GAYS AND SEXUAL EDUCATION

This post will try to summarize the effects of sexual education on gay sexuality.

First of all it is necessary to define the concept of sexual education. We start from a premise: the development of studies indicates that sexuality has a genetic-epigenetic base which is substantially defined already in the uterus and at most in the perinatal period. This genetic-epigenetic imprint determines not only the sex, that is, gender belonging in anatomical and physiological terms, but also the gender identity, that is, the perception of gender and sexual orientation.

The awareness of sexuality, its models, the more or less repressed manifestations of sexuality over the years, and the consequences on an individual psychological level, are instead largely determined by that familiar and social interaction, which we can call “sexual education” and which is not limited to just a single part of life, but follows the evolution of the individual according to the progressing of age.

The fact that sexuality, understood in its most profound aspects, is closely connected with the affectivity induces to consider sex education as an integral part of affective education.

A concept, in the educational field, should never be forgotten: education acts on the basis of an individual biological genetic-epigenetic substratum but is also linked to the stages of development, to possible pathologies and many other factors. Education means to develop the potential of an individual “respecting first of all the biological identity”. A good gardener knows that by placing an apple tree in the ideal conditions for the cultivation of an apricot tree, not only we will not be able to obtain apricots from the apple tree, but it will suffer a lot and may even die. Cultivating a tree means understanding first of all what tree it is and then providing it with the appropriate care for that specific tree. This is also true for people.

Let’s start from the family dimension, i.e. from emotional-sexual education inside the family.

The family is the first environment in which a child begins to build relationships. In order to begin to feel an affective gratification, the child must perceive the sense of acceptance and affectionate care from the parents. If the child is the subject of confrontation (unwanted children, doubtful parenthood, a child that has become an object of contention between parents and grandparents or between the parents themselves), he easily becomes aware that he’s not the center of family life and begins to experience the sensation of marginality and abandonment yet in tender age.

Perceiving the disagreement between the parents is inherently traumatic and transmits automatically, by imitation, a model of behavior that is not emotional but competitive, stimulates aggressiveness in one direction and sense of frustration in the other. The child also instinctively senses the discrepancy between words and behavior. Cuddling a child for a while and then leaving him alone in the walker or in front of the television not only causes a sense of abandonment but also provides an initial model of falsehood: “I love you so much, but you must keep calm and stay aside because I have other things to do!” The speech is basically inconsistent and false because it brings together declarations of affection and behaviors that show disinterest.

Often the frustrations of parents, their claiming attitudes, their blaming of this or that, their justifying only themselves, transmit to the child the feeling of unreliability of the parent who begins to be a faltering reference point. Nothing is worse than raising your voice to impose your point of view, and I don’t even want to talk about the possible physical violence in the family, which is experienced by the child in a devastating way: a father who tugs at his mother, who slaps her, a mother who plays hysterical scenes and screams at her husband, represent models that the child will certainly internalize, or by imitation or contrast, identifying, according to the situations, as an aggressive person or as a victim, and this will move the child away from the emotional contact, which is the true purpose of emotional education.

There are several other behaviors, apparently neutral, which transmit a sense of insecurity to the child:

1) A parent who speaks in the singular setting himself against the other (“I … while your mother …”) . The use of “we/us” conveys the idea of affective family, harmony and solidarity.

2) To talk too often about money or about who brings home money, or about social hierarchies that don’t see parents at the same level.

3) To speak badly about other people the child knows.

4) To show that it is difficult or impossible to speak with the other parent, that he/she has defects, that doesn’t care for the family and, worse of the worst, doesn’t care for children.

The presence of parents in the life of young children, up to preadolescence, should be constant, affectionate, dialoguing and never abstractly normative.

A particular consideration must be given to managing family conflicts that may arise, and indeed inevitably arise in the family over the years. It can be the conflicts of the parents with other relatives, of between parents themselves and also of the conflicts between parents and children. The management of conflicts must always be discursive and shared, no form of violence, even verbal, can be admitted for no reason. Recognizing the other’s reasons and seeking conciliation doesn’t indicate weakness but the exact opposite. The child must realize that the parent can see things in another way and you can talk to find a point of equilibrium without coming to breakage.

