persons, drafted by Ratzinger in 1986 is purely in style and cites one of the less substantial elements of that document of the most radical obscurantism, which aroused, to say the least, big perplexities. The final part of the art. 150 contains a deliberately neutral formula of openness, addressed to all, no one excluded, that doesn’t point out any condemnation or exclusion.
 
In summary, the final document of the Synod seems, at least in language, and perhaps not only in language, to contain some opening towards a way not only more scientific and objective but also more evangelical of conceiving homosexuality. It is still true that a swallow doesn’t make spring and that the wind (even that of the Spirit) blows where it wants and could always change direction, but it seems that the yeast is beginning to ferment all the dough, or at least good portions of it. Time will allow us to understand if it is only an episodic event or it is really the beginning of an opening, on which I still maintain all my reservations, because common sense and experience lead to restrain enthusiasm and follow the example of St. Thomas.
_____________
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-the-synod-of-the-young-people

THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY AND THE GAY MOUSE

This article is dedicated to the examination of the discussion and of the Final Report of the recently concluded Extraordinary Synod on the family, regarding the theme of the relationship between church and homosexuals. I published it in Italian on the Gay Project sites on October 19, 2014.

I must dutifully acknowledge Pope Francis that he has allowed all those involved to follow the work of the Synod, allowing the publication of the documents prepared during the Synod itself, as well as the voting results on the final deliberations. It is a criterion of transparency that on such delicate issues is a must, but it should not be forgotten that the publicity of the documents is also aimed at avoiding gossip both inside and outside the Vatican.

I invite the reader to arm himself with good will to follow the path of the Synod with me from the beginning.

After a considerable work of consultation and coordination of the indications emerging from the individual local churches, in view of the Synod, the Instrumentum laboris “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization” was published by the Vatican, which in Part II, Chapter III, letter B, concerning unions between persons of the same sex, is expressed as follows:
_______

b) Concerning Unions of Persons of the Same Sex

Civil Recognition

110. On unions of persons of the same sex, the responses of the bishops’ conferences refer to Church teaching. “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. […] Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’” (CDF, Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, 4). The responses indicate that the recognition in civil law of unions between persons of the same sex largely depends on the socio-cultural, religious and political context. In this regard, the episcopal conferences describe three instances: the first exists when repressive and punitive measures are taken in reaction to the phenomenon of homosexuality in all its aspects, especially when the public manifestation of homosexuality is prohibited by civil law. Some responses indicate that, in this context, the Church provides different forms of spiritual care for single, homosexual people who seek the Church’s assistance.

111. A second context is one where the phenomenon of homosexuality is fluid. Homosexual behavior is not punished, but simply tolerated until it becomes visible or public. In this context, legislation on civil unions between persons of the same sex does not usually exist. In political circles, especially in the West, however, the increasing tendency is to adopt laws providing for registered partnerships or so-called “marriage” between persons of the same sex. People argue non-discrimination to give support to this idea, an approach which is perceived by believers and a good part of the public, in central and eastern Europe, as an imposition by a political and foreign culture.

112. The responses describe a third context, one where States have introduced legislation recognizing civil unions or so-called “marriages” between homosexual persons. In some countries, the situation reflects a real redefining of marriage, where the couple is viewed only in legal terms, with such references as “equal rights” and “non-discrimination” without any thought to a constructive dialogue in the matter based on the deeper anthropological issues involved and the centrality of the integral well-being of the human person, especially the integral well-being of the children in these unions. When legal equality is given to heterosexual and homosexual marriage, the State often allows the adoption of children (biological children of either partner or children born through artificial fertilization). Such is the case, particularly in English-speaking countries and central Europe.

An evaluation of the particular Churches

113. Every bishops’ conference voiced opposition to “redefining” marriage between a man and a woman through the introduction of legislation permitting a union between two people of the same sex. The episcopal conferences amply demonstrate that they are trying to find a balance between the Church’s teaching on the family and a respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions. On the whole, the extreme reactions to these unions, whether compromising or uncompromising, do not seem to have facilitated the development of an effective pastoral programme which is consistent with the Magisterium and compassionate towards the persons concerned.

114. A factor which clearly has an impact on the Church’s pastoral care and one which complicates the search for a balanced attitude in this situation is the promotion of a gender ideology. In some places, this ideology tends to exert its influence even at the elementary level, spreading a mentality which, intending to eliminate homophobia, proposes, in fact, to undermine sexual identity.

