APPEARANCE AND REALITY OF A GAY LIFE

Hello Project, I don’t even know why I write to you, in fact I don’t have big problems, however, come on, perhaps I’m writing just to chat a little.

I’m 29 years old, I don’t have a boyfriend and in practice I never had one, but I don’t mind: I think I have experienced all the typical gay problems, which before seemed to me to be only mine or almost only, but then, reading the forum, I understood that they are much more common than I thought them to be at the beginning. In practice I considered myself heterosexual up to 25 years, although for me girls were basically just friends, I didn’t understand or tried not to understand why, but I didn’t give weight to the fact that they didn’t attract me sexually, with girls I was fine anyway and I felt heterosexual, in some posts of the forum on the discovery of sexual orientation I found myself quite well represented, that is, the phases were more or less those but I didn’t have any anguish, it was something almost normal, because basically, one way or another, I knew it, so I would say I was lucky.

Now it is more than 4 years that I have clear ideas, even if in the end I had already before. I didn’t say anything to my parents. I live with them and I’m an only child and honestly I have no reason to tell it people who at best would tolerate me.

And then, the coming out I could even conceive of it but if I had a true story, then, at least it could be worth it, if such a story was real, I’d see what to do. For the moment I’m alone, in fact I’ve been single for 4 years, and I don’t even feel the need to have a guy close, who would also be a very big complication. I have many friends. Saturday night I go out with them, we go to have a pizza, we’re fine, they all are straight, I’m the only one who is not in couple and then the guys of the group (which are three), I’m not attracted towards them at all under the physical point of view, so they are “only” friends and to me such a thing is fine because It doesn’t create complications of any kind. I don’t have gay friends and I don’t want to have such friends. I met a gay guy for work reasons, but I didn’t like him at all because he had something excessive. I know that not all the gay guys are like him but I do not want to be embarrassed. At this point you will ask yourself why I’m writing to you. Well, let’s just say that I just want to know what you think about it, but I’m fine this way, I’ve reached a right balance. If you like, answer me. I don’t give you my contact because I feel a little embarrassed. I’m waiting to read what you’ll tell me. I have to put you to the test a bit. I think I’ll give you my contact the next round, but I have first to understand what you think.
A hug.
Peter

Hello Peter,
I have finished reading your email right now. The idea of feeling under scrutiny should condition me a little but in the end I can only say what I think and I have to do it absolutely explicitly. You’re 29, not 19, you’re gay and you know that, but what are you running from? I cannot enter your head but if I try to remember how I was at 29 and the things that went through my head I must say that they had nothing to do with the idea of accepting solitude in a calm way and not to meddle in complicated situations. At 29, for me, the idea of having an emotional and even sexually strong relationship with a guy was absolutely fundamental. External situations constituted very serious impediments, but the underlying push was extremely clear.

The things you write seem to me to be an attempt to convince yourself that the renunciation of your emotional and sexual life in the name of tranquility and quiet living is an intelligent thing. I cannot afford to judge the underlying motivations that push you towards a reasoning like that because I don’t know them, but the reasoning abstract as it is doesn’t work at all. It is a pure reasoning or better a pure fantasizing that completely ignores what I sincerely believe you bring inside yourself and you are trying to repress using a very deceptive logic.

I would never push you to come out for no reason and without pondering attentively the pros and cons, but this is a secondary problem. What matters is to recognize your feelings and not repress them. Gay friends? But have you read the forum? Did you understand who are the guys behind forum? I too don’t like gay guys who play a role. But what do you know about gay guys? I think you have very rough ideas, as if you had kept a certain homophobia in spite of your being gay, what is paradoxical. And then, I’m sorry, but there’s a little too much insistence that you’re okay and you don’t need anything or anyone. Frankly, I think it’s exactly the opposite because repressing one’s own feelings costs so much effort! Excuse me if I tell you in too direct terms but I think you have to wake up to avoid discovering in a few years that you have spent the best of your life in waiting and postponing or, even worst, in a heroically absurd behavior. Don’t deny yourself! Try to live because it’s worth it and never forget that the true gay world is a serious matter. Don’t get out of the chorus to hide yourself into an ivory tower that risks becoming a golden trap. I apologize if I have marked the tones too much. I would very much like to have a chat with you, my contact msn is [omissis], I send it to you, without expecting you to send it to me!
Project

Dear Project,
ok, ok, you passed the examination, you have understood everything but nevertheless the things I told you are those that I tell everyone and have little to do with reality, that’s why I have to tell you an unofficial piece of my story.

At 25 I’m in a crazy crush for a guy 22 years old. I met him in the chat, then we met in person, don’t be scandalized, but we ended up in bed that same evening. It was an overwhelming thing, I never thought that such a thing could happen to me. I was convinced that that guy (Luke) was to be my boyfriend for life. Luke lived 100 km from my house, but in a place where there was a railway station. I made the subscription and I was always with him. At first he liked it, but over time he probably began to feel tight. I wanted him to tell me that he loved me madly but he never did, we went to bed together, but when I needed a gesture of tenderness, even trivial, for example a caress, he did not understand it and sometimes I it was freezing. We quarreled several times, I sent him to hell many times, perhaps a little to see if he would came back to look for me and he never did, so I was the one who went looking for him and I started making incredible pitiful scenes to win him back.

He never told me anything definitive, always half-way, like: “Now I want to be with you”. But hell, why “now”? Or when he did something nice to me he always added that I didn’t have to give his behave “too much meaning”. When I pressed him to give me a clear answer he answered me. “Maybe”, “I have to think about it” and I could not bear such things.

I said to myself: “Hell, this guy comes to bed with me, but to do what?” I loved him but also hated him because he made me suffer like a dog. We had sworn to tell us everything, that is to tell always the truth, but he didn’t do it, even if to be honest I didn’t do it either, because when are you living a similar relationship what have you to do? Satisfactory it is not at all and then you start looking for someone else.

