Scrolling through the catalog of “La Pléiade” it’s easy to realize that from 1972 to 1998 eight full-bodied volumes were published, for a total of more than 14,000 pages, containing the complete work of Julien Green. Those who have even a minimal acquaintance with French Literature know that the honors of “La Pléiade” are due only to the recognized great masters of French literature: Julien Green is one of them. Elected, first of the non-French, among the “immortals” of the Academy of France in 1971, in place of François Mauriac, he resigned in ’96 claiming to feel “exclusively American” and “not at all interested in honors, whatever they are.” 

 He was not actually of French descent, his real name was Julian Hartridge Green. He was born in Paris on September 6, 1900, the last of eight children, from parents of Scottish and Irish ancestry, who emigrated to France from Georgia in 1893. Julien’s grandfather was a rich cotton merchant, owner of plantations, which made in France a good fortune, the mother came from Georgia, the father, originally from Virginia, was a businessman and was Secretary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris. 
Julien Green is generally qualified as a Catholic writer, an expression that has, in his case, a very particular meaning: Catholic yes, certainly, but also homosexual. The lacerating attempt to reconcile homosexuality and Catholicism was a constant in his life and it must be said that this attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable, at least giving the word Catholicism the traditional sense that the Catholic hierarchy attributes to it, emerges very clearly throughout the his work.
Julien Green has offered an extremely honest and realistic picture of himself and his inner conflicts. The self-censorship concerning sexual contents has become increasingly less binding over the years and it has happened that subsequent editions of his works have been enriched with many pages, originally omitted; a large part of these pages deals with homosexuality. This is the case of the first volume of the “Diary”, Les années faciles, the first edition of 1938, is heavily censored, while the second, of 1970, which presents almost 200 pages more, gives much more space to the theme of homosexuality. The censorship, on the other hand, remained rigid in relation to the homosexuality of other people, sometimes referred to as pseudonyms.
However, a laic homosexual, in the most radical sense of the term, who approaches the work of Julien Green cannot but recognize a considerable intellectual and moral rigor, of course, in the secular sense of the term, and a basic honesty in dealing with theme of homosexuality and trying to analyze it in front of his own conscience. Julien Green has undoubtedly an emblematic value because he embodies the ideal aspirations and anguish typical of true Catholics who want to be honest with themselves in the face of homosexuality, not considered as a theoretical question or as a problem of others, but as a profound element of their own personality, irreconcilable with faith.
On May 15, 2013, “L’Osservatore Romano”, the newspaper of the Holy See, published an article by Joseph Ratzinger entitled “And Julien Green became himself again”. So Ratzinger expresses himself on the religious education of Green:
“He tells how, from his childhood, his mother, Anglican, had literally immersed him in the Holy Scriptures. It was obvious for him to know by heart all the one hundred and fifty Psalms. Scripture was the atmosphere of his life. And he says: “My mother taught me to understand it as a book of love and deeply permeated me with the idea that, from the beginning to the end of Scripture, it was only love to speak. And all my being wanted nothing but love.” In the end a man who has received such bases cannot be lost.”
These statements by Ratzinger, from a secular point of view and in reference to the homosexuality of Green, instead, think of the violence of a religious education based on Scripture, which was accompanied, among other things, by the radical repression of sexuality, systematically operated, from an early age. As we will see later, this repressive education left deep traces in the soul of adult Julien. To memorize the one hundred and fifty Psalms is not at all obvious to an adolescent who, exposed to such a radically and strictly religious education, risks becoming dependent on many prejudices of religious origin, from which it is often difficult to get free. Julien’s mother was by no means the “ideal religious mother” described by Ratzinger, or perhaps she was fully, the assessment depends on the idea of religion of the one who judges. The fact remains that Julien’s mother heavily conditioned her son in the development of his sexuality. Julien remembers at least twice the rigid behavior of the mother when he was in the bathtub and the attitude of almost rejection that she showed for everything related to sex in relation to her 10 or 11-year-old son.
Julien remembers that when he drew naked bodies they were always completely without sex.[1] The only sexual curiosities came to Julien’s mind by reading the Bible and were systematically resolved with a “You will understand when you grow up. For the moment there is no need for you to know.”
Green does not omit to describe his perplexity at the attempts of other boys to explain something about sex or even to seduce him, in fact he was not able to recognize the normal awakening of sexuality or to have an authentic awareness of pleasure like his peers. He was about 15 years old when some of his high school friends of the Lyceum Janson of Sailly started him with the pleasures of masturbation. At that time the sense of sin was linked to the concept of pure and impure, not through a personal assessment but in terms of permitted or prohibited. Referring to masturbation he says: “As for the gesture in question, I didn’t reconnect it to any known offense.” Weeks passed before it occurred to him that he should regret it.
Julien himself speaks to us of his silent love for his classmate Frédéric: “No carnal desire tormented me. If the heart burned, the senses were sound asleep and I was exceptionally cold. The idea of getting my hands on Frédéric would have seemed to me simply monstrous, because nothing seemed beautiful to me that it was not pure, finding that word in my mind all the power that it had almost lost.”[2] 
Of his love for Frédéric Julien had spoken to the his friend Philippe but not to Father Crété who was in charge of his religious education. Not having the courage to confess to Father Crété what he did with his friend Philippe or alone, he went to confession elsewhere in complete anonymity. Teen Julien is now fascinated by the human body, especially the male one. Julien rarely talks about girls, when he shows a slight interest in a girl, every approach is cut short by the intervention of his sister Mary and his mother, terrified by the idea that Julien could follow a destiny similar to that of his uncle Willie, who died of syphilis inflicted on him by a servant.
At 15, Julien read Baudelaire but was unable to grasp his sensuality.
Only the following year the awakening of the senses occurred, at least partially, during a trip to Italy. In Italy he read Boccaccio and was shocked.
In 1916, after the death of his mother, he converted to Catholicism and let the hypothesis of a vocation  to religious life in the order of the Benedictines emerge. Sister Mary was the first converted to Catholicism, then her father and mother followed her. From a secular point of view it is hard to believe that the conversion of Julian sixteen years old and his momentum towards monastic life were free and well thought out choices.
A year after the conversion we find Julien seventeen years old involved in the war, to volunteer in the red cross of the United States on the Italian front. After the war, now eighteen, oscillates between the idea of religious vocation and artistic tendencies (painting and music). He then went to the United States and studied from 1919 until 1922 Languages and Literature at the University of Virginia, three years of studies offered to him by Savannah’s uncle. It is precisely at the University of Virginia that Green begins to understand that he is “a man with a great secret”, that is, a man who must bring with him the secret of his homosexuality. He is however enchanted by his fellow students, who considers the best humanity imaginable. At the University of Virginia he falls in love with Benton Owen, whom he will call under the pseudonym of Mark. It is through the Virginia guys and through the unconfessable love of Owen that Green realizes the emotional strength of homosexuality. Love towards Owen is platonic but not for this reason it is less violent. Green abandons Mark in 1922 without confessing his love, but then has an unforeseen opportunity to meet him again in July 1923, when Mark is traveling and is in Paris. Julien promises to finally speak clearly to Mark on the Pont-Royal, Mark is ready to listen, but in the end Julien gives up:[3] “One or two minutes later, on the other side of the bridge, I said to Mark:” I’m sorry but I cannot”. He squeezed my arm a little and told me: “I understand you very well” Once again I found myself faced with the risk of permanently losing his affection and I had considered that risk too great. There is no need to stress that in my work Mark reappears continuously, under one form or another. He is always the mysterious handsome guy to whim you does not dare to declare your love. Eric Mac Clure, in “South”, Praileau in “Moïra”, Angus and Wilfred, both of them alternatively, in “Chaque homme dans sa nuit”, Paul in “Le Voyageur”, and especially the handsome guy of “L’Autre Sommeil” “