115. Episcopal conferences supply a variety of information on unions between persons of the same sex. In countries where legislation exists on civil unions, many of the faithful express themselves in favour of a respectful and non-judgmental attitude towards these people and a ministry which seeks to accept them. This does not mean, however, that the faithful give equal status to heterosexual marriage and civil unions between persons of the same sex. Some responses and observations voice a concern that the Church’s acceptance of people in such unions could be construed as recognition of their union.
Some Pastoral Guidelines

116. When considering the possibility of a ministry to these people, a distinction must be made between those who have made a personal, and often painful, choice and live that choice discreetly so as not to give scandal to others, and those whose behaviour promotes and actively — often aggressively — calls attention to it. Many conferences emphasize that, due to the fact that these unions are a relatively recent phenomenon, no pastoral programs exist in their regard. Others admit a certain unease at the challenge of accepting these people with a merciful spirit and, at the same time, holding to the moral teaching of the Church, all the while attempting to provide appropriate pastoral care which takes every aspect of the person into consideration. Some responses recommend not using phrases such as “gay,” “lesbian” or “homosexual” to define a person’s identity.

117. Many responses and observations call for theological study in dialogue with the human sciences to develop a multi-faceted look at the phenomenon of homosexuality. Others recommend collaborating with specific entities, e.g., the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy for Life, in thoroughly examining the anthropological and theological aspects of human sexuality and the sexual difference between man and woman in order to address the issue of gender ideology.

118. The great challenge will be to develop a ministry which can maintain the proper balance between accepting persons in a spirit of compassion and gradually guiding them to authentic human and Christian maturity. In this regard, some conferences refer to certain organizations as successful models for such a ministry.

119. Sex education in families and educational institutions is an increasingly urgent challenge, especially in countries where the State tends to propose in schools a one-sided view and a gender ideology. Formation programmes ought to be established in schools or parish communities which offer young people an adequate idea of Christian and emotional maturity to allow them to face even the phenomenon of homosexuality. At the same time, the observations show that there is still no consensus in the Church on the specific way of receiving persons in these unions. The first step would be a slow process of gathering information and distinguishing criteria of discernment for not only ministers and pastoral workers but also groups and ecclesial movements.

The transmission of the Faith to children in same sex unions

120. The responses are clearly opposed to legislation which would allow the adoption of children by persons in a same-sex union, because they see a risk to the integral good of the child, who has the right to have a mother and father, as pointed out recently by Pope Francis (cf. Address to Members of the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE), 11 April 2014). However, when people living in such unions request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children. Many responses indicate that it would be helpful to receive more concrete pastoral directives in these situations. Clearly, the Church has the duty to ascertain the actual elements involved in transmitting the faith to the child. Should a reasonable doubt exist in the capability of persons in a same sex union to instruct the child in the Christian faith, proper support is to be secured in the same manner as for any other couple seeking the baptism of their children. In this regard, other people in their family and social surroundings could also provide assistance. In these cases, the pastor is carefully to oversee the preparation for the possible baptism of the child, with particular attention given to the choice of the godfather and godmother.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/…ia_en.html
______

I don’t intend to comment on this text by entering into the merits, I limit myself just to underline the breadth of expectations that could arise from it in so many faithful and not.

After the beginning of the Synod, the Relator General, Card. Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, presents his “Relatio post disceptationem” on October 13, 2014, a document that is a kind of draft of the final document, which expresses itself in this way regarding homosexuality:

Welcome homosexual people

50. Homosexual persons have talents and qualities to offer to the Christian community: can we welcome these people, guaranteeing them an area of fraternity in our communities? Often they wish to meet a Church that is a welcoming home for them. Can our communities be able to accept it and evaluate their sexual orientation without compromising the Catholic doctrine on family and marriage?

51. The homosexual question challenges us in a serious reflection on how to develop realistic paths of emotional growth and human and evangelical maturity by integrating the sexual dimension: it therefore presents itself as an important educational challenge. The Church also affirms that unions between persons of the same sex cannot be equated with marriage between men and women. It is not even acceptable that pressures are exerted on the attitude of pastors or that international organizations can condition financial aid to the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

52. Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it is noted that there are cases in which mutual support until the sacrifice is a precious support for the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church has special attention towards children living with same-sex couples, reiterating that the needs and rights of children should always be placed first.
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastam…03037.html (My translation)
______

As we can see, the “Relatio post disceptationem” very strongly restricts the scope of the “Instrumentum laboris”, but also contains some elements that do not speak of openness but of respect at least towards homosexual persons. From the point of view of a lay man who sees things from the outside, however, with the “Relatio post disceptationem”, the mountain of expectations has given birth to a skimpy little mouse. The press, however, welcomes the Relatio as a great opening of the church towards homosexuals. However skimpy, the gay mouse is around the Vatican but the austere Synod fathers are not intimidated by that mouse and armed with their age-old wisdom, are ready to catch it before it escapes officially from the Synod hall. Here the minor circles sharpen their weapons:

This is the expression of the French-language circle “A”, of which the Eminent Card. Robert SARAH is moderator and S.E. Mons. François-Xavier DUMORTIER, S.J. is speaker:

“As for the reception of homosexual persons, it seems clear to us that the Church, following the image of Christ the Good Shepherd (John 10, 11-18) has always wanted to welcome people who knock on his door, a door open to all, people that must be received with respect, compassion and recognizing the dignity of each one. To accompany a person pastorally doesn’t mean to validate either a form of sexuality or a form of life.”[1]

The French-language Circle B, whose moderator is Cardinal Em. Card. Christoph SCHÖNBORN, O.P. and Speaker S.E. Mons. André LÉONARD, expresses itself as follows:

“5. We reiterated our respect and our welcoming towards homosexual people and we denounced the unjust and often violent discrimination that they suffered and still suffer, sometimes, even in the Church, alas! But this doesn’t mean that the Church must legitimize homosexual practices, much less recognize, as some states do, a so-called homosexual “marriage”. On the contrary, we denounce all the maneuvers of some international organizations to impose, through financial blackmail, to the poor countries some laws that establish the so-called homosexual “marriage”. [2]

The English Language Circle B having as a Moderator the Card. Wilfrid Fox NAPIER, O.F.M. and as a Speaker S.E. Mons. Diarmuid MARTIN so expresses itself:

“On the theme of the pastoral care of people with homosexual tendencies, the group observed that the Church must continue to promote the revealed nature of marriage as always between a man and a woman united throughout life in a life-giving and faithful communion.
The group encouraged pastors and parishes to take care of people with the same sex attraction, providing for them in the family of the Church, always protecting their dignity as children of God, created in his image. Within the Church, they should find a home where they can listen, with everyone else, to the call of Jesus to follow him in fidelity to the truth, to receive His grace to do so, and His mercy when they are wrong.”[3]

The Report of the Italian Language Circle “A”, having as its moderator the Cardinal Fernando FILONI and as Speaker S.E Mons. Edoardo MENICHELLI, expressed itself as follows:

“With regard to the pastoral care of homosexual persons, we have directed ourselves towards the proposal of a single statement in which it was emphasized both a commitment to proximity oriented to evangelization and the style of the Church, as an open house, enhancing the gifts, the good will and the sincere path of each one. It has been reaffirmed that unions between persons of the same sex cannot be equated with marriage between men and women, expressing the concern to safeguard the rights of children who must grow harmoniously with the tenderness of their father and mother.”

The Report of the Italian Language Circle C having for Moderator S.E. Mons. Angelo MASSAFRA, O.F.M. and for Speaker, Fr. Manuel Jesús ARROBA CONDE, C.M.F., expresses itself as follows:

“In this regard, the fathers pointed out some more specific aspects to enrich the proposals formulated in the text: an express mention on family movements; a special number [statement] on the adoptions; an invitation to study new presences in the educational field; a return to the texts of the instrumentum laboris about homosexual unions; an appeal to institutions to promote policies in favor of the family.”

The Report of the Spanish Language Circle A with the Moderator Card. Francisco ROBLES ORTEGA and the Speaker S.E. Mons. Luis Augusto CASTRO QUIROGA, I.M.C. expresses itself as follows:

“As for n. 50, it has been observed that we should not talk about homosexuals almost as if homosexuality were a part of their ontological being, but of people with homosexual tendencies. It was requested to replace the text of this number with the following:. “Sexuality that makes us exist as a human being as a male and a female is an essential value in anthropology and Christian theology. It makes us exist reciprocally not in indistinction but in complementarity … even people with homosexual tendencies need guidance and support to help them grow in faith and to know God’s plan for them.”[4]

The report of the Spanish Language Club “B” having as a Moderator Card. Lluís MARTÍNEZ SISTACH and as Speker S.E. Msgr. Rodolfo VALENZUELA NÚÑEZ so expresses its opinion on the Relatio post dissertationem:

“We believe that there is a lack of emphasis on important issues such as abortion, the attacks against life, the large phenomenon of adoption, the decisions taken by spouses in conscience, as well as greater clarity on the issue of homosexuality. “[5]
_____

Evidently, the gay mouse has sown panic among the Synodal Fathers, but they have finally managed to capture it.

The following is the paragraph of the “Relatio Synodi”, that is, of the final document of the extraordinary synod on the family, concerning the relationship between the church and the homosexuals:

Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

55. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with Church teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4).

56. Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: it is equally unacceptable for international organizations to link their financial assistance to poorer countries with the introduction of laws that establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/…ia_en.html

It should be emphasized that point 55 was approved without the qualified majority of 2/3 but with a simple majority, however very strong and very close to 2/3, of 118 in favor and 62 against.