Affective education suffers a violent trauma when the parent-child relationship is dominated by the fear of the parent’s violent reactions. Even worse is the idea that a parent invokes the presence of the other parent to induce fear in the children, such in the classic: “I’ll tell your father!”
As one grows, one element takes on particular importance: confidence, which must be accompanied by confidentiality on the part of the parent. If a parent receives a confidence by the child, he must keep it for himself, if he doesn’t, he would induce the child to immediately interrupt the relationship of confidence with the parent that will anymore be resumed. Any attitude that shows the tendency of the parent to abandon himself to gossip, devalues him in the eyes of his son and reduces the possibilities for dialogue.

A general criterion must always be kept in mind: education operates through the example, not through words: children tend to assimilate and imitate parents’ behavior, not to put into practice what parents say in words but don’t do themselves.

What has been said so far, as it is easy to understand, requires from parents a substantial affective maturity that too often is taken for granted, assuming that the parent is always substantially up to the task of education and that at most he needs a training aimed at the conscious rethinking of contents and methods of education. Sometimes however, and not very rarely, these assumptions don’t occur, in some cases because parents themselves have been in turn educated (assuming that this word can be used in these situations) with completely improper and substantially non-educational methods, and in other cases because one or both parents can be psychopathological subjects (for example paranoid or perverse narcissists). While in the first case it is possible with regard to the parent a concrete action (even if of long duration and with uncertain outcome) of reorientation or re-education of the adult, in the second case such action is essentially impossible and the parent-child educational relationship can turn into a framework of family violence and abuse, up to the most extreme consequences. It should be emphasized that violence and family abuse practiced by paranoid or perverse narcissists parents are often not visible on the outside and create very deep suffering in the children with unforeseeable consequences even in the long term.

Sex education of the child

Today, children are bombarded starting from an early age with images more or less erotic and very often begin to take an interest in sexuality in a very abstract way well before adolescence, so they assimilate, in a very tender age, banal visions of the sexuality as a “forbidden game”. Pedagogues have often been concerned with how to convey to children a more correct concept of sexuality: typical is the model of the flower, the pollination and the fruit, but in this way there is the risk, for gays far from being indifferent, to provide only the concept of sexuality aimed at reproduction, this will also convey the concept of sexual role, of the boy and girl as society conceives them, and of typically male and typically female behavior, taking for natural and obvious cultural attitudes often very questionable.

Accustom a little girl to the idea that femininity involves high heels and makeup means distort the concept from the beginning, like to think that the boy should be interested necessarily in football and in certain types of games is in itself misleading. It is very easy to see that in a school class of children who are not yet pre-adolescent, boys tend to play “boyish” games with each other, and girls tend to play “girlish” games with each other and this is the result of an education for sexual roles, how society understands them, starting from an early age.

The child before puberty sometimes shows an embryonal hetero affectivity, which involves interest in being with little girls, talking with them, playing with them, or an embryonal gay affectivity, which involves interest in being with other boys, talking to them and playing with them. These behaviors are the first manifestations of sexual orientation, they are not yet conscious, but they are elements on which we should reflect a lot and to which we should pay the utmost attention, but, I must say very clearly, never a repressive attention. I would like to point out that the transmission of role models deforms and often stifles these spontaneous tendencies altogether and tends to let the tendency towards homologation prevail, based on the fear of marginality within the peer group.

In the memory of many gays, the recollection of the first affectionate friendships with other boys and often the worried attitudes of the parents in front of such manifestations remains well imprinted. We are talking about friendships between children, not yet pre-adolescent who, if not totally conditioned by education, begin to show signs of homo-affinity or hetero-affectivity.

Parents, who often lack a broader horizon on sexuality, consider themselves as the only possible model for the sexuality of their children. The idea that children are not and cannot be a photocopy of parents is still struggling to get accepted. It is precisely for this reason that some children’s behaviors alarm parents and trigger a short communication circuit that ends up disrupting trust and establishing suspicious attitudes.
The child who plays with dolls or puts on his mother’s high heels or wig or dresses up as a woman generally raises questions in the parents, and this happens even more strongly if two children develop a very close friendship. Apart from the fact that these are completely different phenomena, because the first refers to gender identity and the second to sexual orientation, it is very probable that the child experiences in these situations the concern of the parent that manifests itself through limitations, prohibitions or simple removals.