Perhaps it is no coincidence that after a long time Green has considered the years of Virginia as some of the saddest of his life, were certainly those that troubled him more and put him in front of the reality of his homosexuality.
Leaving the University of Virginia without graduating and returning to France in 1924, Green publishes under the pseudonym Théophile Delaporte the “Pamphlet against the Catholics of France”[4] dedicated “to the six French cardinals.”
Let it be clear, this is not a pamphlet against the Catholic Church but rather a pamphlet against Catholics accused of being too lukewarm with regard to their faith. Some quotes of the text can give an idea of its content. The Catholics of this country have ended up making their religion a habit, to the point that they no longer worry about whether it is true or false, or whether they believe it or not; and this kind of mechanical faith accompanies them to death.[5]
“It is not possible to believe without fighting, but they don’t fight at all with themselves, and accept Catholicism as something simple and natural; and they would end up killing it, if this was possible.”[6]
“However they are Catholics, because they have received the mark of the Church, and they are forever, because the Church does nothing that is not eternal, but these submissive children bring the germs of a powerful corruption. Don’t look elsewhere for the true enemies of this Christian Church of which they believe themselves be the defenders.”[7]
“They were raised in Catholicism; they live and die there, but they don’t understand what they themselves represent or what is happening around them, and they don’t perceive anything of the mystery that surrounds them and separates them from the world.”[8]
“They live in the world as if they were of the world; however, they have been chosen by virtue of certain signs and certain words and if they understand that they have received a mark and are rebelling, they are not less Catholic for this, and if they degrade, they remain Catholics even in their fall and in their damnation.”[9]
“They read the prayers, every word of which is of great importance, and read them as if the prayers were for someone else, for someone else’s life, for someone else’s salvation. One would say that they don’t know that prayers speak only of their condemnation to death and their grace; one would say that they believe that Catholicism was founded for others and if they themselves are part of it, it is only by chance or by game.”[10]
But if 1924 is the year of the apology of Catholicism contained in the Pamphlet It is also the year in which, after having reached the peak of his religious exaltation, Green moved away from Catholicism. Here I quote Ratzinger’s quoted article:
“[Julien Green] He writes that in the interwar period he lived just like a man of today lives: he allowed himself all he wanted, was chained to pleasures contrary to God so that, from one side, he needed it to make his life bearable, but, on the other, he found that life itself unbearable. He looks for ways out, connects relationships, goes to the great theologian Henri Bremond, but the conversation remains on the academic level, theoretical subtleties that don’t help it. He establishes a relationship with the two great philosophers, the spouses Jacques and Raissa Maritain. Raissa Maritain indicates to him a Polish Dominican. He meets him and still describes to him his lacerate life. The priest tells him: “And do you agree to live like this?” “No, of course not!”, He replies. “So do you wants to live differently? Are you repented?” “Yes!” says Green. And then something unexpected happens. The priest tells him: “Kneel! Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis – I absolve you.” Julien Green writes: “Then I realized that after all I had always awaited this moment, I had always waited for someone to tell me: kneel, I absolve you. I went home: I was not another, no, I had finally become myself.” “
So Julien Green wrote to Jacques to Raissa Maritain on April 25, 1939:
“I am writing a few words to you before leaving, to tell you that this morning I had communion after a conversation I had with Father Rzewuski.”[11]
It’s easy to understand how much the young Ratzinger found in the account of the conversion of Green a confirmation of Saint Cyprian’s famous statement that “there is no salvation outside the Church”.[12]
 Yet Green was Catholic, he had converted at age 16, because people speak of a second “conversion” in 1939? Ratzinger does not explicitly tell us what was there in Green’s life, before April 25, 1939, which then led to the need for a new conversion to Catholicism, and prefers to remain vague on the subject  for the fear of dirtying a character who seemed fully embody the ideal Catholic model. To understand that what happened in the life of Julien before 1939 we can be read a short novel published by Green in ’31, “The other sleep” (L’Autre Sommeil), all centered on the theme of the discovery of homosexuality (awakening) made by Denis, the protagonist.
The novel portrays Denis, first child and then teenager, who lives a life neither better nor worse than that typical of the children of thousands of bourgeois families. The death of his father, who is a liberation for him, marks the true beginning of his youth. Chaste up to 15 years for natural coldness, Denis experiences a little later, the revelation of the pleasure of senses. “With oscillations between coldness and the will to resist, I was weak and sensual” He then knows the strange ways of passion, he believes he loves Andreina but it is Remy, her lover, who fascinates him. “Nothing is as mysterious as the path of passion in a heart without experience.” Claude, Denis’s cousin and childhood friend, who was an orphan after his mother’s death, is welcomed into the house by Denis’s parents and the two guys are living together. For Denis it is as if a dam had collapsed revealing the violence of all that it held, now Denis is aware of being in love with his cousin. He would like to reveal his feelings to Claude, but during the few occasions he has to see him, after a period of absence, before he leaves again, this time definitively, he cannot confess to him those feelings. The protagonist realizes that he will regret this failed declaration for life. This portrait of a young man with a heavy heart, whose dreams, whose desires and fears nourish a rich and terrible inner life, highlights the eternal emotion of a silent love, of a passion that doesn’t dare to declare itself and of which he preserves the sad and useless weight throughout life. This book reveals “the obsession of cold and the fear of fire”, a rather surprising tale of psychological darkness. It is obvious, and Green himself admits it without difficulty, that “L’autre sommeil” reflects his falling in love for “Mark”, the Benton Owen that Julien had met at the University of Virginia, so it is a substantially autobiographical novel. But homosexuality as a fundamental element of Green’s life between the two conversions also emerges from other elements. It is Green himself, in “Jeunesse”, the fourth volume of autobiography, who talks about the period after his return to France from Virginia and presents us with a Julien who attends the meeting places of the Parisian homosexuals of the Lungosenna. It should be added that in that period Green knows and frequents literary man who had publicly declared themselves homosexual like André Gide and Jean Cocteau and also others who were homosexual but much more secretly than Gide and Cocteau, like François Mauriac, on whose homosexuality I refer to the excellent study of Jean-Luc Barré.[13]
The fourth volume of autobiography concludes with a reference to a “person” with whom Julien falls in love and who will make him live the best years of his life. Despite the extreme reticence of Green himself on this point, we know that Green was bound by strong friendship with Robert de Saint-Jean, Green rarely talks about the relationship with his friend and defines it as Platonic. Anyway Green’s Diary and Autobiography leave no doubt that the two have lived together for years. That the link was really important is also apparent from the fact that Green did much to do, after the Germans entered Paris, to allow Saint-Jean to leave and take refuge in the United States.
Saint-Jean was a very important person and very exposed at the time of the German occupation, he was not only one of Green’s dearest friends, most probably the most loved, he was also the deputy chief of staff of the French minister of information.
Saint-Jean had written several times in the French press about Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister, who harbored a personal grudge against him, and if he could, he would not have let him escape.
Saint Jean called Green from Bordeaux when the French government was disintegrating, and Green, who had taken refuge near the Spanish border and could have crossed it because for him, an American citizen, the ban on entry into Spain ordered against fleeing French citizens, could not be applied, had no doubt about what to do, he would in no case leave his friend Saint-Jean to his fate and to the revenge of Ribbentrop. In “The end of the world”, which dates back to June 1940, Green tells how he managed to get his friend to Portugal, and then get him a visa for entry to the United States.[14] In essence “The end of the world “of Green is a true love story, even if it doesn’t have such appearance. The relationship between Green and Saint-Jean had begun well before the war. 