As is evident, the mouse was happily devoured before being able to leave the Synod hall. The initial “instrumentum laboris” was reduced to the material repetition of the contents of the “Considerations about the projects of legal recognition of unions between homosexual persons” signed by Josepf Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in June 2003.

Frankly I don’t understand the homosexual Catholics who hope to find a respectful reception by the church. Other Christian churches have taken on decidedly more evangelical positions.

Just today, 18 October 2014, the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, ordered to register 16 homosexual marriages celebrated abroad in the official marriage register of Rome.

Thus L’Avvenire (the newspaper of the Italian Episcopal Conference) of October 18 begins its comment on the fact: “”An ideological choice, which certifies an unprecedented institutional affront” based on a “mystification supported at the media and political level”: so the editorial of Angelo Zema, on Roma Sette, the magazine of the diocese of Rome on newsstands on Sunday with Avvenire, defines the transcription of marriages celebrated abroad by some homosexual couples operated by the mayor of “Roma Capitale”, Ignazio Marino, in the municipal registers. The editorial speaks of “illegitimate” choices in a “context with a Hollywood tone” and “with a clear demagogic flavor”.

When the Synod was over and the gay little mouse was no more wandering around the Vatican, the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference) immediately warned another reason for alarm: there are many gay mice, too many gay mice, just outside the Vatican walls! Fortunately, the world goes his way, even if the church goes somewhere else.
__________

[1] “Concernant l’accueil des personnes homosexuelles, the nous semble clair que l’Eglise, à l’image du Christ Bon Pasteur (Jn 10,11-18), a toujours voulu accueillir les personnes here frappent à sa porte, porte ouverte à tous, here sont à accueillir avec respect, compassion et dans la reconnaissance de la dignité de chacun. Accompagner pastoralement une personne ne signifie valider ni une forma de sexualité ni une forme de vie.”

[2] “5. Nous avons redit notre respect et notre accueil aux personnes homosexuelles et avons dénoncé les discriminations injustes et parfois violentes qu’elles ont subies et subissent encore parfois, y compris dans l’Église, hélas! Mais cela ne signifie pas que l’Église doive légitimer les pratiques homosexuelles et encore moins reconnaître, in the font certains Ettats, a soi-disant «mariage» homosexuel. Au contraire, nous dénonçons toutes les manœuvres de certaines international organizations visant à imposer, par voie de chantage financier, aux pays pauvres des législations instituant un soi-disant “mariage” homosexuel.”

[3] “On the subject of the pastoral care of the family, the group noted that the Church must continue to promote the revealed nature of marriage as always between one man and one woman united in lifelong, life-giving, and faithful communion.
The group encouraged pastoral care for children with same sex attraction, providing protection in the family of the Church. They say they are in the same place, they can be found in the church, they hear the call of Jesus to follow Him in fidelity to the truth. His mercy when they fail.”

[4] “Pasando at n.50, if you have observado que no if debe hablar de personas homosexuales cases como el homosexualismo fuese part of su ser ontológico, sino de personas tendencias homosexuales. If solicitó sustituir el texto de este número por el siguiente: “the sexualidad que nos hace existir como humanidad en masculino y the femenino, es a valor irrenunciable en la antropología y en the theología cristiana. Nos hace ser los unos para with los otros no en la indistinción until en la complementariedad … Las personas with tendencias homosexuales tambien necesitan de acogida y acompañamiento que les ayude a crecer en la fe y a conocer el plan de Dios para ellos.”

[5] “Consideramos que faltaron en el mismo énfasis sobre temas importantes como el aborto, los atentados contra la vida, el amplio fenómeno de la adopción, las decision-making en conciencia de los exposos, así como a mayor claridad sobre el theme de la homosexualidad .”

___________________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-the-synod-on-the-family-and-the-gay-mouse

GAY GUYS AND VIOLENCE IN WHITE GLOVES

Hi Project,
I am writing this email because I need a quick and concrete advice. I’m 22, I’ve always been interested in guys older than me, but not too much, I mean 30-35 years old. I state that in practice until a short time ago I lived dreaming and following fantasy. In practice for only a few months now I started looking for a partner with the classic app that everyone knows and you don’t like at all.

One evening a guy 32 years old contacts me, he is not so bad, after so many scarecrows, he seemed really a nice guy, gym-goer, dynamic, a guy ok, that is the kind of guy I like. We talk a bit and everything seems ok, polite, no sexual allusions, doesn’t ask nosy questions, in short he doesn’t seem bad. We go on for a while always on the chat, then it comes the proposal to meet each other, I accept but in the morning, in a public place where there are many people and so on, etc., that is, I take all the precautions because I don’t know how much I can trust him.