Well, both of us we did so, and at the end without telling each other anything, both he and I found another guy. What kind of couple was ours? A play, with lots of sex, but he had another guy in his head, and I could not reproach him for anything because I did the same. About the coming out, if everything had gone as I wanted at the beginning, i.e. if it had been a normal story, I would have come out with my parents, that is everything in the light of the sun (more or less). l would have introduced him to my parents etc. etc. but apart from the fact that he didn’t even want to hear an idea like that because he said that he didn’t like to be the “little mouse in a trap”, then there was the whole story of keeping a foot in both camps, both on his part and mine. So there were a lot of problems far beyond the coming out!

A month before, one day I just had put him under pressure and he had confessed that he was in love with another guy, I had made a scene of jealousy but I didn’t tell him that I too had found another guy, but I’m not a slimy up to this point and then I told him everything and he replied “At least you’re honest!” And he said it with sincerity. The story is over. My alternative story, the one with that other guy ended up in a soap bubble after 10 days and I found myself just like an imbecile. I was 26 years old. Then I got another brilliant idea, that of going to a gay club, I told myself: “just to take a look”.

There I met a 52-year-old man, a distinguished and not even sex-loving man, a bit of sex, of course, but it was not a fixed idea for him. I confess I fell in love with him, I know it sounds strange but it is so. He treated me like a prince, but not only on a material level, he treated me with tenderness. A strange thing, a bit like an uncle, but we also went to bed together, but even there he respected me, it was not unpleasant and the fact of age I never felt it like a problem. He made strange speeches, he told me that he knew very well that he was so much older than me and that I would end up falling in love with a young guy, he said that such a thing would not have been a problem for him and that we would have been friends anyway, I didn’t think it would happen that way, but I liked it a lot the fact that he was telling me so because I felt free.

Anyway, in short, one good day it happened and I told him, but he didn’t react at all as he had said, indeed, quite the opposite, a bit with threatening tone, but not really aggressive: “You have to be careful !” “You don’t know where you are going!” “But who is that guy?” So, to make it short I had the distinct impression that he would not give up and I came to think that he could also hurt the guy I had fallen in love with. Nothing like that happened, but I felt trapped, He gave me terrible sermons, that I would repent of it, that I was not grateful to him and things like that, things that bothered me a lot. I was really anguished but then, I don’t know whether to say thankfully because it seems an absurd expression, the thing ended up by itself because he had a small heart attack and was very bad for a while. I was sorry, because he was not bad and seeing him in that state was not indifferent for me, I went several times to find him in hospital and our relationship has changed, indeed it has changed a lot.

When he was in the hospital he told me that if I had a guy I had to stay with him and I had to try and live my life without doing like him who had thought only of something else. The story I wrote in the first email is not mine but is the story of my mature friend. After doctors released him from the hospital he invited me to lunch at his house and he gave me 20,000 euros in cash because I was about to move to another city for work (he had never given me presents before!) And he told me he wanted us to stay friends, but the friendship could only be via skype because the city where I went to work was almost a thousand kilometers away. Every so often I hear him on msn, he’s a very nice person and I love him. The story with the other guy continued a bit via the internet but was over after a while because I continued to think with tenderness to my mature friend, infarcted and entangled in many problems, which, all in all, was “my Friend”, with a capital F and it is still even if at a distance. Project, now I don’t know if this story seems more absurd than the story I told you before, but this is my true story. When I say that now I’m fine with myself and I don’t miss anything I want to say that I’m fine with my Friend, even at a distance. I don’t know if this is a sop but I’m really fine. – omissis – A hug Project. (thanks for the contact! Unfortunately I can only be online on Friday and Saturday night, but I’ll call you for sure! Publish what you want. Just remove the last period, which is too recognizable.)
Peter

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-appearance-and-reality-of-a-gay-life

DIFFERENT EVEN AMONG THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT

Project, tonight I’m writing this email not to ask you for advice but just to tell you the story of a guy who called himself different even among those who are different … I landed on Gay Project long time ago. I contacted you asking a lot of things about intergenerational relationships, asking you many explanations on the psychological factors that push a guy to feel attraction towards a man much older than him. You helped me overcome the wall of clichés, for which a boy who is attracted towards a man with a great age difference is a guy who looks for a kind of surrogate dad, who suffers from emotional lacks, who has / had a absent father.

Definitely I have to thank you for the time you have spent chatting with me! After the initial relief of being freed from guilt that arises from having as object of my sexual fantasies and my falling in love some of my teachers close to retirement, I soon began to feel different again.

In chat, I have often dealt with issues about sexuality and namely about couple sexuality, exposing the problem of how to meet a person and how to notice the homosexuality of another person. Obviously, the participants “always” were divided into two “factions”, those who supported the use of chat that facilitate the knowledge of other gays, advised to attend places notoriously gay, or proposed to rely on an imaginary gayradar innate within us, and those who instead, like me, in a clear minority, claimed that if something will have to happen someday … it will happen with the utmost naturalness! In the elevator, at the bus stop, in the subway !! They told me that the knowledge should not be aimed at sex as it happens in the chats but that maybe could start from common interests, also in virtue of the fact that if there is really a personal gayradar, many gayradars are to be reviewed and in particular mine!

Many people told me that if everyone had my same behavior, the world would be full of singles because nobody would have the courage to take the initiative! Actually taking the initiative is not easy, especially if we take into account the distrust that people have towards each other. Maybe it’s easier among guys … Common topics are found: sports, music, movies! And if you want to “start chatting” with a significantly older man … Well … everything becomes much more difficult … But I did not give up!

I tried to create some interest that could bring me in contact with some “mature” person if I can say so. But it was not for me … I didn’t feel like it! I didn’t want a mate, but nevertheless I wanted something similar, but despite my desire, I didn’t want to do anything to find one. I didn’t want to move in traditional gay channels, much less in non-traditional “casual” ones!