In “Fin de Jeunesse” Green talks about a trip to Germany together with Saint-Jean, in the summer of ’29, and doesn’t hide that the purpose was the search for sexual adventures. It was the twilight years of the Weimar Republic and the city of Berlin appeared to the homosexuals as a kind of ideal homeland, where tolerance was highest and the guys were available and not biased against homosexuality. Christopher Isherwood’s “Farewell to Berlin” represents very well the particularly welcoming cultural and human climate typical of Weimar Berlin. However, if we wanted to try to reconstruct the relationship between Green and Saint-Jean, on the basis of Green’s works, we would not come to anything because self-censorship and the defense of privacy are essentially impenetrable. It should be emphasized that Saint-Jean was also a homosexual, in his novel “Passé pas mort” – The undead past[15] male loves are often quoted, without masks or modesty, even if with all the moderation and elegance of writing. The struggle of the soul with the body is also felt in Saint-Jean but less exasperated than it appears in Green: We would have gone through storms and this need for mutual presence would not have failed, this hunger that time cannot satisfy. Why he? Why me? Why this happiness that is nothing more than feeling silent in the same room?[16] 

To try to understand the evolution of Green’s positions towards homosexuality after the second conversion, I would like to focus on two closely related works of Green even if far in time, the novel “Moïra” published in 1950 and the theatrical text “L’étudiant roux” completed by the author in 1993. The play is an adaptation of the novel for the theater but with substantial changes. Who reads the novel tends not to interpret it as a homosexual novel because the protagonist, a nineteen-year-old student of the University of Virginia, red hair, violent and fanatical, yet another literary reincarnation of Benton Owen Green had fallen in love with, is openly heterosexual. Joseph shares with his fellow students that season of life in which the drives explode uncontrolled and in which every value is questioned. Joseph imposes himself both for his physical presence and for his very particular moral disposition as a radical “puritan”, a staunch defender of an uncompromising faith. In the novel there is also a homosexual character, Simon, who, in love with Joseph and, not returned, decides to commit suicide, but it is a marginal episode in the novel, admitted and not granted that such an episode can be considered marginal by who really remains involved. It’s also possible to perceive by intuition something similar to a secret relationship between Joseph and his friend Praileau, but the thing remains too vague to assume a real weight in the development of the story. Moira, which is the Irish form of the name Mary, adopted daughter of Joseph’s landlord, is used to seducing and does not expect herself to be seduced by a beautiful virgin guy who seeks holiness and considers chastity the supreme value. At the end of their only night of love, Joseph will realize that his myth of chastity and holiness is now destroyed and will kill Moira. “I hate sexual instinct,” Joseph said in a dull voice. He stood straight at the table, his fists clenched, his forehead illuminated by the lamp. Something was broken in his features like a wave. With a contained violence, he resumed: “Did you hear what I said? I hate the sexual instinct. Do we yield to that instinct? That blind force is evil [. . . ]. We are conceived in a crisis of dementia.” After mentioning this passage.
Ferdinando Castelli, Jesuit and professor of literature at the pontifical Gregorian university, in his essay “The taste of hell in the novels of Julien Green”[17] continues: Perched in this hatred, Joseph becomes an isolated man: he lives in the company of mistrust, fear, contempt for the sex sphere. They call him “the Angel exterminator”. He has no friends [. . . ], has no interests except that of eternal salvation, he does not grant himself entertainments. Above all it has no love. Can one live without love in proud solitude? When the demon of lust, crouched deep inside, awakes and bites, Joseph strangles the girl with whom he has sinned: Moira.
The reading of the novel by Green given by Castelli, as a conflict between the flesh and the spirit, which on the other hand reproduces a motif dear to Green, seems logical and satisfying, even if it leaves the reader, and especially the homosexual reader, rather perplexed. A beautiful heterosexual guy, paladin of chastity, who strangles the only girl with whom he has had a sexual intercourse inevitably pushes the reader to wonder what is behind the crime and above all what lies behind the hatred declared towards sexuality.
The answer to the doubts comes from Green himself, who in 1993 adapted the story for the theater reveals the arcane: a relationship of homosexual love exists between Joseph and his classmate Praileau. It is Green himself who states that this is the fulcrum of the whole affair. Among other things, in the play, the episode of Simon is greatly reduced and Simon, rejected by Joseph, will simply abandon the university and will not commit suicide as happened in the novel.
Let us now try to give a reading of a non-Catholic but homosexual matrix of the whole affair, of course it is only one of the possible interpretations and it’s up to the reader to judge of its plausibility. Joseph, as already said, a nineteen-year-old student at the University of Virginia, a southern United States region that didn’t shine at the time for openness, has a homosexual love affair with a classmate, Praileau, obviously Joseph and Praileau’s story is lived in a completely hidden way.
Joseph is not afraid of homosexuality itself but of being identified as a homosexual. The love story is lived with such discretion that another homosexual guy, Simon, finding in Joseph something that attracts him and not seeing him at all interested in girls, thinks he can move forward. Joseph is already engaged on an affective level, but the real reason why he leaves Simon is another: Simon tends to express his feelings too openly and Joseph risks being identified as a homosexual. Then there is another fundamental point, for a very nice 19-year-old guy it is obvious to have adventures with girls, Joseph must therefore find something that allows him to keep girls at a distance without fueling gossip, the best trick is chastity for religious convictions. That’s why Joseph becomes the sworn enemy of sexuality, but attention, we talk about heterosexual sexuality. It is in essence a very exasperated attitude but at the same time all exterior. The secret life of Joseph in fact isn’t involved at all, rather it is almost defended and secured by these attitudes. So far we could say that it is a classic homosexual story in a homophobic environment, but apparently at least, one would not understand how Joseph can get to spend a night of sex with a girl and how he can get to strangle her soon after. Let us now try to deepen the discussion. Joseph, is living, it is true, a homosexual love story, but in reality he is not willing to renounce, in the name of that love, to a rewarding life made up of frequent and “normal” social relationships, a little like the Clive of the “Maurice” of Forster.
The appearance of Moira is lacerating for Joseph not because Moira unleashes in him the fire of lust but because she brings to mind a reality alternative to his homosexual love, socially accepted and much less complicated to manage. Moira represents for Joseph the temptation to betray his true love and to live like a hetero guy. Moira is very seductive and Joseph thinks that you can also try to be straight and the thing at a technical level works, this is the great temptation of a repressed gay, but then comes the idea that you cannot betray yourself and live a life that is not your own. Moira is murdered because she destroyed the “true” dream of love of Joseph that is the relationship with Praileau. This reading of the story of “Moira” and “L’étudiant roux”, which is much more credible than that based on a figure of Joseph considered a true heterosexual, torn apart by the struggle between flesh and spirit, is yet another proof of how much, even many years after Green’s second conversion, homosexuality is alive and present in his works.
An example perhaps even more significant is found in another novel “Le malfaiteur”. Green had stopped working on this novel in 1938, when the time for his second conversion to Catholicism was maturing, but in 1955 the intimately felt desire to contribute to a deeper understanding of the homosexual condition led Green to resume and complete the novel “To bring to the attention of serious readers one of the most tragic aspects of the sexual (carnal) life of our modern world, tragic because it involves in a sometimes violent way all affective life and seriously affects spiritual life.”[18] As we see quite clearly, Green, over the years, while remaining Catholic, recovers at least in part his homosexual conscience. The novel has a rather simple plot: Hedwige, a young orphan, lives in the same house as Jean and only partially realizes Jean’s homosexuality, he would not be afraid to explain things to her even if in writing. Gaston Dolange, the object of love both of Hedwige and Jean, is unashamedly homosexual and knows how to monetize his graces.
Gaston, who is not interested in either Hedwige or Jean, appears only briefly at the beginning and end of the novel, but his sexual orientation is absolutely clear both to the other characters and to the reader. The evildoer is Jean, because he loves too much the handsome guys. The bourgeois society is still willing to turn a blind eye avoiding at least sending the police to give scandal knocking on Jean’s door. For years Jean lives hidden then, before disappearing committing suicide, he confesses himself (the so-called confession of Jean), in a letter to Hedwige, the girl, in the text of 1955, is not able to really understand the meaning of what he reads because Jean’s confession is vague and cryptic. She only knows she is a girl in love with a man who will never be able to desire her physically and she will also end up following the path of suicide. If it is true that Green in 1955 considered it his duty to shed light on the unknown world (then as today) of homosexuality, he left his work deliberately in half because, in practice, the text of 1936-38 was published in the ’55 without the fundamental chapter containing “the confession of Jean”. In the ’55 edition, the reasons that push Jean to flee to Italy, where he then committed suicide, remain smoky and incomprehensible, and it should be emphasized that the vision that Green offers of homosexuality is radically negative because Gaston is a nice maintained gay and Jean is a guy deluded and depressed who ends up committing suicide, and as if this were not enough, no explanation is offered either for the behavior of the former or for the latter. Only in 1973, with the second edition of “Le malfaiteur”, there is a substantial resipiscence of Green: the “confession of Jean” is reintroduced in the original integral form of 1938, without censorship, and so, reading the text, we understand that homosexuals, both in Paris and in the province, are forced to attend the typical places of clandestine meetings, disreputable and seedy places, because they are forced to live in falsehood and in constant fear of scandal, are filed and monitored by the police and even denied by their families. The reintroduction of the full text of “Jean’s confession” gives the text another depth and makes serious understandings of the dramatic situations in which homosexuals were forced to live in France in the 1930s.
But let’s close the references to the works and return to the biography of Green. There is a part of his life on which Green is totally reticent, if possible more than about Saint-Jean, I refer to his relationship with his adopted son Eric Jourdan. If Saint-Jean was a year younger than Julien, Eric was 40 years younger than him. Jourdan is a novelist and a playwright, his debut novel “Les Mauvais Anges”, published in 1955, when he was not yet 16, is still one of the most popular homosexual novels, in which sensuality emerges to the highest degree. Pierre and Gérard, two seventeen year old guys are overwhelmed by passion, their sexual desire is violent: “We had wanted to know all the secrets of love in a single night and a real fury guided this discovery, to the point that dawn enlightened in these bodies satiated but not satisfied two young lovers doubly male for their way of taking and giving to each other.”