We meet at the station, in person he’s better than in the picture, well dressed, not a ceremonial suit, but elegant, in short, one who cares about himself, the hair well done a very short beard, in short all the characteristics of one ok. We go to the bar, he offers me a cocktail, at the most I would take a cappuccino or an orange drink, he asks me if I want to go with him for a ride out of town and tells me that his car is parked nearby, but I tell him I just wanted to take a walk with him to get to know each other better, he is clearly annoyed by my answer, he doesn’t seem the type used to being told no.

We continue the walk, at lunchtime he wants to take me to a restaurant but I don’t accept and I don’t go, he is clearly unnerved but holds back his aggressiveness. In the early afternoon we say goodbye, I follow him, in practice I follow him, he doesn’t even realize it, I see the car, a remarkable BMW, I write down the license plate number, that could be useful.

In the evening he calls me back, he seems calm. The dialogue in chat between us goes on. Slowly I begin to trust him, I agree to go to lunch with him and he chooses restaurants in my opinion a little too cheap for him, to allow me to pay in the Roman way (each for himself), because I had put this condition. A month passes, all without sex between us, then he proposes me to accompany him to another city for work. I tell him that’s fine but always paying everything in the Roman way, and booking rooms in the hotel is up to me. He is very annoyed by this fact but eventually accepts.

While we are in the car he changes tone and begins to talk about sex, but he does it in a way that I don’t like at all, he does as one who is accustomed to claim something from others and I cannot stand him, I point it out to him, he makes a big sigh and says, “Ok, no sex!” I had booked two single rooms in the hotel so as not to stay in the room with him, “strangely” he didn’t expect it. He comes into my room, then goes to the bathroom to take a shower and leaves the phone on the bed, a cell phone identical to mine.

A message arrives, I open it and read it: “You’re a piece of shit! You have to disappear from my face!”, I wrote down the name and the number then I see that there is a frequent exchange of text messages with that person, as I still feel the water flowing I read a some emails and I understand that it was an exchange with his former boyfriend. My boyfriend (let’s call him so) was threatening his ex to get something from him but it was not clear what. I heard the water close, I erased the last message and put everything in place.

He comes out of the shower I don’t tell you how … what he had in mind was clear but I felt something strange in all the story, I told him I just didn’t feel like it, he pretended not to understand and he put himself naked in my bed, I took immediately the key to his room and went to lock myself in his room. I think he took it very badly. The next day at breakfast he looked like a beaten dog, then he went to the business meeting for which he had come and I waited around the city and I called his ex, I told him that he didn’t know me and that I had met his ex via the usual app and I wanted to know what kind of guy he was.

He was very cautious at first, then he let himself go and told me that he too had a terrible crush on that guy, but that the guy had something that he could not bear at all, he was violent, he had slapped him several times, nevertheless the guy had always pretended nothing because in practice he was afraid of his former boyfriend who was used to threatening and demanding. After this phone call that did nothing but confirm my doubts, I went to the hotel, I settled the bills, paying also for his room, I took my suitcase and I went to the station, I bought another sim for the phone and I destroyed the old one, then I came home by train.

I don’t know what he thought and frankly I don’t care to know, but one who uses to slap a guy who is in love with him is not a gay but an asshole! I also deleted the famous app. Thanks to my prudence he doesn’t know anything about me, not even my last name, I asked the hotel to keep it reserved. Perhaps sooner or later we will meet again in the streets of the city, but I will not even answer him.

The story is this. I had some doubts because I immediately trusted his ex and I didn’t listen to him, but I think I did very well and avoided very unpleasant situations, if he had felt authorized to slap me I would have thought very seriously to put a knife in his belly.
A hug.
Anonymous

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-violence-in-white-gloves

A GAY COUPLE IN A TERRIBLE ORDEAL

Hi Project,
I was really pleased to be able to talk with you last night, I absolutely needed it and I enthusiastically welcome the idea of summarizing yesterday’s speech into an email that you can then enter in the forum.

I am 31 years old, in my life I have always been convinced of having a thousand problems, from the idea that I would never find a guy who loved me at the idea of not being physically and psychologically up to a serious partner and many other things. For those things I felt bad, I felt like a nothingness and I thought I had experienced the worst, the most problematic situations of life, then I met a guy and slowly, gradually, we began to love each other. I don’t know what brought us to get together but it happened.

For a long time we couldn’t live together because we didn’t have the chance, in theory we were only two good friends, but in reality we were a couple. We didn’t see each other every day, and it happened that maybe in a week we saw each other only once, but when we were together we felt really well, we learned to love each other, to understand each other, to trust each other.

I thought I had found my serenity and surely he too thought it, but suddenly he started to accuse some disorders, he went to the doctor who sent him to the specialist and he did some very thorough instrumental examinations and it became clear that my boyfriend had a very serious health problem. I don’t go into details, but it was really a bolt from the blue.