The fact is that one day I met a man, a nice distinguished gentleman, nice smiling, a professor!! At the subway exit!! I never thought it would be the right opportunity … We chatted a bit. He told me about the subject he was teaching, and about what he was currently studying and invited me to follow some of his lessons. Now it’s almost a year that we’re mates! It has happened … I, with all my fears and my hesitations, now I have a partner!! Certainly the difficulties are many … Above all in a relationship with the great difference in age.

The older person has a very strong fear of influencing the choices of the youngest and of inducing him to a sort of sacrifice. But, Project, I guarantee you that after some inevitable bickering at the beginning, once the right balance has been reached, things can work and work just fine!! Now I’m happy, we talked about many things, and so many fears have passed !! I’m no longer the different one among those who feel different!

In fact when we walk downtown and I meet friends, I introduce him to my friends without any shame and without any justification! After all I’m free to go out with whomever I want … he does exactly the same if he meet some acquaintances / colleague … The thing that struck me most was the unfolding of events and that neither of us told the other “I’m gay!” or similar statements, how things have followed their path without any forcing …

Project, if you want to post this email in your forum, maybe it could even serve as an encouragement for those like me who spent hours in the section “gay and intergenerational relationships!” Maybe, reading, they could understand that gay sites and chats are not the only way to meet other people, even if that is certainly the easiest way!! And maybe those who believe that a young gay is looking for an older man just to became a maintained or that an old man is looking for a young boy to find help in old age, has a reason to change his mind!
I hug you strongly, Project, and if you decide to publish the email, please don’t mention my nick!
Thank you again!

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-different-even-among-those-who-are-different

POPE FRANCIS DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS

Pope Francis, on the return flight from Dublin, speaking informally, as he usually does, answering a question regarding the attitude that a parent should take in the face of his son’s coming out, expressed himself so:
 
“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 wonder without a spirit of controversy how a Pope cannot have the faintest idea of what homosexuality really is.
 
In the classification of mental and behavioral disorders contained in the 10th formulation of the World Health Organization (WHO) document for the classification of diseases (ICD-10), homosexuality is no longer considered an illness in itself and is recognized the existence of dystonic forms of all sexual orientations. Echo-dystonic homosexuality is a homosexuality recognized by the subject but not accepted. If a homosexual, fully conscious of being homosexual, comes into conflict with his sexual orientation for religious, moral or social reasons and wishes to change sexual orientation,  his homosexuality is called ego-dystonic homosexuality. This category is now outdated and ego-dystonic homosexuality is no longer classified as a mental disorder, but as a simple discomfort due to cultural or social reasons. 
The ICD-10 was approved by the 43th WHO Assembly in May 1990 and has been in use in the WHO member States since 1994. The release date for ICD-11 is 2018, and any reference to homosexuality, even the ego-dystonic one, is expected to be completely eliminated.
Maintaining the category of “ego-dystonic homosexuality” has fueled the thriving market of conversion therapies aimed at bringing back homosexuals to heterosexuality, because these aberrant practices were officially considered forms of treatment for a “disease” and therefore were repayable by health insurances or national health services, if any.
Homosexuality had been deleted from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)) since 1973, after a very tortuous path in which ideological resistance, political opportunism and economic interests were intertwined in various ways, in a border territory in which science (psychiatry) risked losing even the appearance of objectivity. In this regard, I refer to a fine article by Jack Drescher: Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality which illustrates the path that led to the de-pathologisation of homosexuality by the APA.
 Below is a fundamental document on reparative therapies:
________
Pan American Health Organization
Regional Office of the
World Health Organization
“CURES” FOR AN ILLNESS THAT DOES NOT EXIST
Purported therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation lack medical justification and are ethically unacceptable

 

Introduction 

Countless human beings live their lives surrounded by rejection, maltreatment, and violence for being perceived as “different.” Among them, millions are victims of attitudes of mistrust, disdain and hatred because of their sexual orientation. These expressions of homophobia are based on intolerance resulting from blind fanaticism as well as pseudoscientific views that regard non-heterosexual and non-procreative sexual behavior as “deviation” or the result of a “developmental defect.”
 
Whatever its origins and manifestations, any form of homophobia has negative effects on the affected people, their families and friends, and society at large. There is an abundance of accounts and testimonies of suffering; feelings of guilt and shame; social exclusion; threats and injuries; and persons who have been brutalized and tortured to the point of causing injuries, permanent scars and even death. As a consequence, homphobia represents a public health problem that needs to be addressed energetically.
 
While every expression of homophobia is regrettable, harms caused by health professionals as a result of ignorance, prejudice, or intolerance are absolutely unacceptable and must be avoided by all means. Not only is it fundamentally important that every person who uses health services be treated with dignity and respect; it is also critical to prevent the application of theories and models that view homosexuality as a “deviation” or a choice that can be modified through “will power” or supposed “therapeutic support”.
 
In several countries of the Americas, there has been evidence of the continued promotion, through supposed “clinics” or individual “therapists,” of services aimed at “curing” non-heterosexual orientation, an approach known as “reparative” or “conversion therapy.”1 Worryingly, these services are often provided not just outside the sphere of public attention but in a clandestine manner. From the perspective of professional ethics and human rights protected by regional and universal treaties and conventions such as the American Convention on Human Rights and its Additional Protocol (“Protocol of San Salvador”) 2, they represent unjustifiable practices that should be denounced and subject to corresponding sanctions.
 