The basic criterion of a good sex education is to promote the spontaneous development of affectivity and sexuality, avoiding a repressive sanctioning behaviors. The parent facing behaviors that are not what he would have expected believes that it is his duty to “correct”, to “guide” the child’s behavior, to “defend” him from dangerous influences, this attitude, which is perfectly understandable, is acceptable , positive and necessary, if “to correct ” means to demonstrate by example how one can have affection and respect for friends, without demanding too much and without running away from one’s duties towards those friends, if “to drive ” means to explain, to make the child understand the meaning of affective relationships even in adult life, for example by receiving friends cordially and affectionately, if “defending” from dangerous influences means to accustom children not to trivialize, not to exploit friendship, to take it seriously and to respond adequately when the need arises, but “to correct” means for many parents only to repress, “to drive” means to remove freedom and “to defend” means to segregate.

I would like to stress that the signs of homo-affectivity are generally very precocious and repressing them means inducing the guilt and submission of the child who begins to consider himself wrong. The repression of infantile homo-affectivity sometimes manifests itself explicitly, and sometimes through a systematic attempt to remove the child from contexts in which that homo-affectivity tends to manifest: if the child has developed a strong friendship towards another child or even towards a boy a little older during the summer holidays at the sea, the next year instead of going to the sea the family will go to the mountains.

A very delicate subject in this area is the prevention of sexual violence and abuse. Clearly, the child’s segregation reaches the goal but at the cost of a total repression of the individual freedom. The real problem lies in avoiding the risks (which are not only fancy) leaving the child a freedom commensurate with his age. Leaving a child (under 12-13 years ) alone for the whole day together with his playmates exposes him to objective dangers, which he may not realize. But if sexual abuses perpetrated by external pedophile subjects are generally the most feared, experience teaches that abuses are practiced only exceptionally by strangers and for the most part they rise from a family environment. Parking children by relatives or friends from morning to night means abandoning them to situations that can be objectively risky.

Before 12-13 years it is good that the child finds its spaces for the most part with the presence of the parents: the parents speak in the living room, the children play in the next room. Parents in this way give their children an example of socializing and leave them freedom spaces according to their age.

Beyond the age of 12-13, the risk of abuse doesn’t cease because abuse can also be committed toward adolescents or preadolescents both by family members and by educators, priests or teachers, especially in contexts where the minor cohabits with other peers for education or care purposes. Particular attention should be dedicated to the education of responsible use of the web for the risks of priming to which minors are exposed on the net. It is important to be vigilant in order to catch any signs of disturbance, alarm or exaltation in children, talk to them about it, if it is possible, and contact the postal department or the local Police Office to receive assistance when faced with dangerous situations. Obviously, the best prevention of priming risks on the net is realized right through risk awareness, the habit of always thinking before acting, and the habit of protecting one’s own privacy and that of others, and on these aspects education has a decisive influence.

When a child manifests the first forms of curiosity in relation to sexuality, it should be taken seriously, avoiding trivializing and manifesting evasive attitudes. It is essential that sexuality is never detached from its affective implications and is not reduced exclusively to procreative purposes. The child must become familiar with the idea of a sexuality that is not a forbidden game but a manifestation of affection for another person. Many parents never show explicit emotional behaviors in front of their children, for example, the father and mother don’t hug each other in front of children and avoid any physical act with each other, even the simple caresses, others instead let themselves go to forms of more or less sexual play in front of their children who in this way feel themselves excluded from the relationship with their parents. Of course

It’s necessary to find a balance between these opposing attitudes: the spontaneous caresses and affections between parents, the cuddles, which end up with the involvement of the children in the affection of the parents themselves are extremely positive in stabilizing the mood and in developing a harmonious character in the children. The double bed must become a non-exclusive environment, reserved for the parents only, but must be an environment in which children can also be admitted. The physical contact with parents, commensurate with the age of children, must lead to the idea of the affectionate embrace between adults, which expresses participation and sympathy.

Let’s come now to one of the key points of the speech: how to deal with the issue of homosexuality. The parent who is explicitly dealing such an argument with the child for the first time, must never forget that if one takes for granted that one’s son is hetero, in 8 cases out of 100 he is mistaken. Sending positive messages about homosexuality certainly doesn’t induce heterosexuals to become homosexuals, but can help homosexuals to grow accepting without complexes their homosexuality. Many parents believe that the specifically sexual education of children is not up to parents and should be delegated to school, church, doctors and other educational agencies, as if sexuality were an object of study or a question of faith or health protection. Obviously all these aspects are not foreign to sexuality, which, however, is a very complex reality that cannot be considered only under sectoral perspectives.