At the moment he has quite bearable disturbances, but it will not always be that way and we have been told it, now he has begun his path of illness, which, apart from the gravity of the thing in itself, will create great problems even with work, because he is employee of a large private company and when he will have to go to the hospital for therapy he will be absent from work and so he will risk dismissal. Fortunately for me I have a good job and if it were to serve I could give him a helping hand.

At the moment he has not said anything about the illness to his parents, who are elderly, have a lot of health problems and live with him, he doesn’t want to alarm them, but sooner or later they will realize that something is wrong.

My parents know my boyfriend, who has been to my house many times with them, but they thought he was just a friend of mine. Some time ago, my father, who is 70 years old, looked at me in the eye and said: “I see you’re not quiet, what’s wrong?” And I told him everything, that I was gay and that my boyfriend was sick and he hugged me and told me: “On me and your mother, you can always count and for anything.” I felt a little comforted but I’d have preferred that it was my boyfriend to feel comforted, but he can’t even talk with his parents.

My father asked me about the hospital where my boyfriend goes, and about doctors who take care about him and he said they are serious people, he knows those environments because he too has had oncological problems, now under control.

I modified my working hours to be close to my boyfriend as much as possible, I accompany him to work and I go to take him back, I always accompany him to the hospital, the doctor who takes care about him has been told that we are a couple and didn’t make a grimace. My father at one point called Steven on the phone and Steven came to my house for lunch, it’s something quite usual for us, but this time my father told Steven something that he didn’t expect: “Louis told me everything and we (i.e. he and my mother) thought that you and Louis can feel more at ease enjoying your privacy in this apartment, I and my wife can go to a little house we have in the village nearby, which is only 15 kilometers from here, but your parents would remain alone and maybe they would take it badly, I don’t know … What do you think about?” Steven was puzzled and didn’t know what to say and I too, actually. He should have left his parents’ house and it seemed unrealistic. My father, given the perplexities, didn’t insist and said only: “The proposal is always valid, if you decide to put it into practice, it is done in two days at most”.

When I took Steven back to his house and we parted, he thought that if he had been with me in the same house he would have been calmer, even for the illness, because his parents knew nothing and in case of need they wouldn’t have known what to do. He told me: “I have to try and get my parents to accept it, but they also have my sister and they wouldn’t be alone anyway … let’s see what happens.” After not even a week, my parents went to live in the village and Steven moved to my home. He was happy to be with me, it was also a way to realize a dream, but at the base of everything there was a terrible melancholy. I saw Steven smiling and seemingly quiet but I was worried about the passage of time, everything seemed to me ephemeral and frighteningly unstable.

At the moment the situation is this, Steven goes to the hospital for checks every two months, the doctors don’t talk too much, they decide what to do step by step, I bring inside me a terrible anguish and I think about what Steven is experiencing, we speak about everything, but not about the disease, which means that he is trying to remove it and not to be too much conditioned by it.

I feel embarrassed especially for sex, I swear, Project, I never know how to behave, before we had never had problems, it all came spontaneously, now to launch the idea seems inappropriate, but in the end this is also a stupid problem. He occasionally takes the initiative, we rarely get to sex, in most cases we just smile and move on. It’s different for cuddles, now there’s a lot more tenderness than before, a little to compensate for the decrease in sexuality and mainly, I think, because now we have our intimacy, we have our own home and we can nestle one against the other to see the television or just to feel that we are there and that we love each other.

Project, I would never have thought of having to face a situation like this, which puts me to the test in a violently emotional way. I am terrified of the future, doctors don’t encourage but don’t even discourage, talk about the phase of therapy towards which you are going but never talk about long-term prospects. I don’t ask questions when we go to the hospital together. Steven asks some questions and I try to memorize the doctor’s answers and to put together the pieces of the puzzle to understand something more. We have decided not to read Wikipedia and let the doctors do their work.

Sometimes in the morning I wake up next to Steven and I start to pray for Steven, and I have never been religious, but now I find comfort in the ideas of religion. Of this I cannot talk with Stephen, not so much because he is radically rationalist and unbeliever, but because for him it would be like a further confirmation that I consider his health problem insurmountable. He too, in my opinion, doesn’t see any favorable prospects at all, but he never talks about it. Sometimes, when we hug, I wonder what he is thinking but obviously he doesn’t say anything. Those moments of silence are very intense, our way of shaking hands is already very eloquent. This too is being gay and I had never imagined it.

Now I realize how absurd the problems I had a few years ago were, now I took a bath of reality that put me in touch with human nature in its fragility. I’m learning very hard lessons, I only know that I love Steven, and I will never leave him alone, I don’t want to think of a future without Steven, this idea is terrible for me and makes me cry, because I see Steven who calmly shakes my hand, I hear his voice a little hesitant and I also see him smile, it is he who tries not to make me think and to give me courage.