Such a union could not but arouse jealousy around them. Some young neighbors of whom the two guys had slaughtered the falcons, for play or revenge, kidnap Gérard and rape him. From here begins the sliding of Pierre and Gérard towards death. Their love is both joy and torture. They are both slaves and masters in satisfying their pleasure, they don’t tolerate any compromise and prefer to choose the death that suffer the wear and tear of the feelings and bodies caused by time. As we can see, it is not only a homosexual novel in the most explicit way, but a novel that is immensely distant from the vision of homosexuality typical of Green.
After the publication of “Les Mauvais Anges” Juordan lived in a very free way before being adopted by Green. After his adoption he settled in Paris and remained close to Green until his death. But we don’t know more than this. Francesco Gnerre interviewed Eric Joudan in 2007.[19] Jourdan had made the condition that there were no questions about Green, However, to the explicit question of Gnerre: “Why don’t you want to be asked questions about Julien Green?” Jourdan replies: “The fact is that very often we tend to make allusions to the story of my adoption to belittle my work, and I don’t like this. Of course I adored my foster father, but we never practiced the same kind of writing and our vision of life has always been poles apart. Juliern Green was a fervent Catholic, I am a pagan, an iconoclast. I am convinced that all the churches and religions, in the first place the monotheistic ones, are kept standing by people who exert their influence on individuals and on the community under the exclusive pressure of material interests. They blame the people for “making them pay”, both in terms of cash offerings and the removal of their drives.” Frankly, I don’t think that the relationship between Jourdan and Green can be seen as the relationship between the devil and holy water, things are certainly much more complex. Green and Jourdan met when Jourdan was 15 years old and all kinds of gossip were made about their relationship, but the two did not get destroyed by gossip and after a few years Jourdan’s parents died and Grenn adopted him and even on this the gossip spread. In “La Civiltà Cattolica”,[20] after the death of Green, Ferdinando Castelli published the article “Julien Green witness of the invisible – in memoriam”. Castelli’s article aims to emphasize the figure of Green from the point of view of faith, but in the article there is a direct reference to the problem of homosexuality in the work of Green. “What does Green think about sexuality and homosexuality, themes repeatedly taken up in his work? – “There was in me, in different periods, an element of terror before sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular [. . . ]. In 1958 I won (supprimée) sexuality. I heard a voice saying to me: “Or now or never.” I replied: “If You don’t help me, I cannot do it.” The help has arrived, but the experience has been excruciating. It lasted about two years, but now peace is back “. Homosexuality is a very large theme, it is a mystery that concerns the wider sphere of sexuality. Both homosexuality and heterosexuality fall into the struggle between the flesh and the spirit: the problem is this,”[21] 
I point out that Green doesn’t see a specific problem in homosexuality but tends to frame all the sexual morality in the dimension of the struggle between the flesh and the spirit. Radical dualism seems inevitable to Green, but a secular spirit, faced with these things, wonders what is the reason why sexuality should be suppressed and finds no other motivation than the blind obedience to a precept that is attributed to God. I can understand that in tracing the obituary of a homosexual and Catholic writer, “La Cività Cattolica” is concerned with giving God what belongs to God, but for a secular homosexual, like me, it is essential to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and highlight the elements of the life and work of Julien Green that make stand out the homosexuality, won or repressed as you like, but essential to understand the true torment of a soul torn by faith. The prohibition of homosexuality, I return to the point, as in general the prohibition of non-procreative sexuality even within marriage, has no other reason than the will to conform anyway to the alleged will of God, even at the cost of suppressing sexuality violently. God gives us sexuality and then forbids us to use it according to our freedom and without harm to anyone. The prohibition has no other reason than to measure the level of obedience and self-denial before the God’s request, a little like the request made to Abraham to sacrifice his son, but, to take back a bit of evangelical language, whoever of us, if he saw his son in a garden full of fruit, would forbid him to eat the fruits of a particular tree to test his obedience? If therefore we, as bad as we are, don’t forbid our children to eat any fruit of the garden, because should God, who is infinite goodness, show Adam the tree of knowledge to say: you will not eat the fruit of this tree? It will be possible to answer that this is a mystery of faith, but it is precisely because faith, through these mechanisms, creates suffering, that I cannot conceive how blind obedience can be made a principle on which to found life.
[1] Julien Green: Religion and Sensuality – By Anthony H. Newbury – p. 12-14.
[2] “Aucun désir charnel ne me tourmentait. Si le cœur brûlait, les sens étaient profondément endormis et j’étais d’une froideur exceptionnelle. L’idée de porter la main sur Frédéric m’eût paru tout bonnement monstrueuse, parce que rien ne me semblait beau qui ne fût pas pur, ce mot retrouvant dans mon esprit tout le pouvoir qu’il avait failli perdre.” – Partir avant le jour.
[3] “Une ou deux minutes plus tard, de l’autre côté du pont, je dis à Mark : «Je regrette, je ne peux pas.» Il me serra légèrement le bras et dit : «Je comprends très bien.» Une fois de plus, j’avais mesuré le risque de perdre à jamais son affection et l’avais jugé trop grand. Ai-je besoin d’indiquer que dans mon œuvre, Mark revient sans cesse, sous une forme ou sous une autre ? II est toujours le mystérieux beau garçon à qui l’on n’ose pas déclarer son amour. Eric Mac Clure, dans Sud, Praileau dans Moïra, Angus et Wilfred, les deux alternativement, dans Chaque homme dans sa nuit, Paul dans Le Voyageur, surtout le beau garçon de L’Autre Sommeil”. (Terre Lointaine, V, pp. 1257-1258)
[4] “Pamphlet contre les catholiques de France”
[5] «Les catholiques de ce pays sont tombés dans l’habitude de leur religion, au point qu’ils ne s’inquiètent plus de savoir si elle est vraie ou fausse, s’ils y croient ou non ; et cette espèce de foi machinale les accompagne jusqu’à la mort.»
[6] «On ne croit pas sans se livrer bataille, mais ils ne luttent pas avec eux-mêmes, et ils acceptent le catholicisme comme quelque chose de simple et de naturel ; ils finiraient par le tuer, si c’était possible.»
[7] «Cependant ils sont catholiques, puisqu’ils ont reçu la marque de l’Eglise, et ils le sont pour toujours, car l’Eglise ne fait rien que d’éternel, mais ces enfants soumis portent les germes d’une corruption puissante. Ne cherchez pas autre part les vrais ennemis de cette Eglise chrétienne dont ils se croient les défenseurs.»
[8] «On les a élevés dans le catholicisme ; ils y vivent et ils meurent, mais ils ne comprennent ni ce qu’ils représentent ni ce qui se passe autour d’eux, et ils ne pressentent rien du mystère qui les enveloppe et qui les sépare du monde.»
[9] «Ils vivent dans le monde comme s’ils étaient du monde ; cependant ils ont été mis à part en vertu de certains signes et de certaines paroles, et s’ils comprennent qu’ils sont marqués, et qu’ils se révoltent, ils n’en sont pas moins catholiques, et s’ils s’avilissent, ils demeurent catholiques dans leur chute et leur damnation.»
[10] «Ils lisent des prières dont chaque mot est d’une grande importance et ils les lisent comme s’il s’agissait, dans ces prières, de quelqu’un d’autre, de la vie de quelqu’un d’autre, du salut de quelqu’un d’autre. On dirait qu’ils ne savent pas qu’on y parle uniquement de leur condamnation à mort et de leur grâce ; on dirait qu’ils croient que le catholicisme a été fondé pour les autres et qu’eux-mêmes, s’ils en font partie, c’est par hasard ou par jeu.»
[11] L’Osservatore Romano, 27/28 August 2008 – “Storie di conversione: il duplice ritorno di Julien Green – by Claudio Toscani”
[12] “Salus extra ecclesiam non est”, Cyprian, epistle 72 to Pope Stephen
[13] François Mauriac, biographie intime, by Jean-Luc Barré – Fayard editor, Paris, 2009.
[14] Julien Green: The End of a World – As Germany occupied France, Green brought Paris to life in his superlative diaries.
[15] Passé pas mort, Grasset, 1983, re-edited in 2012.
[16] «Nous aurons traversé des orages sans que cesse ce besoin réciproque de la présence, faim que le temps ne rassasie pas. Pourquoi lui? Pourquoi moi? Pourquoi ce bonheur rien qu’à se sentir silencieux dans la même pièce?»
[17] Civiltà Cattolica 2971-2976, p. 353.
[18] … de porter à l’attention des lecteurs sérieux un des aspects les plus tragiques de la via charnelle dans notre monde moderne, tragique parce qu’il engage d’une façon parfois violente toute la vie affective et qu’il touche gravement à la vie spirituelle] [Introduction to Le malfaiteur in the Complete Works of 1955.]
[20] La Civiltà Cattolica, 1998 IV, 365-375.
[21] Taken from the interview reproduced in Le Monde on 19 August 1998, 17
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I am very reluctant to write this story because it touches very delicate issues. The facts are told in a very short diary of which a person I know made me have photocopies, I asked the phone number of the author of that diary and they gave it to me, I called him, he knew me only by interposed persons, because he had heard about me and my blogs, but he said I could use that material but he asked me to do it with extreme caution, and that’s what I will do.

The diary in some places presents true dramatic tones. I rewrote the story, (in the first person) summarizing it and, as usual, trying to respect its spirit. I emphasize that what you will find below is absolutely not my personal point of view.

“My story is a very particular story, it is the story of a very intense and very short but essentially impossible gay love, impossible because denied, suffocated in the bud. All this took place over 25 days, I counted them one by one.

I am 23 years old and he, Mark, 19, we met at university, he was enrolled in the first year, I was about to finish letters. It was late afternoon, after classes, he asked me about the institute of glottology, I tried to explain everything and it started like that, then we kept talking and he was fine, he was hesitant but he was happy to be with me. I didn’t know him at all, he was a handsome guy, but I also liked him from other points of view, he was straightforward, authentic, he did not play, that evening I would never go away. I didn’t even think to tell him I was just fine, I had no second purposes, in fact I often talk to some guy, but just because I’m there and I must pass five minutes. I felt bigger than Marco, more mature, somewhat protective.

The next day he looked for me in my classroom and I took him home, a very long and pleasant trip. In the following days I noticed that between us a strong relationship was creating and I didn’t know how to behave, with me Mark talked about everything but never of girls or sex. If I wanted to be honest, at the cost of losing him, I had to tell him exactly how things were. I did it. Marco was deeply troubled because he wanted to be my friend, but not that way, he told me it right away, but he didn’t know if he would ever succeed.