Homosexuality as a natural and non-pathological variation
Efforts aimed at changing non-heterosexual sexual orientations lack medical justification since homosexuality cannot be considered a pathological condition.3 There is a professional consensus that homosexuality represents a natural variation of human sexuality without any intrinsically harmful effect on the health of those concerned or those close to them. In none of its individual manifestations does homosexuality constitute a disorder or an illness, and therefore it requires no cure. For this reason homosexuality was removed from the relevant systems of classification of diseases several decades ago.4
 
The ineffectiveness and harmfulness of “conversion therapies”
Besides the lack of medical indication, there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of sexual reorientation efforts. While some persons manage to limit the expression of their sexual orientation in terms of conduct, the orientation itself generally appears as an integral personal characteristic that cannot be changed. At the same time, testimonies abound about harms to mental and physical health resulting from the repression of a person’s sexual orientation. In 2009, the American Psychological Association conducted a review of 83 cases of people who had been subject to “conversion” interventions.5 Not only was it impossible to demonstrate changes in subjects’ sexual orientation, in addition the study found that the intention to change sexual orientation was linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia, feelings of guilt and shame, and even suicidal ideation and behaviors. In light of this evidence, suggesting to patients that they suffer from a “defect” and that they ought to change constitutes a violation of the first principle of medical ethics: “first, do no harm.” It affects the right to personal integrity as well as the right to health, especially in its psychological and moral dimensions.
 
Reported violations of personal integrity and other human rights
As an aggravating factor, “conversion therapies” have to be considered threats to the right to personal autonomy and to personal integrity. There are several testimonies from adolescents who have been subject to “reparative” interventions against their will, many times at their families’ initiative. In some cases, the victims were interned and deprived of their liberty, sometimes to the extent of being kept in isolation during several months. 6 The testimonies provide accounts of degrading treatment, extreme humiliation, physical violence, aversive conditioning through electric shock or emetic substances, and even sexual harassment and attempts of “reparative rape,” especially in the case of lesbian women. Such interventions violate the dignity and human rights of the affected persons, independently of the fact that their “therapeutic” effect is nil or even counterproductive. In these cases, the right to health has not been protected as demanded by the regional and international obligations established through the Protocol of San Salvador and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
 
Conclusion
Health professionals who offer “reparative therapies” align themselves with social prejudices and reflect a stark ignorance in matters of sexuality and sexual health. Contrary to what many people believe or assume, there is no reason – with the exception of the stigma resulting from those very prejudices – why homosexual persons should be unable to enjoy a full and satisfying life. The task of health professionals is to not cause harm and to offer support to patients to alleviate their complaints and problems, not to make these more severe. A therapist who classifies non-heterosexual patients as “deviant” not only offends them but also contributes to the aggravation of their problems. “Reparative” or “conversion therapies” have no medical indication and represent a severe threat to the health and human rights of the affected persons. They constitute unjustifiable practices that should be denounced and subject to adequate sanctions and penalties.
 
Recommendations
 
To governments: 
Homophobic ill-treatment on the part of health professionals or other members of health care teams violates human rights obligations established through universal and regional treaties. Such treatment is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
 
“Reparative” or “conversion therapies” and the clinics offering them should be reported and subject to adequate sanctions.
Institutions offering such “treatment” at the margin of the health sector should be viewed as infringing the right to health by assuming a role properly pertaining to the health sector and by causing harm to individual and community well-being.7
 
Victims of homophobic ill-treatment must be treated in accordance with protocols that support them in the recovery of their dignity and self-esteem. This includes providing them treatment for physical and emotional harm and protecting their human rights, especially the right to life, personal integrity, health, and equality before the law.
 
To academic institutions: 
Public institutions responsible for training health professionals should include courses on human sexuality and sexual health in their curricula, with a particular focus on respect for diversity and the elimination of attitudes of pathologization, rejection, and hate toward non-heterosexual persons. The participation of the latter in teaching activities contributes to the development of positive role models and to the elimination of common stereotypes about non-heterosexual communities and persons.
The formation of support groups among faculty and within the student community contributes to reducing isolation and promoting solidarity and relationships of friendship and respect between members of these groups.
Better still is the formation of sexual diversity alliances that include heterosexual persons.
Homophobic harassment or maltreatment on the part of members of the faculty or students is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
 
To professional associations:
Professional associations should disseminate documents and resolutions by national and international institutions and agencies that call for the de-psychopathologization of sexual diversity and the prevention of interventions aimed at changing sexual orientation.
 
Professional associations should adopt clear and defined positions regarding the protection of human dignity and should define necessary actions for the prevention and control of homophobia as a public health problem that negatively impacts the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.
 
The application of so-called “reparative” or “conversion therapies” should be considered fraudulent and as violating the basic principles of medical ethics. Individuals or institutions offering these treatments should be subject to adequate sanctions.
 
To the media:
The representation of non-heterosexual groups, populations, or individuals in the media should be based on personal respect, avoiding stereotypes or humor based on mockery, ill-treatment, or violations of dignity or individual or collective well-being.
 
Homophobia, in any of its manifestations and expressed by any person, should be exposed as a public health problem and a threat to human dignity and human rights.
The use of positive images of non-heterosexual persons or groups, far from promoting homosexuality (in virtue of the fact that sexual orientation cannot be changed), contributes to creating a more humane and diversity-friendly outlook, dispelling unfounded fears and promoting feelings of solidarity.
 
Publicity that incites homophobic intolerance should be denounced for contributing to the aggravation of a public health problem and threats to the right to life, particularly as it contributes to chronic emotional suffering, physical violence, and hate crimes.
 
Advertising by “therapists,” “care centers,” or any other agent offering services aimed at changing sexual orientation should be considered illegal and should be reported to the relevant authorities.
 