Now we are at this point, Project, and no one knows what is to come. I feel profoundly melancholic, I feel like a feather carried by the wind. My parents try to be present to calm the atmosphere a little, they treat Steven as if he were a son of theirs, this consoles a little, but the underlying terrible melancholy remains. I love Steven also because he has a dignity even in this situation, and doesn’t close himself in himself, on the contrary he accepts to share his anxieties with me, without too many words but with a lot of love. I stop here, Project, because I can’t go on.
Louis

____________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-gay-couple-in-a-terrible-ordeal

INTERGENERATIONAL GAY RELATIONSHIPS WITHOUT SCHEMES

Hi Project,
I read the chapter on the intergenerational relationships of the manual Being Gay and I was amazed first of all because you have treated the subject, which is generally never taken seriously even by gays, and then because what I read corresponds quite well to my experience, in the sense that I saw in many documents quoted on the manual the same doubts and the same attitudes that I had myself, and then I noticed that here and there scattered in the forum, I can see traces of intergenerational relationships in some way similar to what I experienced and I’m living even now.

I am 56 years old, my name is Peter, I’m not yet old and all in all, physically, I’m still quite handsome (even if I should not be the one who says it), I’m sporty, I do sports regularly, I’m attentive to nutrition and until today I have not had serious illnesses, this pushes me to consider myself somehow still young. Of course, ten years ago I was already a mature man, but at that time I was really almost a young man, people believed that I was much younger than I really was, and at the age of 46 I met Dario (fancy name) who was 19. I, gay, or rather a gay who had put aside the idea of finding a mate, because for me being gay, at that time, it meant just finding a partner, anyway I had almost stopped looking around.

One evening I was invited to a graduation party, I go there because I knew the guy who had graduated. While I was there Dario arrives. Saying that he was beautiful it is reductive, I had never seen a guy like him, with a smile so bright, tall, blond, with blue eyes. When I saw him I thought only one thing: “What a beautiful guy!” I didn’t even think of approaching him, it was obvious that he was very young, I was only sorry to be too old. I did everything to distract myself and think of something else. I have not danced, because I never dance, I chatted a bit with the guy who had graduated, then I sat to observe.

Dario too didn’t dance, he didn’t court girls, it was the girls who were courting him, the guys didn’t even really consider him. At one point he looks me straight in the eyes, I feel like a very strong twinge, he leaves the group of girls and comes to sit next to me and tells me: “I know you’re bored! I see it!” I just smile a bit, then we exchange a few words, he notices that I’m almost embarrassed and introduces himself, I do the same, we talk a few more minutes of this and that, then he pulls out of the pocket a piece of paper, he writes his name on it and his cell phone number and passes it to me, then asks me: “Can I have yours?” I say to him: “Of course!” but I must have said it with the light in the eyes, and he replies with a wonderful smile, then returns to the small group of girls, who complain that they have been abandoned, he says that he had to say hello to an old friend (me), and returns to his previous conversations. Shortly before midnight he sits down next to me, asks me if I have a car, I say yes and he asks if I can take him home, I say to him: “Of course!” And this time too I must have told it with a lot of enthusiasm. He answers me with his usual smile. He greets his friends who thought he would stay with them until late, then we leave.

He lives far away, but not too much, 20 minutes later we are at our destination. During the trip at the beginning we talk about banalities, then, when we are almost at the destination, out of the blue he asks me: “Are you gay?” I feel my face burn with shame and embarrassment then I answer: “Yes! … ” before I can add anything else, he says: “Me too!” But he adds that it is late and that he must go home but that he will call me soon. He greets me without even shaking hands and beckons me to leave immediately. I perform.

As I go back to my house I feel dazed, I would never (and I say never) thought that something like this could happen: a 19-year-old guy who out of the blue asks a man 46 years old if he is gay and asks him it because a few minutes of dialogue were enough for him to understand it. Of course my fantasy starts to run at high speed, but then I say to myself: “What are you thinking about! Stop there! Dario is a boy!” At home I do everything not to think about him, but I feel distraught because he is not just a guy, a lot of girls run after him and I think also guys, but he confronts me with that sharp question : “Are you gay?” … and he is gay too …. Why does he ask me it? He can have all the guys he wants … why does he tell me it? Also his friends would have given him the passage in the car but he had asked for it no one else than me.