At first I simply thought that being like an object of love of a gay guy was not an acceptable for him, but the problem was not that. I understood it a minute later because he himself told me in an effort of sincerity that must have cost him blood, he told me: “I cannot share your feeling because I am Christian”, but from this sentence I still couldn’t understand what he was really telling me, I simply told him: “I didn’t understand …” And he replied, winning a very strong embarrassment and without looking at me: “I am gay but I am a Christian and I want to live chastely … and being close to you it would be much more difficult.”

I was shocked by this explicit statement, but he is like that, he is not really capable of cheating anyone, ever! Then he told me: “it’s a battle with myself but I have to win it, it may seem absurd to you but for me it’s essential.” I didn’t know how to behave, whether to do all my usual talk about religion or avoid. I said nothing, took it as a form of respect and he didn’t run away, when we saw each other he was happy but always with a sense of underlying guilt. I let him talk about it, I was hoping very much that he could also understand things from my point of view, then we also talked about religion. For him it was an essential thing, He tried in every way and with the utmost commitment to do things honestly. He was not bigoted, he was not invasive, no! He had taken it 100% seriously.

I have not been to churches since I realized I was gay, in practice since I was a kid, but I read some gospel pages willingly, the closures that the Pope has on gays seem to me absolutely immoral but I don’t think at all that religion is a stupid thing.

Mark realized that I had a certain respect for these things and was happy with him, but he never spoke to me about the problem of religion and gays. The twenty-fourth day, one Saturday, he asked me something very strange, he asked me to accompany him to church the next day … I told him that I would certainly come. Sunday was a particular Sunday and there was a bishop who was supposed to confirm more or less twenty guys.

Marco and I have entered. I would have stopped at the bottom, but Marco wanted me to go further with him and we went to a desk about halfway up the church. The bishop entered for the mass, a thin, tall, old man. The guys were singing, the church was full of people, there was a nice atmosphere. Then the bishop made his speech e he said some very beautiful things, which moved me, on the fact that we are all brothers and that loving our neighbor is difficult. In practice there was not a single word of the bishop’s preaching that I would not have said identical. They seemed like beautiful things, 100% shareable, then we exchanged peace, but it did not have the ritual flavor it usually has, it was serious.

He got up and went to confession on the way back he knelt right next to me, then he went to make communion, he was happy as I had never seen him. When we left the church we talked for a quarter of an hour and he told me that he wanted to be a priest but that now he would have problems in the seminary, before deciding he had to be sure he could take it all the way without hesitation, he explained to me that he would first have to solve the problem of homosexuality and that if I loved him I really had to help him by not looking for him anymore.

I think nobody can imagine what I felt in those moments, I was upset, I didn’t know what to say, he asked me to say goodbye forever and I respected his decision, I told him that I would love him always and however, he replied that he knew this and that he too would not forget me but that his path was different.

It’s been a week now and I have not heard from him. Now I feel sick inside, I feel lonely, I feel lonely and I think I was a coward, I didn’t do what I should, I think I only respected his words and not his soul, that I did him go for what he told me to be his way but that maybe it’s not really his way, because he chose that choice in a dramatic way, because he was split in two, because to save his soul he had to destroy himself. What makes me feel bad is that if he had to repent of his choice he would have no one willing to listen to him. I absurdly followed him in choosing the path that led him permanently away from me, but if he wanted to go back, no one would help him and I think that sooner or later he can go into crisis. The sense of despair comes to me not only for me but above all for him and I feel guilty and I think that my behavior was hypocritical because respecting a person means always telling everything you think and I didn’t do it with him.”


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At the end of December 2007, I published on the blogs of Gay Project three separate posts containing an interview, divided into three parts, recorded by me in September 2007. The original interview is in Italian or better, in a very lively colloquial language, spontaneous and colorful, typical of young Italians of the time. It is a very interesting love story. It was certainly not easy to translate the story into English trying to save the broken prose and the typical tones of the way of speaking of young people. I think it is worthwhile to read the story, even if it is not very short.


Frederick, I call him Chicco, damn how he gave me a pretty hard time … but I love him to death … As for me, well … anyway, I was a little too rush before, I can say precipitous, that is I didn’t even know what the embarrassment was, I had had more or less serious stories with four or five guys in three years, maybe too many stories … let’s say I was rather uninhibited … yes … that is, I have always liked guys very much, they’re so sweet, I don’t know, being close to them gives me a lot of … well … it’s not just a philosophical thing … In short, a nice guy is beautiful and he also gives you a real sensation, that is, you really want him, And let me be blunt about this, I’m not ashamed, I like a guy because he stimulates me sexually … otherwise …  he can also have the brain of Einstein but he tells me nothing … I’m not one of those who are fascinated at the mental level, for me the physical reaction must take place … you certainly understand … well … the trouble is that this thing happens to me very often, that is, I don’t say just with all the guys I know … but it happens a lot … and then … Oh well, what is it? Oh … it’s like that … when it happens to me, it’s not like I’m having too much problems … I just try … I’m a little afraid of being detected by other people but it never happened and then I have the gay radar and up until now I have hit the mark … I’ve done so, let’s say from 16/17 years until 22, the first real sexual contact … always something relative, but sex in explicit terms with another guy I had it at age 19 … he was not bad but he was not even all this overwhelming beauty … and then one usually gets depressed or must calm a bit … but can you see me depressed or calm? … I said: “This guy is so … but I can find a guy even better!” … and then, one after another … well! What are you laughing for? … Don’t be stupid … oh … it happens … well two years ago I met Frederick at the university … he was 21 years old, and was in my course, a year after me. I have always passed the exams … but I never got the star of the first of the class, that is, I go to class … but if by chance I find a cute guy I go around with him and in class I’m not going at all … oh! I don’t get overwhelmed by scruples … I can lose an hour of lessons and even two, but I don’t want to lose a cute guy … Oh well … I see him, but he does not make me all this effect, cute he is cute, but there is even better, at least, so, physically, I say … I then I was dry with the guys … and I said to myself: “I try!” … I approach him, I greet him … I don’t know what to think, my radar is disoriented … I said … “I hope I’m not going to start a story with a straight guy!” … I needed some more element. Chicco talked only about exams, not about girls … you know … it’s already a lot … but you can always take the beating … then I said: Forget him! … he didn’t go along … in short if a guy likes it, even just to chat, you understand it … but he was formal and made me get some nerves! He spoke like a printed book and I said: “Go fuck yourself! … you and your haughtiness! I’ll find another better than you!”… So I said … but, you know, one thing is to say and one thing is what happens to you inside … I went to class and I kept thinking about Chicco, I then didn’t even his name … then I had two hours of break, usually I go to the library because it is the ideal place to look at the most cute guys, you put yourself there with a book in front and pretend to read. “Oh well, this time I didn’t go to the library to do the gaywatching and I started looking for Chicco around the university, I could not enter the classrooms where there was a lesson but I was looking for him and I said to myself: “Dear Sandro, but you are becoming totally stupid! … You are running after a guy who barely looked at you! “… oh … it was so! In short, I find him in the small library on the second floor … I go to sit next to him … because sometimes I’m just a bad guy … but he doesn’t change his attitude … nothing at all! Not even a small sign, he greets me, he beckons me to shut up because you cannot talk there … so I write him on a sheet: “What time do you go home? So let’s have a chat.” He answers me “Now I have to study because I have an exam in 20 days, but thanks for the proposal.” An ambiguous and provocative answer at the same time … I pretended to read and then every now and then I looked at him but he never looked at me, he thought only of the book … I look at him once, two and three times and then I break my balls. Well no! I cannot waste time with this guy! I feel like a fool, I get up to leave, I do bye with my hand, he responds the same way, looks at me and winks … But go to hell! He winks at me … he doesn’t greet me as he greets his colleagues, he winks at me … I had already said goodbye. I’m leaving. Oh! I could not get him out of my head … The following days I always saw him in the library to study … I went in, I said goodbye, he winked at me, then one day he waved me -10, as if to tell me that the exams would have been in 10 days, then we counted down day by day. I went to hear him at the exams and he was a monstrous thing, I didn’t know even a half of the things he knew. I had arrived when he was already in front of the professor and I thought he had someone accompany him but it was not like that. He took his 30 and praise (I dream of such things!) as if nothing had happened, then he approached me … and he told me: “Here I am …” We went out, he invited me to have breakfast with him. He spoke little, he was formal, I didn’t know what to do, I felt a little uncomfortable, he didn’t show any emotion. I didn’t know what to do. I told him he was nice and I was happy that the exam was fine … the dialogue was very slow, at the limit of the impossible. After two hours we took the subway but he was going much farther than me. I was upset a lot. So the next day I see him and we spend two hours together, two strange hours but not two hours wasted, he didn’t leave, neither I, even if there was talk just about nothing … in short, we went on like this for some days, now the fact of seeing each other and talking a little bit became an obvious thing. I said to myself: “If I don’t break ice myself we get bogged down here.” So one day, after a few generic conversation, I told him that I had to tell him something important and that I wanted some privacy, we left the university and I told him: “Listen … I have to tell you that I’m gay”. He doesn’t upset at all, he tells me that he had already understood it and that the thing is not a problem for him, but the answer that I wanted from him was not that … and then I ask him the direct question: “Are you gay?” … He only tells me “Yes” and doesn’t add a word, he is absolutely peaceful in saying it … then I insist: “And … if I had fallen in love with you?” … and he begins a very strange speech, he tells me that he is not in love with me, then he asks me what does it mean to fall in love … and I don’t know what to say … we keep on talking … then he tells me that it’s evident that I love him but he thinks he doesn’t love me, he tells me that he doesn’t believe in love. I take courage and I tell him that I really want him on a sexual level, in saying it I fear his reaction … he replies that he wants me too but this has nothing to do with love and that what he feels is not love but only selfishness, because really of me as a person he doesn’t care at all … he tells me that he will never make love with me because he doesn’t want to play with feelings … he is upset, very upset … I propose to him to take a ride in the car, he accepts … We go out of town, I don’t know what to do, he doesn’t speak. I make a risky gesture, I take his hand, the first physical contact with Chicco. I, who was never afraid of anything, with him felt embarrassed, upset … he waits a few seconds, obviously doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t withdraw his hand, doesn’t retract it but doesn’t even tighten mine … tens of seconds pass like a nightmare, then finally he shakes my hand and hugs it very close to almost hurting me … then starts crying and says that he will never succeed to love me really. I take a handkerchief, wipe away his tears and he shows me  slightly a smile or better a half smile … I feel him very close but I don’t have the courage to kiss him. We remain silent in the car for a very long time without looking at each other, hand in hand. Sometimes he hugs me tightly. Then he says to me: “Take me back home, I’m fine now, but I don’t want to deceive you”. I raise his hand and kiss it, he lets it go, now the magic moment seems over, I start the engine and bring him home. He greets me giving me a very light caress on the hand, he had never done such a thing … then he tells me. “With me you have to be very patient … please don’t abandon me …” He got out of the car, I did the same, he didn’t expect it, I hugged him very tightly and lifted him off the ground, I made him just do a round of 360° without letting him touch the ground, then I kissed him. He was crying! Our story begun like this! 