Sexuality is a component of the ordinary life of all of us and one of the essential contents of a serious educational relationship. I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I have often seen gay adult men, still deeply conditioned by the conflicting relationships with parents due to homosexuality. The vast majority of homosexuals not publicly declared, speak about their own homosexuality just with a few trustworthy friends, while those who talk about it openly in the family are very rare, perhaps today less than ten years ago, but it is still a narrow minority. For a gay boy, talking to his parents and finding their respect and their affection even in an atmosphere of clarity is absolutely essential and stabilizing. On the other hand, misunderstanding and rejection leave deep traces and greatly complicate the achievement of true autonomy on the part of the children.

I add a fundamental thing: a gay boy who feels accepted within the family will not need to go and look for other environments in which to find understanding and tends to develop his affective life without hiding and for this reason objectively also running much less risks. When a gay guy presents his boyfriend to his parents (what was once unthinkable and now becomes more and more possible) he realizes at 100% the dimension of the normality of his affectivity-sexuality. Surprised, reticent, perplexed or hostile attitudes of parents severely undermine their children’s self-esteem and create often irreparable fractures.

I would like to touch on a very delicate last subject. Sometimes the boys who grow up, whether they are heterosexual or gay, find themselves instinctively experiencing drives that alarm them, classics are examples of sexual fantasies about much older people, pedophile fantasies, sadistic or masochistic fantasies and erotic drives addressed within their own family. It is objectively very difficult that topics of this kind enter explicitly in speeches between parents and children regarding sexuality, because if the fear of negative reactions to homosexuality is already strong, the fear of negative reactions to those contents can be much more alarming. The issue of pedophilia can be responsibly tackled by highlighting the very serious objective damage that those behaviors can cause but stressing nevertheless the fact that those tendencies can exist even in very good people who would never put them into practice. If there is an attitude that a parent must show in front of such things, it can only be to clearly distinguish the fantasies that one cannot control, from the actions that can and must be taken under control. A similar argument can be used also regarding sadistic and incestuous fantasies.

With regard to intergenerational relationships it is necessary to avoid confusing them with larval forms of pedophilia, because intergenerational relationships are relationships between consenting adults even if of very different ages.

A correct attitude in the face of all these things helps people feel understood and accepted and enhances their morality and their capacity for discernment and this is the basic premise to accept themselves and to be able to self-control. It should be emphasized, however, that pedophile fantasies, of which people almost never speak in a scientifically correct way, are a reality very complex and difficult to manage. In many cases these fantasies are found in adults who have in turn been victims of violence or sexual abuse. It should be clarified that, although fantasies and actions are distinct things, it happens that fantasies are or may be prodromal to actual or possible behaviors, which, even if only considered merely as hypotheses, can cause levels of profound suffering.

Slipping from fantasies to pedophile behaviors can sometimes become easy and almost obvious. The sex tourism, for example, can lead the adult to look for more and more young partners of one or the other sex, producing a slow but effective slip towards pedophilia. The use of Internet child pornography should be considered as a sign strongly indicative of a dangerous corroboration of fantasies, prodromal to possible pedophile behaviors. According to what I learn from people who experience pedophile fantasies I’m led to believe that slipping into occasional pedophile behaviors, which can be the origin of recurring pedophile phantasies, also of obsessive types, is certainly possible even for people who have never had previously this kind of fantasies.

A person who experienced this kind of fantasies told me: “I had never had such fantasies before, then it happened to me an experience in which it would have been easy to come to the action, but it didn’t happen, but taking a step without return would have been very easy. And since then, such fantasies remained strongly stamped in my mind. I don’t like them, that somehow compromised my sexuality for years because I think that I wouldn’t even talk about such things with my partner, because he would react badly.”

I will not analyze here the possible compulsive aspects of pedophilia but because many men who have pedophilic fantasies are aware of it and are afraid of being able to practice pedophile behavior, in some countries (in Germany, in England and in the US) there are support services who deal with prevention by providing specialized psychological support to those who request it because they experience pedophile tendencies.

At the general educational level there is still an ancestral fear towards psychologists and psychiatrists that should be eliminated, leading people to understand that they are health workers who can provide psychological and even pharmacological support if necessary. Prevention education, which deserves a detailed examination, is not only carried out in providing information on sexually transmitted diseases, but also in the prevention of other risky behaviors for oneself and for others such as pedophile ones.