To civil society organizations:
Civil society organizations can develop mechanisms of civil vigilance to detect violations of the human rights of non-heterosexual persons and report them to the relevant authorities. They can also help to identify and report persons and institutions involved in the administration of so-called “reparative” or “conversion therapies.”
Existing or emerging self-help groups of relatives or friends of non-heterosexual persons can facilitate the connection to health and social services with the goal of protecting the physical and emotional integrity of ill-treated individuals, in addition to reporting abuse and violence.
Fostering respectful daily interactions between persons of different sexual orientations is enriching for everyone and promotes harmonic, constructive, salutary, and peaceful ways of living together.
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1 Human Rights Committee (2008). Concluding Observations on Ecuador(CCPR/C/ECU/CO/5), paragraph 12.
Human Rights Council (2011). Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals
Based on Their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (A/HRC/19/41), paragraph 56. <http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/AHRC-19-41_en.pdf&gt;
Human Rights Council (2011). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health (A/HRC/14/20), paragraph 23.
United Nations General Assembly (2001). Note by the Secretary-General on the Question of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (A/56/156), paragraph 24. <http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/56/a56156.pdf&gt;
2 The human rights that can be affected by these practices include, among others, the right to life, to personal integrity, to privacy, to equality before the law, to personal liberty, to health, and to benefit from scientific progress.
3 American Psychiatric Association (2000). Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation (Reparative or Conversion Therapies):
Anton, B. S. (2010). “Proceedings of the American Psychological Association for the Legislative Year 2009: Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of Representatives and Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Directors”. American Psychologist, 65, 385–475.
Just the Facts Coalition (2008). Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel.
4 World Health Organization (1994). International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th Revision). Geneva, Switzerland.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(4th ed.,text revision). Washington, DC.
5 APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation (2009). Report of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. Washington, DC. <http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf&gt;
6 Taller de Comunicación Mujer (2008). Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos: Informe Sombra.
Centro de Derechos Económicos y Sociales (2005). Tribunal por los Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales de las Mujeres.
7 See General Comment No. 14 by the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights with regards to the obligation to respect, protect and comply with human rights obligations on the part of States parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
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Obviously Pope Francis does not know these documents but only the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He may also have courage in fighting pedophilia but he has absolutely no clear idea of what serious psychiatry says about homosexuality. On the other hand, the Church seems to suggest today, according to the words of the Pope, a reparative therapy to be applied at a very early age.
 
To understand exactly what reparative therapies are I advise you to read a journalistic very documented report on the “reparative therapy of homosexuality” the therapy that Catholic groups recommend to solve the “problem” of homosexuality (http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-…osexuality) all under the supervision of a professor of psychology at the Gregorian Pontifical University. Already on another occasion I had to mention the “gay science” (gay here means light) of so-called scientists, but here things are more serious because behind these things there is the endorsement of the Catholic Church and this is not then the usual isolated guru. In these things are involved churchmen. I am personally convinced that the Christian message is a very serious thing, or rather something that, if taken seriously, is a very serious thing, and I have known men of the Church who have really spent their lives for the others. I wonder how it is possible that what is described in the published report could obtain the approval of the Church. How could be tolerable that a boy 15/16 y. o. should be subject, according to the will of the parents, to raving “reparative therapy od the homosexuality”. These things are not only immoral but verge on the Criminal Code.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-pope-francis-does-not-know-what-homosexuality-is

GAY GUYS AND SEXUAL INTERGENERATIONAL FANTASIES

Hi Project, I wanted to thank you for everything you do, now I feel really better. I made you spend the night chatting but I understood many things. You’re right, being gay is not just about sex and looking for a guy doesn’t have to become a fixed idea, many other things are needed.

I had never talked about intimate things as we talked yesterday but it was all very easy. For a guy it can be embarrassing because one is used to thinking of certain things only as pornography, in short, as something that shouldn’t be done and that if you do it, you must be ashamed of and you don’t have to talk about it with anyone, you are afraid of being judged badly, to be considered one who doesn’t want to grow up. And then I could not talk about these things with anyone. My mother … I never heard her talk about sex under any circumstances and my father all the same.

Talking with a priest, maybe in confession, but they don’t even listen to you. With a doctor who is also family friend obviously it is unthinkable. With friends it ends up in ironic smiles and stupid jokes. At 21 I never had, and I say never, the opportunity to talk about these things seriously.

I’ve always had a lot of complexes with a word that was a bit my torture from sixteen years old onwards, the word is “normal”. Is it normal what I’m doing? If I react like this is it normal? Etc. etc .. Then the idea of having a guy even if I’m not in love with anyone, having a boyfriend just to have sex with him, because this is normal while masturbate is not normal, it’s a young boys thing, … stuff of this kind. And I think if I hadn’t arrived on your blog I would have ended up looking for a guy anyway just to try to be normal at least as a gay.

I never asked myself whether being gay was or wasn’t normal, let’s say that for me it was not, but it was my way of being and I ended up accepting it, also because the idea of going with a girl for me doesn’t really exist, I couldn’t do it at any level. I never thought of a girl in terms of sex and even as a friend, perhaps, superficially, it could be okay, but as a true friendship, that you can tell her everything, with a girl for me it’s impossible, because a girl understands certain things her way, maybe even a straight guy understands the same things from outside but it’s anyway more acceptable.

I’ve always seen the fact of being gay as a sexual only matter, or rather, I tried to devalue to the maximum the feelings towards other guys or, better, towards male people no longer boys, because my obsession with not being normal, you made me understand it last night, it’s really related to the fact that I fall in love with adult men and I never considered normal such inclination. You don’t know how many times I told myself that I would be left alone because the men I like would never be interested in me. First of all, they’re all heterosexual, they’re married, and then they’d consider me a guy who must grow up.

I tried in every way to get interested in my peers but they seem superficial to me, even gays for what I know, because I don’t know them in person. I fall in love with adult men, even sexually, and this is not normal, I think that maybe if an adult man falls in love with a young guy at the end it can be normal but the opposite just I can’t see it as a normal thing and instead that’s exactly what happens to me.

With my peers I can’t create a real relationship and I don’t even try. Last night for the first time, talking with you about the fact that I fall in love with men much older than me, it seemed to me that it was not abnormal, at least in a sense, that it was something of which I shouldn’t be ashamed, in the end that my sexuality has a dignity, a value even if it’s strange, at the base there are real feelings and not perversions. You don’t know how much it puts me in difficulty the fact that I consider myself a non-normal, that is, not even normal as gay.