Well, I resume from where I left before … One who hears this story up  to that moment what does he think? He thinks that the following day they go to bed together! … But no! Do you know what he does? … – and come on, I’m telling you soon … – he goes into crisis, but just in a crazy way, and doesn’t even tell me anything … just abruptly disappears! I call him on his cell phone and he doesn’t answer me, I send him a lot of text messages and he doesn’t answer me. I send him 20 e-mails a day and he doesn’t answer me … he made me feel really bad this (omissis), it’s better for me to forget it! In short, he was seized by a crisis of conscience … exactly! It’s not that he didn’t feel attracted, maybe if he had not felt attracted, perhaps repressing himself could have been something thinkable … No! He felt attracted to me … but he just couldn’t bear this fact – “I gay? It’s impossible! … yes, a fantasy happens … but only that … ” – … Let’s say that maybe he had also got used to the idea that he liked the guys … but in his own way! … – Yes … and come on! – … He looked at guys and thought about them … thought a lot about them! Did you understand!?… that is,… but who is the gay guy who if he sees a guy whom he likes, in the end, does not masturbate fantasizing above him? … But he does not! He never did it! … or almost never … when he did it, it seemed to him that he had killed someone … he went to confession, told the priest only that he had masturbated … but that he was thinking of a guy he didn’t tell him anything at all … So, when it happened to him, the thing died there … because they were all fancy stuff … but I was there … well, for all the time we counted down to the exams, in the library, he was looking at me, but not so much, he had put in his mind that the love he felt for me he did not have to dirty it with sex! … That’s it! … in short, he for the entire period we had spent together, if I can say so, before the story of the hug out of the car, they would have been twenty days at least, he had never masturbated thinking of me! Yes, it is! … I instead … obviously … I was always there … but he thought that doing the same he could offend me, he thought that masturbating thinking of me meant that he didn’t love me … and other stupidities like that! Oh well I didn’t even know it … and how could such a thing have crossed my mind … Now I tell you what happened … because he would never tell you himself … the evening of the hug he came back home and masturbated thinking of me! … And he liked it as well! … and then … – he told me about it, and he was serious … – he felt like a dishonest … he didn’t feel worthy of me … damn it, if he knew what I did! … Anyway … I went under his house … day and night! … I thought of everything … that he had had an accident … maybe that his parents had seen us from the window … but I would never have thought things like they really were … He makes me wait under his house two days and two whole nights … – then he told me he saw me from behind a window and he knew I was there – … well, on the third day he felt sorry for me … he said: “If I don’t do something … I find him embalmed here below “… in short, he went down the street … I was in the car in the cold, half-frozen … he knocks on the glass and makes me sign that he wants to get in the car … it didn’t seem true to me … I thought: “He has taken his decision!” … I was upset a bit from sleep, a bit from the cold but also from happiness … He sits, serious, I would have beaten him … and tells me all the things I told you before. I thought, “Is he really out of mind or is he pretending? But this guy must be sent by some serious psychologist!” He went on to tell me what he had to tell, with the face of one who would be buried by shame and never looked at my face, I don’t say a smile, for heaven’s sake. I said to myself: “What am I doing here with this guy? … and I was under his house two days and two nights! … But I send him instantly to get fucked …! “. And I said to him: “Listen to me, I don’t really care about all these stupid things, come get out and go away!” But he didn’t want to go out and I was getting angry badly! At that moment I would have beaten him … but he started crying and completely turned the omelette, he told me that he would do anything for me, that he felt stupid, and so on … then tells me that if I wanted to, he could make love with me as well immediately. And do you know what I told him? “My dear, but you are crazy! … so, later, if you throw yourself under the train, the fault is also mine!”… He felt uncomfortable, he was crying desperately … then I started the engine and we went for a ride. I swear to you, I didn’t know what to do, I would never have wanted one like him, but he had glued to me and I liked such a situation … you know, you say: “I’ll wean this guy … he has never been with anyone”… in short, it’s not a small thing … Oh, well, we go out of town, I didn’t know what to do … No! … seriously! I thought: “This one I violate him!” … but not for me, just for him! Look, I really thought so … but, well, given the type, the reaction a little scared me … But I wanted him to melt a little … In short, we were all day around … He was happy! … and well! … and then he tells me: “I’m happy because you didn’t try other things!” … then he looked at me and told me: “Don’t be angry … today I was fine …” and he even fleshed me a smile, that when he smiles … well … in short , it was worth it … So I asked him: “Do you feel attracted to me?” He began to answer philosophical things and I told him. “No! Wait up! … I want to know if you feel attracted to me sexually … ” He became red like a pepper and said: ” … even sexually … yes “… then I told him: “So then today you have to masturbate thinking of me … ” He reacted very badly to my final comment, not for the thing itself but because he thought I was making fun of him, his eyes were red and he told me: “You cannot understand these things … you don’t have to tease me I’m making a terrible effort to adapt to you and you don’t even understand it!” I apologized in the most sincere way and I felt as if I had betrayed him. He told me: “The excuses are not necessary … I know that you love me.” At that moment I thought: “I really love this guy! I’ll dedicate all my life to him!” I wanted to ask him something about his life, I wanted to understand something more than those things “that I could not understand” but it was not the moment … He had understood that I loved him but I didn’t know if he would give me another date, I did not know whether to ask him, I was afraid to go too fast … by now I would have adapted to its rhythms anyway … In short … all the way up to his house I wondered how I should have said bye, that is at what level … in short, if I could take his hand or I could caress him. When we arrived under his house I felt frozen … he made a gesture that I never expected, he took my right hand in his and kissed it … then he said: “See you tomorrow at university … ” and told me not to get out of the car.