Certainly less sensitive are the themes related to the couple’s relationship structure: monogamy, indissolubility, socialization and formalization of the couple’s relationship, relationship between friendship and love. Insisting on the legitimacy of a single behavioral model collides with the reality of affective life which is often not monogamous, not unbreakable neither reducible to structure. The meaning of the couple relationship is usually assimilated by imitation already in childhood and, according to the general rule, is transmitted through the behavior of adults and not through their speeches. The relational aspect of sexuality should never be overlooked, according to this relational aspect the fundamental satisfaction in a sexual relationship derives from the realization that our partner is really involved and is in turn gratified by the relationship. Needless to say, these must be relationships that are actually wanted consciously and freely by both partners.

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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-sexual-education

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO GAY SEXUSUALITY

Hi Project,

I’ve been reading the gay project forum for years, which was very useful to me to hear a different voice from those I usually hear. I am 29 years old and I have never had problems with my sexuality, at least according to the most common models.

Already at 18 I had my first experiences and, the first times, even without protection, then I panicked, I did the test but luckily nothing happened, and since then I have been much more cautious. I don’t think I’m addicted to sex. Up to now I have only had five partners, with all of them there is a friendship and some know each other. I have never promised anyone sexual fidelity and I think that having sex with a guy doesn’t mean betraying another guy, if things are said clear from the beginning. Let’s say that if there is one thing that for me has existed only partially, it was mutual attention, that is, I always thought that the relationships with my five friends made sense only or at least especially because I could have sex with them.

I’ve had a lot of sex, but always a bit too much technic because I grew up with pornography. I don’t like anal sex and I think no one of my friends is interested in it, I’ve never had no pressure in that direction. This is also why I stopped looking for other partners, because with my friends there is more or less a consonance of tastes and they are attentive to health. I mean that if they were at risk they would tell me. It happened more than once that they said me no because they had doubts and had to redo the test, and I really appreciated that. Let’s say that I had found my balance anyway, I’m fine with my friends from that point of view, they understand me, don’t make me sermons, don’t gossip, I can trust them. So far it’s not exactly a classic story but I think there are many guys doing like me.

At the end of the summer, about the beginning of September, at a meeting of comic collectors (my second passion after boys), I meet Andrew (this is not his real name), 26, not beautiful but more, so sexy that I cannot take my eyes off him. He notices me, he looks at me in turn and flashes me a smile and from there we start talking, first about comics and then about a thousand other things, we exchange mobile numbers, I’m happy but I don’t give too much weight to the thing, then there we say goodbye. A couple of days later he calls me and invites me to go out,

Somehow I certainly was looking forward to such an invitation, and what is more, the fact that he is so beautiful pushes me to the idea of trying a new conquest and this excites me a lot, brutally I start to get a hard-on just thinking about it.

We go out. I expect him to make a proposal but nothing similar happens, nevertheless it is not a trivial evening: we talk a lot and also very seriously, it’s still hot and you can stay around until late at night. When I come home I feel strange: “What have I tried with Andrew? Sex? Yes and no. Friendship? Maybe”. It had been a strange evening: “What did he want from me?” I couldn’t give plausible explanations. After a couple of days he called me back and we spent another strange evening, but anyway very intriguing.

Then I didn’t hear him a dozen days and I was already missing him and then I called him and I proposed him to come to my house, he thought about it a bit and then, when I told him that I live alone, he told me yes. He arrives at home with a package, I would have expected a bottle, since I had invited him to dinner, but it was a wooden object, or rather a small wooden sculpture, not even very small, the base was 20×15, there I was perplexed , but he told me: “That’s you!” And in fact there was a certain resemblance. I told him: “You’re very skilled! An artist!” He told me that he had been sculpting wood for years and that I had inspired his work.

The gift had upset all my projects, I felt stupid to read things that were happening as a sexual approach. He walked around the house, then he said to me: “I guess I had guessed right! There are no references to a girl, and I know your books very well. Ok, it seems clear to me that you do not have a guy …” This speech seemed to me inappropriate and invasive of my privacy, he realized it and tried to balance his statement: “I’m single too and I don’t have a boyfriend, of course it’s not a proposal, even if I’ve never been with anyone.”