I think a normal gay guy if he falls in love with another guy and makes his fantasies and masturbates thinking of that guy doesn’t feel guilty about it, but when I make sexual fantasies about adult men (in practice all my fantasies are about adult men) and I let myself go to masturbate thinking about these things I feel disgusted, it is as if it were the confirmation of the fact that I’m not normal and that I will never share my life with another person. These things dig you deeply. Above all I feel that while other gay guys can look for a guy, they can somehow think about their wishes and put them into practice, I cannot think about it, there will never be anything for me.

An adult man would just go with me searching for sex or he wouldn’t take me seriously, while I need a serious affection, that is, I need not someone who is sorry for me or who considers me a sexual game but someone who takes me seriously and I would be willing to do anything for a man like that. Talking about these things is not easy and in practice they are always kept inside me. Last night, talking with you, I felt respected, treated as I didn’t think it was possible. Yesterday, in fact, we started talking about things related to sexuality but then we ended up talking about something else, about my family, about the relationships I have with my parents and about how I would like them to be and I really broke the ice, we have been talking almost until dawn, time has passed and I haven’t noticed it. I need to talk, to throw out everything that I have kept inside for years.

You say that often from situations like mine one can come out and that over time also sometimes comes a sexual interest towards peers, or at least that could happen so, but on this I have my doubts and I think you told me it a little as a consolation, but I’m glad you told me because you know these things and you might even be right. Sometimes I think that I’m coming out of my mind and that it could also be or become a real neurosis, but for me sexuality is that.

Last night I felt at ease, thinking and seeing concretely that talking about yourself in a very direct way is possible and that it is also possible to be heard and understood and this transmits so much serenity.

And you told me then so many things that I felt that I wasn’t alone on earth, I didn’t feel as the only “abnormal”. It is wonderful to think that my life can really be lived! I don’t know if it will really be like that, but I feel less trapped, it’s as if the future could bring me positive things too. Thanks Project for setting up the project, you don’t know how such a thing is important. I hope to hear from you when I have a little more peace of mind, now I’m also very busy for the exams that are coming but also this period of overwork will pass. See you soon.

p. s. If you want to publish this email, do it, I don’t know what effect it will do to those who read it but what I wrote to you is all true.

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A GAY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GAYS

Hello Project, I apologize for Saturday night (the other Saturday, if you remember) but I had to close suddenly, even though we had just started to talk, because people came. You probably thought I was rude, I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t do otherwise. The things that I couldn’t tell you in the chat I tell you here so that when we will be able to get in touch you will already know what it is about. Unfortunately I’m not very young, I’m 25 years old, almost 26 and I feel them all, and anyway I don’t feel young, I feel now almost lost.

Reading the forum I found your posts on intergenerational relationships and I read them with great interest. You talk about these things with respect and it strikes me a lot. Before I thought you were a thirty-year-old or so, then, reading I understood that you are much older and then it is just you that I address and I hope you can understand me because generally I found only contempt and ridicule, also and perhaps especially on the side of gays.

At my age, not only have I never had sexual intercourse with anyone but I feel inside a solitude and an infinite despair. For me it doesn’t even make sense to say that I’m gay because with gays I feel I don’t have much in common and gays, except maybe someone, despise those like me. I cannot tell you why, but since I remember I have always been attracted by men much older than me. I have tried many times to understand the reason, but as far as I dig in my past, I find absolutely nothing that can explain such a thing. I have never been harassed by anyone, rather they have always kept me on the sidelines and I think that my parents love me even if they don’t know anything about me.

If the coming out for a gay guy is already difficult, think what must be for me even the idea of talking to my parents about my sexuality. In short, I don’t know why I cannot stay with the guys my age. I’m not even gay with them, not because I’m attracted by women, but because I’m not interested in guys my age, that is, I attend some peers but they are very superficial things. These guys would never take me for gay and I would have nothing to say to them. With them I don’t feel at all inhibited and I don’t have to repress anything, they are for me simply and only friends, but in a rather superficial sense, because with them I cannot talk about myself and in the end I don’t feel absolutely any sexual interest for them. Perhaps it will be that we have been friends for a long time, but in my opinion the reason is that I’m interested only in mature men, in an exclusive way. And this is the thing that worries me the most.

When I was 18 and already I had it very clear in mind this story of mature men, I tried to create opportunities to have some intimacy with my friends, we went on vacation together a week and in practice I saw them naked all four of them but my reaction was of total indifference. I don’t hide that I got scared of this and not a little. My friends were not gay and I thought the problem was that but obviously my lack of involvement had nothing to do with it.

At the age of 20 I experienced an adventure that marked me very much. I met by chance a nice guy at a party, I say nice because he really was but this fact was totally indifferent for me. We talked a bit, he was serious, almost shy, he was my age, talking with him was pleasant and we talked, we talked a lot in the following days even on msn even though I couldn’t say anything about me, the guy after a few weeks has confessed to me that he was gay and was in love with me, I also have the misfortune of being a nice guy, even if saying something like that is paradoxical, I live it like that.

He was anxious and you understand very well why, after he told me he was gay I told him that nothing would change for me but he asked me in turn explicitly if I was gay too, my answer was very important to him and I understood him very well I reluctantly told him: yes. His eyes were bright, he took my hands and held them and I let him do, then he tried to kiss me but I pushed him away. He told me that I should not be afraid of anything because for him it was the first time and he said it with an encouraging smile. I told him: “Look, I like mature men”, but he seemed not to give weight to the thing. Then I said to him: “Look, I’ve never experienced sexual attraction for a boy, I’ve never made erotic fantasies about a boy, I’m gay but in another way, I feel 100% straight towards you”.

He was incredulous, it seemed inconceivable for him, because we were two gay guys who had nothing in common, our way of experiencing sexuality was very different. He asked me some questions and from there I realized he had not understood anything. He asked me if I had been raped as a child or if any uncle of mine had ever done sexual games with me, I told him no, but he was perplexed, then advised me to see a good psychiatrist, not a psychologist, exactly a psychiatrist and told me that according to him, these are transitional phases due to the fact that I’ve never had a boyfriend before. In the following days he returned to the attack in various ways, he tried to be more seductive, to let me speak, to recognize all the possible and imaginable mitigating circumstances but it was clear that for him there was something deeply pathological, in the end he disappeared completely and I breathed a sigh of relief.