The other time we had finished with the afternoon spent in the car when he had given me the appointment at the university … In short, you  have understood who Chicco is … The next day I go at the university … well, I expected him to melt completely, that is, I don’t say too much, but I waited at least a bit of complicity, I honestly wanted a lot more … I thought: “Chicco is melting and then I can enjoy him properly!” Oh! Nothing absurd eh! I love Chicco … but a tender thing, oh well, I knew it was impossible, but you know, fantasy sometimes came back and then I wondered if he would have masturbate thinking of me, I said to myself: “Certainly not!” But then the brain was always there again and again! He was so ashamed, yes … but in the end it’s not that it takes a lot, and I imagined that while I was doing it he did it too and then we did it together … for me being in love with Frederick was like that … that is,  how can you fall in love with a guy without  thinking of him in terms of sex? … No! It’s impossible! … Well now these were only my fantasies … from him, given the type, I didn’t know what to expect – Chicco, it is useless for you to make me sign to shut up and become red! … if we have to tell him everything we must tell things how they really are – Okay … I wait for him at the end of the lesson and he dodges me, I follow him wagging my tail and he pretends not to see me … I insist and put a hand on his shoulder and he looks at me as if he wanted to electrocute me, I withdraw my hand … but I don’t give up and he goes to the parking lot, he has the car there, makes me sign to get in the car and starts one of his rants, says that it was all a mistake, that he thought about it, that he doesn’t want to make me suffer because in any case he can never fall in love with anyone, he apologizes a hundred times and tells me that our story has no future. Apparently it seems determined, I’m embarrassed. I tell him: “Give me a serious reason, just one!” He doesn’t know what to say, he repeats that he doesn’t feel it but in the speech he sometimes lets himself go to flashes about his life that doesn’t seem casual and escaped by distraction, they are things desired and often told with a visible embarrassment, that is the speech that he tries to do is serious and he commits himself very strongly. While I’m talking, I look at him and he stares at the empty space in front of him. He tells me that he’s very religious and that for him to feel at peace with his own conscience is fundamental, then he adds a whole story about the fact that he knows very well the positions of the church on gays “and he accepts them!” … Yes, you understood correctly: he accepts them! … so he said! … I said to myself: “What does this guy say? But I choke him!” But he had prepared his little speech accurately and he was acting everything to me … just like a well packaged script … Oh … I liked Chicco and a lot … but when one plays such a scene, you give him up! You certainly cannot become crazy with him … What had I to do? Two plus two is four and I say that I’m sorry for everything that happened and I open the door to go down. He turns to me and says: “No! Please! Please! Don’t go!” I closed the door and told him: ” Listen Frederick … but you’re telling me that I have to go!” He tells me it’s not true, he doesn’t want me to leave but he doesn’t even want a good friendship like ours to be ruined by “other things” … Other things?! … At that moment he made me angry but he made me feel sorry too, I saw that he was holding back in a frightening way, almost raped himself to self-control, we were at the university parking lot, and in the morning and there were people, but I had the precise feeling that if we were alone and I had kissed him he would abandon himself completely … but it could not be done. I didn’t know what to do … I made him talk … but he said a lot of stupid things that in the end I couldn’t bear anymore and I told him. “Frederick, you didn’t understand anything about life!” And he looked at me, red eyes, little tear, and told me: “I think you’re right … I would like to live like you … but I can’t do it, I just can’t.” We sent to hell all the morning and afternoon lessons and we left the city, two sandwiches and something to drink and then always talking and we talked about sex, he told me that the day before he had masturbated again thinking of me and then he hadn’t felt guilty. Because for him, after masturbation, you “must” feel guilty! I told him that I had masturbated too, imagining that we did it at the same time and I told him that I had fantasized about the fact that we could do it together and he replied that it was a beautiful thought and that the same evening he would masturbate thinking of me and dreaming of doing it with me. I would not have dreamed of something like this from Frederick neither after twenty years of gay marriage! I was upset … in the morning he tells me that he has the scruples of conscience and in the afternoon he gives me speeches like that. I say to myself: “What am I doing? Have I to try?” In the end I take his hand, first he lets me do it but does not participate, then shakes my hand, caressing it. My hand is dry and warm, his is cold and wet, almost insensibly I try to feel the pulse: it is very frequent, he’s anxious. I think I’m doing well and I say to him: “Frederick, come on, now I’ll take you home”, he looks at me upset: “But why? What did I do? … I’m letting myself go now but it costs me a lot … we’re here, please … don’t bring me home … I want to be with you … Please Sandro, don’t freeze me like that! If it’s necessary, insist on me, I’m not used to these things but I want them, I swear I want them and I don’t want to ruin everything … I don’t want to ruin everything … hug me, please, hug me! Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you understand that I need it?” We sat in the back seat of the car and I hugged him tightly, I didn’t even think about kissing him. I held him to me and my Chicco trembled, trembled and chattered his teeth, he didn’t say a word. I was shocked, I had my adventures but I had never seen a guy who had a physical need to be embraced by me as violent as that of Frederick. He was stressed out. I caressed his hair but I didn’t kiss him. After a few minutes I looked him in the eyes and I said: “Chicco … I love you!” He told me: “Now, if you want, we can go.” We passed on the front seats and I drove to his house, he told me that he had feared that I would refuse him and that he loved me because I had understood that he needed time. I told him: “Only for this?” And he replied: “For this even more!” Every so often while I was driving I passed my hand through his hair and he said to me: “Come on, come on … don’t do that.” but he said it with a very sweet voice … Along the way I asked him a thousand times how he was and he said:” Good! Sandro, good!” Then I ventured a more difficult speech, I told him: “I have to tell you something … I’m embarrassed a lot but I have to tell you … when we hugged, I wanted you … I went really hard, I thought I couldn’t hold it back.” He told me: “Yes, I noticed … “. I ask him the explicit question: “Does it bother you?”. He replies: “No … it happened to me too …” … Chicco, but you don’t say anything? – “And what have I to say? You have already said everything … but I’ve got a fear … that if this story ends up on the internet I can be considered just like a total imbecile … anyway I’d like to know how the readers of our story will take it, they should be all gays … Wow! That is bad! … well, but I think that nobody will read it!
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-birth-of-a-gay-love


I have not written about the relationship between the Catholic Church and Gays for a long time. Pope Francis undoubtedly didn’t fuel crusades against homosexuals as his predecessor Benedict XVI had done many times, and this fact ignited hopes for a hypothetical change of course of the Catholic Church on the issue of homosexuality and hypothetical openings of Pope Francis himself towards the gays. I say hypothetical because, before becoming Pope, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires he expressed himself with very clear words against the legal recognition of homosexual unions (http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-pope-bergoglio-and-homosexuals), and also the Synod on the Family, had resolved in a fire of straw and in a substantial reaffirmation of the “magisterium” of Benedict XVI in the matter of homosexuality. I don’t believe that Pope Francis has ever had real openings towards gays, but admitted and not granted that he had them, what is certain is that, as it was absolutely obvious to expect, in fact, nothing has changed. The Catechism, as was obvious, has not been modified and the so-called openings have manifested themselves for what they were, that is, as attempts to save face.

I have always been amazed by the insistence with which the homosexual Catholics have sought the approval of the Church, an essentially impossible approval, which would require a profound revision of doctrine and the renunciation of the Church to the dogmatic claim to be the infallible interpreter of the will to God. The Church is a historical reality that of the message of Christ has often made litter and that, like all historical realities, is deeply conditioned by its own tradition that ends up overlapping the Gospel message and becoming confused with it, obscuring it.

I would like to propose to your reading a document signed by the Archbishop of Turin, with which the Archbishop suspends a seminar that is part of the “pastoral care of homosexuals” because its meaning would have been misunderstood. I don’t go into the fact that the meaning has been misunderstood or not, but I want to emphasize that the document is a clear proof that nothing has changed in the Church and nothing will change on the subject of homosexuality.

Below you can read the text of the message from the Archbishop of Turin, as published by the Diocese website (http://www.diocesi.torino.it/site/pastorale-degli-omosessuali-intervento-di-mons-nosiglia/)

“Pastoral care of homosexuals: intervention by Msgr. Nosiglia

Statement by the Archbishop of Turin on 5 February 2018

Below is the declaration by the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, of 5 February 2018, regarding the pastoral care of homosexuals and the interventions that have appeared in recent days on some media:

«Regarding some media interventions on the pastoral commitment of Father Gianluca Carrega, priest of the Diocese of Turin in charge of the pastoral care of homosexuals, it is appropriate to clarify some points.

The Diocese of Turin has for several years promoted a pastoral service of spiritual, biblical and prayer accompaniment for homosexual believers who meet with a priest and reflect together, starting from the Word of God, on their state of life and their choices in subject of sexuality.

This is a service that has proved useful and appreciated and that corresponds to what the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” of Pope Francis affirms and invites us to do: ” We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives. “(No. 250).

This is the purpose of the spiritual journey of accompaniment and discernment proposed in the Diocese. It therefore wants to help homosexual persons to understand and fully realize God’s plan for each one of them. This does not mean approving homosexual behaviors or unions, which remain for the Church morally unacceptable choices: because such choices are far from expressing that project of unity between man and woman expressed by the will of God the Creator (Gen. 1-2) as a mutual and fruitful gift. But this does not mean not taking care of homosexual believers and their request for faith.

This is why the path that the Diocese has undertaken does not in any way legitimize civil unions or even same-sex marriage on which the “Amoris Laetitia” clearly states that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family “(No. 251). Some publications have provided, in these days, different interpretations – often superficial, sometimes biased – that make it necessary to clarify the characteristics and limits of work in this pastoral context. Since we are dealing with people in research who live delicate and even painful situations, it is essential that the information that is published corresponds to the truth and to a correct understanding of what is proposed, with a spirit of profound evangelical charity and faithfulness to teaching of the Church in matter. For this reason I believe, together with Father Gianluca Carrega of which I appreciate the work, that it is opportune to suspend the initiative of the retreat, in order to carry out an adequate discernment.

Mons. Cesare Nosiglia Archbishop of Turin”

Someone was amazed at what was written by the Archbishop of Turin, but it should be emphasized that the Archbishop’s document merely refers to the Amoris laetitia of Pope Francis, who deals in a very short way with homosexuality only in two points, which literally you can read below:

250. The Church makes her own the attitude of the Lord Jesus, who offers his boundless love to each person without exception.[275] During the Synod, we discussed the situation of families whose members include persons who experience same-sex attraction, a situation not easy either for parents or for children. We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided,[276] particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.[277]

251. In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers observed that, “as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”. It is unacceptable “that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex”.[278]

[275] Cf. Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 12: AAS 107 (2015), 407.