I thought that in the evening he would have unlocked but nothing similar happened, as usual we talked a lot before and after dinner and I was really happy with him: no sex, but I was fine, somehow even better than with my friends. Andrew was not naive at all but he was calm, he didn’t have the frenzy of sex that when it takes me I cannot control it anymore. I asked him how he was doing for sex and he told me that “Ireland” helps him. “Ireland” sounded to me like a girl name. I told him: Do you have a girlfriend? He looked at me smiling and said: “The helping hand” but once again I didn’t understand and I thought that the friendly hand meant the hand of a friend and he looked at me shaking his head and told me: “But in wich world do you live?” Then I understood and I felt totally stupid!

Andrew’s presence made me very embarrassed because I was always in erection and I tried not to get up from my chair for fear of showing it too much. He stayed with me until after midnight. To say goodbye I had to stand up and show my erection. He simply said: “Don’t worry, so many times it happens to me”. I asked him: “Even now?” And he replied: “No, not now, because there are too many things that I don’t understand well, I need to have clearer ideas”. When he left I didn’t know what to think, what to desire. I wondered if I would see him again, and I saw him again after a few days.

He called me and we were on the phone for over an hour. Over time our meetings became regular, almost fixed appointments, he used to come to dinner at my house, he even slept there sometimes but no sex. I also felt quite demoralized: I was courting a guy who seemed totally disinterested. I have never wasted time on sex, but with him it was happening. I talk to one of my friends and the reaction surprises me: it tells me that maybe, finally, I’m really falling in love! I’m in love with Andrew? This, ok, could also be, but him? Just chat and then stop! Or love is another thing.

What is sure is that sometimes I find myself doing things that I would have never imagined, I seem to be gone back 10 years, I feel naive, I expect something from a guy and I don’t even know if I expect sex or anything else. If he had been ugly, this wouldn’t have happened, most likely. I’m in a difficult situation, he fascinates me but at the same time I feel him too far under many other point of view.

If It’s possible to come to a sexual contact, even minimal, at zero risk, ok, it would be good, but if such things are impossible, and in my opinion there is a risk and also very concrete that they are truly impossible, what should I do? Should I wait for the Charming Prince to decide? And it could happen in 10 years! I never thought I would find myself thinking about such things but that’s what’s happening to me.

What do I think about, Project?
Obviously you can publish the email if you like.

______________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-different-approach-to-gay-sexusuality

END OF THE YEAR OF AN OLD GAY MAN

December 28th 2018, a beautiful sunny morning. I go out in the morning, there is no feeling of frost or annoying wind, it is good in the sun, the sky is bright, the air is crisp, pleasant. All this is outside, then there is the body that is uncertain, it is the body of an old man, who feels a little bit of breathlessness, moving can cause pain, yet the body resists but inside is undermined, the ephemeral of the self dominates the field, no future, only present, hour by hour. Then there is the spirit or whatever it is, but you feel that it is old too, that it has no more impulses, admitted that he had had them in other times. You need confirmations that come from outside, of certainties there is not even a shadow. We should spend ourselves without reserve, perhaps, to change something, but it is as if nothing was worth it. I don’t know if children are a link with the future, gays don’t have children, when they become old they have only a past behind them, in front there is not even the projection of the children to give the impression of not ending completely. Noon has passed, the sun begins to fall, there is still, as long as it lasts. I go back home, it’s warmer, a known environment, old too, full of memories that somebody will throw away in a while, and even if I left my computer to someone, nobody would care. Each has his dreams, which are only his, his archives that will be lost after him. What to do with the remaining time? It is easy to say: something good. The difficulty is to get out of words, of emotional feelings that don’t produce anything. The sense of loneliness is realized when you are old because loneliness is not constructive and means estrangement and abandonment  mingled down, estrangement and abandonment mental rather than physical, means meeting each other without having anything to say, talking about trivial things, just to waste the time, spending hours together waiting and wishing to be alone again, until health will make impossible our being alone, and afterwards, may God have mercy on us!

_________

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AFFECTIVITY AND NON-EXCLUSIVE GAY SEX

Hi Project, I’m sorry, but more than an email addressed to you, what I’m writing is a tribute of gratitude to a guy I’m learning to love. I have never appreciated the guys who think too much about sex and I lived more of dreams and tales than of reality, I felt quiet this way, almost detached from sex, then, at 34, things changed for me,

I had never had a boyfriend and I wanted one, I know that it seems like a childish reasoning, but I still thought so at 34, then I met him (let’s call him Mark), he was 11 years younger than me and he was a really beautiful guy, we met by chance for work reasons, then we began to chat on skype. It struck me very much the fact that it was not me the one looking for him but it was he the one who was looking for me.