But I go back to the main question. I had the first clear sign of my sexual preferences at the age of 14, in ninth grade. There was an old teacher who always encouraged me and I fell in love with him who was maybe 50 years older than me but he seemed still a handsome man, not properly an old man, he gave me so much confidence. I think he never noticed anything and if he had noticed I would have buried myself in shame. With the history of the teacher, at 14, I passed terrible moments, I realized I was different from my classmates in every sense, I was alone and I knew very well that I would be alone and that I would never have a person who loved me.

At the age of 16 I was already a handsome guy, and when my female classmates began to come forward and I kept them at a distance, someone made the joke: “But, by chance, aren’t you gay?” And I replied: “I wish I liked guys!” but the joke was always taken as an underlining of heterosexuality, but basically I thought that if I had been gay in a classical way, that is if I had liked my peers, I would have had a much easier life and at least some chance to living as I wanted.

Many times between 21/22 years old I have experienced moments of deep anguish. After all, I wanted to be loved by a mature man, even sexually, but I don’t even think that it was my first priority. I wanted first of all to be able to talk to an adult man without being taken for a madman, if he then had treated me with a little sweetness I would have felt in heaven but I knew that all this would not happen.

Sometimes I visited gay sites with adult men but they were all sex-oriented, like a porn site, but I don’t like such things. I say it with all sincerity, I’m used to do without sex from the beginning or to live it only on the level of fantasies and masturbation and maybe if it happened to me in reality to get involved with a man, I would feel a deep embarrassment.

But I dream of a real love, I dream of it even if without any hope, but deep down I know that I will never find it, and I will never find not neither affection nor respect, I feel like the last of the last, with a feeling of marginalization that I fear I cannot bear any longer but I think I will have to endure all my life. The reaction to all this was the fact that I threw myself headlong into my studies, I set myself goals and I achieved them. Let’s say that as long as I was involved with the university and the problem of finding work, I was completely absorbed by these things that were for me a sort of antidote to my despair. Now I finished my studies and I found a decent job and everything I had repressed and sublimated returns to the surface.

At work I have practically no contact with my colleagues and I feel them a thousand miles away from me. They talk about girls, the older ones about family and children. I don’t know if there are gays and frankly I don’t care to know it, because I don’t want to repeat what I already experienced with that gay guy. What will my life be? I think now I have understood it, I will always be totally alone. This e-mail has remained in the drafts for days and as you have noticed I have not called you anymore. I had already had a thousand hesitations before and I arrived at the Saturday call forcing myself in an incredible way, then it was over in two minutes and I didn’t have the courage to call another time and I thought to send you an email.

But basically what do I write for? To talk to you about things that maybe you cannot really understand. What do I expect? Anything! I tell you right away, don’t be scared, or maybe I’d just like a little respect. If you want to put this e-mail in the forum put it. I don’t expect anything even from the guys because I didn’t like some of the answers they gave when you talked about these things, those answers are the typical answers of those who think they have understood everything and look at you from top to bottom, but I’m used to it. Hi Project. I feel moments of deep despair, if you can, dedicate to me two lines, I don’t ask for more.

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A GAY COUPLE WITH 40 YEARS OF AGE DIFFERENCE

Hello Project, I read some of the emails that you publish and also your answers and I think you can be the right person to whom tell my story, also because I think we are more or less the same age and therefore you can understand things better. I don’t think that my story is such a special story, but it has aspects that I don’t understand and I would like to talk about it with you even, if you like, also through the chat. 
 
At almost 65 years I was about to put an end to my emotional life. I have lived my life, I had felt in love, sometimes even deeply, between 40 and 50 years  old, I had also lived for a few years with a man, but I had never found a match as I would have liked. In practice, in all the stories I had had, the impression that things couldn’t stand up for the most varied reasons prevailed, but in any case they could not really stand: different mentality, different desires, different personal history, etc. etc .. So I had come to the serene conclusion that I would have finished my years together with my brother and his family, because they are good people, younger than me of several years and in the end I would have been fine with them, at least within the limits of possible.
 
Then suddenly a big tile fell on my head. Last year I met a guy 24 years old and, even it may seem absurd to me, this guy has fallen in love with me, and I just cannot understand why, given that a nice guy like him, if only he wanted to, could very easily find a partner. But no, he fell in love with me because the young guys don’t interest him at all. I don’t know if I’m in love with him, but when I’m close to him I’m fine, I’m fine as I’ve never been in any situation before, I love him, I cannot deny it, but there’s an abyss between us: 40 years! What can I offer this guy? I’m an old man and I’m not even healthy, I wouldn’t in any way force him, not even for love, to be a caregiver, maybe I couldn’t even be a burden for him for one or two years, but then old age is an inexorable biological condition that doesn’t depend on the will but on the physical decay that arrives anyway with the years. I’ve never had sexual intercourse nor generic contacts that could have some sexual value with this guy.
 
Project, at our age sexuality is above all a myth and a memory, I could also be with him but I think that in the end doubts would be so many and so strong as to be insuperable, anyway from his point of view it seems that problems don’t exist at all, I have the clear impression that he wants to bring our relationship even on a sexual level.
 
And then, after some time, when I’m gone, what will remain to this guy as a memory of our relationship? I’m afraid he can judge it negatively if by chance it should really come to sex. What should I do? Frankly, I don’t know. He is not a boy, he is an adult man and he is very determined, he has a dignity that I have admired from the first moment, but I’m an old man and he doesn’t seem to realize that.
 