The day after he doesn’t call me, and I feel in bad shape, I had waited for that phone call but it hadn’t arrived, I was really depressed, completely on the ground, I felt like a fool and felt deluded. After midnight he calls me and says: “I didn’t call you to see if you would have called me but you didn’t call me! You probably don’t care about me!” We talked almost until dawn, it was evident that there was a total complicity between us and not because we were two gays. He told me that when he went to visit one of his friends he was fascinated by this friend’s father and he described him to me, but in practice he didn’t describe that man, it was me the one he was describing, and added: “But he was hetero …” And after a few seconds he added: “But you are not!” Now the speech was clear. We began to see each other every day, without sex, we talked a lot, we went to go shopping, we used to eat a sandwich together, he was happy, I thought that in that way, I mean without sex, we could have gone on forever, but I was wrong. He saw farther than me and in a few months we got to have sex.

His involvement was total, my somehow reticent, I had begun to love him because between us there was not only sex, we talked very much, he was looking for a comparison but he had his ideas in mind and had a very strong personality. We told each other our lives even in the most intimate aspects, my life was basically a void, there was so much imagination but nothing real, while his was much more complicated, things that I never imagined and that have conditioned him a lot.

I felt I was not the best for him, but this seemed to him to be quite relative, he fell in love with young guys several times and I often encouraged him, but those stories didn’t last long and finally we came together apparently just for reasons of sex but actually because between us there was a form of deep symbiosis. Sometimes he called me in the middle of the night and told me to go to his house, I went there, he went down into the street and we stayed in the car, he started crying, told me about his disappointments, then we made love, but in the end he repented and felt dirty, he wasn’t angry with me but with himself, but he needed to be accepted, loved, he also told me of disturbing aspects of his personality and he did it thinking that I would go away but I not only didn’t leave but I thought he really was trusting me without reservation. Now Dario is almost 30 years old, after a course of studies initially not simple, conditioned mainly by emotionality, he is now finishing his PhD in a very particular scientific discipline and is really appreciated by his colleagues and so he also regained a lot of self-esteem, which has always been his weak point.

He recently lived a long and serious love affair with a guy he was deeply in love with, but in the end that guy dumped him and he felt very bad. During that time we saw each other a lot less, now we have started seeing each other again almost every week, on Sunday, we spend the day together, we talk a lot and we also do a bit of sex but everything is very natural, we don’t ask ourselves too many questions. With me he is really unleashed, which I don’t think he does with the guys he is in love with, it is as if with those guys he especially sought the affective side and with me the sexual one, also because those guys are looking for him especially for sex while I I’m looking for his proximity and human warmth, and even for sex, of course, but sex has never been my obsession. When I’m with him I try to limit the contacts to non-risky behaviors or to those at very low risk, he initially seemed puzzled and used to do a little scene before sex because he felt braked, but then he ended up accepting limitations rather willingly, or at least without too many problems. He doesn’t have a boyfriend but I think he has other people (few and always the same) with whom he has sex from time to time. He says he doesn’t love emotional relationships and only seeks sex from me, but in fact, after 10 years, we continue to see each other and when we are together we are really free and happy at all levels. We know each other well both sexually and in personal history. I’ve never talked about this story with people I know, never at all, I live alone, so I don’t have problems with the family, I just have to be a bit careful my gossipy neighbors, because it happens that Dario comes to my house even late at night and leaves the next morning.

Basically, about this story I cannot talk with anyone, I mean talking directly about myself, but it happened to me once, only once, to hear a talk on this subject made by guys I think were gay, and I was very embittered, they pronounced ferocious judgments, rulings without appeal without understanding absolutely nothing, they had their gay couple model in mind and everything that was not on that track they considered it pathological. With Dario I don’t live anything like the gay couple relationship they have in mind, but I live a relationship that makes sense, I don’t feel frustrated at all nor did I feel jealous when he had a boyfriend, between us there is also sex, but I think it has above all the sense of the confirmation of the fact that there is an affective relationship between us of which we never speak, but perhaps it is better, because it is not the words that count. I would not want anything different from what I receive from him.

This is the relationship between us, but it has been working for 10 years now, it is not a fairy tales story, but frankly I wouldn’t change it with anything in the world. I think of him a thousand times a day and I don’t think only of sex but I think above all of his successes, his self-esteem, his dignity, the fact that he built himself by himself, that he never enslaved himself to anyone or anything, he never felt fascinated by money, he has never hurt anyone. And then, if I think he trusts me (and on the other hand I trust him the same way) I feel proud. I think that our relationship is really a way to love each other, a way that is absolutely out of scheme but it’s a way. The thing I have always admired most in him is his clear speech, not using too many words and saying even brutally what he thinks. In practice we have never quarreled, we said goodbye dozens of times but then we forgot it because the sense of being together was strong beyond any convention.
In conclusion, Project, what do you think about?
Peter62

____________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-intergenerational-gay-relationships-without-schemes