I wasn’t looking for him because I thought that he couldn’t really care about me but instead it was precisely what happened, I felt courted, wanted, let’s say it: loved. Between us we talked a lot, Mark trusted me and I trusted him, it was a very nice thing, or at least it seemed to me so, then slowly we got to have more and more physical complicity among us even if there wasn’t really sex. When he understood that I would accept it, he told me clearly: “I want to have sex with you and you understand it very well, but I don’t want you to fall in love with me, because I’m not in love with you, you attract me a lot on a sexual level but I’m not in love with you, I want my freedom, I need something else too.”

This speech has frozen me, but anyway we have continued to see each other and talk a lot about very intimate things. He had had and in a certain sense he still had other guys who he sometimes met to have sex, he was also in love with one of those guys, but this guy didn’t appreciate him too much: sex yes, but no couple life.

In short, after putting the cards on the table without hiding anything both from his part and mine, we decided that we could try, I asked him to take the hiv test before starting and he accepted, then he told me: “I will not have sex with other guys for two months, so you can feel comfortable, I would never put you at risk, and anyway I’m cautious … “

We did the test (me too) and then, one evening he came to my house. Well, it was an unforgettable thing, we were perfectly comfortable, we knew each other very well, even at the sex level. I never thought that spending a night with a guy could be such an engaging experience. In the morning I had to go to work and he to the university, I told him a few things that seemed to me to be sweet and he stopped me. “Don’t tell me such things! You don’t have to fall in love with me, don’t forget that for me it’s just sex, it’s real sex, serious sex, but I’m not in love with you, I’m not your boyfriend.” I expected a similar response.

For the two months of which he had spoken to me, we had sexual contacts practically every day, towards the end of the period he told me: “Next Saturday will be the last night I come to you, there is a guy I fell in love with and I want try to see how things can go on with him …” I replied: “Ok, it was in the pacts, but don’t forget me.” He smiled at me and hugged me tight. Then I didn’t see him for a few weeks, but he called me on the phone every two or three days, even if for a few minutes, he didn’t disappear.

The story with that guy went wrong and we started to meet again, he told me that he occasionally went to another guy and that he couldn’t give me the safety of the first time in terms of prevention but maybe he would like, sometimes, to sleep with me, without sex, only with a little intimacy, and so it was, but even so I was fine with him, and I began to feel in love, but he told me: “Don’t tell me sweet words, I’m not your boyfriend, if you fall in love with me you’ll feel very bad.”

We continued these sporadic contacts, we can say “without sex” or with zero-risk sex, then there was another two-month period of exclusive sex between us after the test, it was beautiful, but inevitably came to an end, and he went back to have sex with some of his friends once in a while and sometimes even being with me when he felt the need. In addition, anyway we never lost contact but by now I had very clear the idea that he would never be my boyfriend.

And here begins the second part of the story. I’ve had big problems of which I prefer not to talk. My friends came to see me and repeated the usual speeches of circumstance, some have just turned away and I haven’t heard them anymore.

I hadn’t heard from Mark from a few days, then he called me, I told him how things were and there I understood what it means to have a real friend. I was alone at home and I had not told my parents anything about my problems so as not to make them worry, he came to my home the same afternoon, he immediately realized that the problems were serious and I couldn’t handle them by myself. He moved to my home, put a cot near my bed and slept there. He took care of everything: relationships with doctors, supply and administration of medicines, paying bills, doing laundry, in short, everything.

One day, when I started to feel better, he told me that he had taken the test and that maybe doing a little sex would have been good for me too and that I could feel comfortable because there were no risks. So we resumed having sex and the thing went on quietly for three months, then I told him: “You told me that you were not in love with me …” And he replied: “I’m not in love with you but I love you”

Now I’m much better and I’m autonomous again, he’s come back to his house and every so often he comes to see me “without sex”, he has a guy with whom he seems to have built something solid, I see him calmer, less neurotic . Well, I can say that I learned a lot from him, above all I learned that sex, even it is not the couple one or the one made when you are in love, can have a deep emotional value, and then I found a friend that I think I will not lose anymore.

Mark I love you!

___________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-affectivity-and-non-exclusive-gay-sex

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

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]
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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.
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