He told me that, in adolescence, he has fallen in love with adult men only, let’s say 50 years old and over. He never had sexual intercourses with anyone, those with his peers didn’t interest him, he would have fond easily those with men over 50, but certainly not in a relationship as he would have liked, that is, a relationship that also had an emotional involvement. With me he knows that this involvement really exist because I think of him at least a thousand times a day and our relationship is particularly intense, because we love each other and he tells me that it’s the best thing he has ever lived and I think it’s true, but I have a terrible fear of making mistakes because you can make mistakes to say yes, but you can also make a mistake saying no, because he would feel abandoned, betrayed, and I wouldn’t want this to happen for any reason.
 
I feel very insecure, Project, it is not a fall in love as in the days of youth, I only know that I don’t want him to suffer, but it seems almost inevitable whatever I do. Instinctively I would embrace him, I don’t even know if I would get to sex because . . . who knows why, I thought that all these qualms that I feel could have a motivation of much lower league, that is, in practice that of not giving scandal to anyone (because 40 years of difference are objectively an abyss) and to continue to live quietly and it may be that these things weigh a lot in keeping him at a distance.
 
Sunday morning we were together at the sea. He was beautiful, smiling, he was happy to be with me. I love him but I don’t know whether it is really the love of a sweetheart or rather that of a father, because he is my ideal son, what I always wanted and never had. This is now the center of my thoughts, I try to understand what is best for him and therefore also for me, but I cannot find convincing answers. I would appreciate your opinion.
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GAY COUPLES BETWEEN ILLUSIONS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS

Hello Project, I would like to ask you something. But why has the section dedicated to the elderly of your forum remained empty? I follow you from the days of the first forum and then someone of my age was there, rare but there were, but now nobody at all. So if you want to put this e-mail you can open a new section dedicated to elderly. I am a 61-year-old man (I wanted to write an old man).

Project, you know very well what it meant to be gay when we were young, it was a bit like living in the catacombs, but even then and with all the complications that were there, I did my life. I started late, practically at the age of 40, before that age I had never had the courage to approach a guy but from the age of 40 up to the age of 55 I did my experiences. Let’s say, Project, that perhaps all the spirituality and all the things that you see I could not see them, I was much less refined in certain things, I don’t even know if I ever loved a guy in the sense that you say.

My the first guy, when I was aged 40, or was about to turn 40, he was just 30, I felt I had finally reached the world of dreams. I had been with him for 5 years, he had always said that he was straight, we talked a lot but he was sexually completely blocked. I was insisting because I wanted to make him relax and also because he was a damn sexy guy. In the end I became more audacious and he gave in, said that with me it was just sex and that he didn’t love me, he always repeated it, but when I put him in a position from which he could not escape, he left the girl to stay with me. Sexual happiness with him lasted yes and no for a month and maybe it would have gone on, our problem was not that, but the fact that he kept repeating to me obsessively that he was straight and that he didn’t love me but with me he only had sex.

At the beginning I thought things would change because I saw him sexually involved, but then the misunderstandings started for very stupid reasons and when we met, instead of having sex, there were endless discussions about the fact that I didn’t understand him and that I expected from him an involvement that there would never be.

At one point he told me he wanted to try with a girl, I don’t know if he did, but from what I knew he went to put himself in the worst gay environments. When I saw him he only repeated that it was all my fault. I had loved him but he never wanted to understand it and I think he left because I was too old for him.

Then I had two stories with men more or less my age but they lasted very little. The first was afraid of everything and in terms of sex I didn’t like it. The second would not have been bad from that point of view but I say “it would not have been” only in the abstract because physically I didn’t like him, it was I whom he liked.

It’s been a few years now that I’m alone and I don’t mind at all. The experiences I have done have served me only to understand that when they finished I didn’t lose anything. I have had infatuations, but never falling in love according to your style, I never had the idea of living for a guy. Can you tell me that I used them, this is perhaps true, but that’s what everyone does, because those who say the opposite also do so. And then where is the concept of a couple? These guys, they were men made, they were not boys, yet they dumped on me on a lot of complexes that you can’t even imagine, they as felt pathological cases, a little they denied all that they were and a little behaved in a childish way, men of more than 40 years who thought they had 20 and were at the center of the world, men who hadn’t grown up.

There can be also others, it’s possible, but where? The three that I knew were the best I found, you can imagine the rest. Maybe living in a state of continuous repression complicates life to such an extent that you end up like that, but surely you finally ask yourself if it’s worth it, I don’t say to try to live in a couple but just to have a serious story, maybe short . The comrades I had were good people, but after many years I feel very happy that those relationships are over and not because I had to replace them with who knows what but because in the long run those relationship didn’t make sense anymore. I also put myself among the pathological cases in several ways. Well, if you put two pathological cases together, they don’t become normal people just because they’re together.

Project, one thing I must tell you. Reading the forum and the other sites, I have the impression that you paint the gay world with colors a bit false, I mean too positive, the values there will be well but frankly there are so many complexes and so much stupidity that one ask himself how can one think of a couple life. Now with these things I have closed, but if I was 40 years younger with the experience I have today, in life I would think of doing something else and not of looking for a partner. Now I’m alone but honestly I think if I had a partner it would be worse.

I would like to tell the guys that the first thing is to learn how to feel good on your own and not to depend on anyone. Don’t dream of finding the guy who lives for you, who makes your life easy and happy, these things don’t exist, a gay guy who stays alone lives much better than one who lives in couple and who must also take care of solving problems of the other, to listen to his complaints, to accept his complexes. You don’t have to believe that life as a couple is a paradise, because it is not at all.

Now gays want marriage, when they will have obtained it, they will want a divorce because it is a couple’s life that doesn’t make sense in itself. Hetero people have children. Without children, heterosexual couples would not resist much. Gays have no children and for them the concept of a couple is just a more or less absurd attempt to resist their depressions and their individual incapacities. Think about it before you dream of things that are too sublime. Keeping your feet well on the ground prevents ruinous falls. Project, I realize that perhaps it would be better to put this email in the part relating to couples, in fact it is the right place, but it’s your choice.

Henry48

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