[276] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358; cf. Relatio Finalis 2015, 76.

[277] Ibid.

[278] Relatio Finalis 2015, 76; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons (3 June 2003), 4.”

The document of Pope Francis refers to the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy, to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and to the Final Report of the Synod of Bishops on the Family of 2015, which in turn dedicates to homosexuality only n. 76:

“76. The Church’s attitude is like that of her Master, who offers his boundless love to every person without exception (cf. MV, 12). To families with homosexual members, the Church reiterates that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his/her dignity and received with respect, while carefully avoiding “every sign of unjust discrimination” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4). Specific attention is given to guiding families with homosexual members. Regarding proposals to place unions of homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family” (ibid). In every way, the Synod maintains as completely unacceptable that local Churches be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies link financial aid to poor countries to the introduction of laws to establish “marriage” between people of the same sex.”

The Final Report of the Synod of Bishops explicitly mentions the “ Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons ” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of 3 June 2003, signed by the then cardinal Prefect Joseph Ratzinger (http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-from-prejudice-to-human-rights). The Church’s doctrine on homosexuality therefore remains exactly the one sanctioned by Benedict XVI.

I wonder how, today, homosexual Catholics can maintain an attitude of subjection that involves the subordination of individual conscience to a “magisterium” which in substance has nothing evangelical and does nothing but perpetuate claims of pure prejudice in stark contrast with the scientific truth and with the daily experience of homosexuals.

I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I know many homosexuals and many homosexual couples, frankly, to think that God’s plan for these people involves the obligation of chastity seems to me a truly obscene statement.

If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear!


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Hi Project,
I read some parts of your book “Being Gay” and I was struck by the idea of gay morality, that is, the idea of distinguishing between good and bad or at least less good homosexuality. In this way, I believe that you want to highlight what is good about homosexuality, and I can only agree with you on this, but unfortunately, underlining what’s good, you end up also underlining what is or may be negative and here I could still agree with you, but with some significant limitation.

Project, you say you are absolutely secular and I respect you for this, I come from a rather traditional Catholic education, in theory I should have learned to distinguish good from bad but I also learned not to judge and not to underestimate the reasons of others, even those who have very different lifestyles from mine.

I am now close to 70 years and every time I happen to have a serious dialogue with someone who has lived experiences far away from mine I realize that if on one side I keep my tendency to judge, for the other I am strongly held back by the fact that the wrong things, when they are seen closely are much less strange and wrong than they appear when they are viewed only from a distance or are considered only in theory.

I was talking a few days ago with a guy who was not yet thirty and, as my old habit and my fault, I was for the umpteenth time trying to put myself in the chair, but fortunately I stayed and I left room for that guy. He spoke to me with great sincerity of his life experiences and I felt completely disarmed, I realized that my moralistic arguments made no sense when compared to hard experiences such as those experienced by that guy. I felt a total imbecile, one who deluded himself to understand everything without really having any knowledge of what he is talking about. My world seemed to me only a pile of empty talk.

What would I have done if I had found myself in the situations in which the guy found himself? What would I have chosen? And then, I would have had a real chance to choose? That guy was radically different from me in his attitudes because he had a life radically different from mine and much harder than mine. Years ago I would have misjudged guys like him, I would have said that they had the fixed idea of sex, but, after all, I saw more and more clearly the stupidity of these judgments.

The morality of my being gay, or at least what seems to me to be the morality of my being gay, if I want to tell the whole truth, probably comes to me from my Catholic formation, which has somehow preserved me from the hardest experiences, that is, the my being a Catholic made me a gay man in a very particular way, but beware, this is a more prudent, wiser, more controlled way, but perhaps even more hypocritical and less substantially participatory. I did what all the boys do, including sex, even if with caution, I’m not a saint and I reproach myself especially for not doing that little good I could do, then I stop to reflect and I wonder what turned me away, for example, from the search for unrestrained sex, and honestly, thinking about it, I don’t think it was Catholic education but fear, that is brutally the need to save face, which is still very mean, here the border between morality and meanness becomes much less clear.

The need to save face for me was valuable only because I was never really 100% myself and above all I was never put with my back to the wall from situations really stronger than me, as happened to that guy because in that case I would probably have behaved exactly like him. When we go to the substance of things, the morality of people, rather than an individual quality is the result of a context and the same concepts of merit and guilt lose their clear contours.

After all, Pope Francis himself said. “Who am I to judge a gay?” It seemed like an awkward phrase, which wanted to indicate an opening, but it is a phrase that has an extremely serious meaning. I tried to apply that phrase to myself and I came to the conclusion that I have no right to judge. Even those who go in search of desperate and almost neurotic sex can have their own moral and that moral is not worse than mine, and is only apparently different.

From the dialogue with that guy I understood that sex did not bring him happiness at all and that in him the need to be loved and respected for what he really is is very much alive, I would even say that it is much more alive than in me. We were talking for hours and we realized that there was a profound mutual respect between us, a mutual respect that was almost unexpected but absolutely real.

Project, allow me a digression, I, who am a gay man and I don’t want to lose contact with my faith, I greatly admire Pope Francis, because, in my opinion, he has brought Christianity back to its founding values, has not made controversy with modernity but he sought out people and their suffering, essentially he did not judge but tried to make his voice heard in favor of the last ones. Doing something good and concrete without judging anyone, this is his style.

In short, now I feel that my being gay can be truly reconcilable with my being a Christian, at least to a certain extent. I know you have argued the opposite, but you have argued it in other times, and I would like to understand what you think today, after Pope Francis gave a more evangelical reading of Catholicism. Excuse me if I allowed myself to provoke you with this mail but I respect you very much and I’d like to know if you’re always of the same opinion. I would like to emphasize that I really appreciate what you do.

Hi Paul, I have read your mail with great interest. Yes: do not judge! It is an evangelical principle but it is also a secular moral duty. What you say about that guy, I have happened several times and put me in crisis several times. Now my tendency to judge has greatly reduced and I have recovered the awareness of my ignorance and of my incapacity. I think I still have a lot to learn and unfortunately, at my age, I will not have time to understand many things, but certainly I will keep under control the idea of judging.

As for Pope Francis, I cannot deny that, although I feel radically secular, I listen with the utmost attention to what he says and try to treasure it. I also have the impression that he has brought Catholicism back to more authentically evangelical values. Catholicism is not or should not be an ideology. I would say that he is a pope who has substantially secular attitudes that can be shared by many reasonable people even outside the Catholic Church, he has undoubtedly courage. I cannot deny that, especially in the last few months, I was very impressed by the fact that Francis never emphasizes the divisions but seeks the collaboration of men of good will to make all together something good and concrete. Indeed, Pope Francis did not judge but tried to pursue the good by committing himself to the peripheries of the world. I am only sorry that he is now an old man because his presence could be dismissed quickly after his departure from the scene, and I believe that, if this happened, it would be detrimental to everyone, Catholics and others. Well, I think you can understand pretty well what I think of Pope Francis.

Paul, I thank you very much for your “provocation”! I wish there were so many provocations like this!


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Dear Project,

I have seen that lately the activity of the forum is very low. I hope you have the opportunity to answer me because in your forum I have read many interesting things about gays, things that are very different from what I had heard for years and that I still hear.

I’m 23 years old, I’m a gay guy, I have no doubt, in practice I always knew, at the beginning I did not know that my way of being was what people call homosexuality, I was aware of it a few years ago, more or less at 15. Currently I study Engineering, studies are fine and I’m not very far from graduation. Finding work will be a problem, but in my sector, luckily, there are few people and some possibilities still exist, but these are all things I will have to face later.

I am not publicly out, in fact I would say that I am not out at all and this affects me a bit. Anyway, I cannot risk either at university or at home. At the university it is only about study or girls (but little), I have never heard anything gay, not even jokes, the argument does not exist. In my course we are really few, at most a fifteen, and it is not the right environment to look for friends, the collaboration among students is only formal, although no one explicitly admits it, there is a race to stand out and everyone has its unspoken but evident aims because the environment of our faculty is very much tied to industry and professors are in fact an excellent launch pad for high-level work. We study a lot, faculty is considered among the best and it is really, but the human environment is competitive and in essence very unfriendly.

My parents are under 55, they married young. But I do not have much dialogue with them. In practice, I keep them afar off, when the opportunity to talk a little comes I prefer to talk about stupid things or university things that do not matter to me at all. I do not know if they ever wondered why I never had a girlfriend, since all my so called friends have a girl.

Anyway, my parents don’t ask questions. From a bit of phone conversation between my mother and my aunt I can deduce that according to my mother I have postponed after graduation the idea of catching a girl, however, this means that she noticed something abnormal but not only, that also means she talked about me with her sister, which makes me really bother. My dad is a bit different but he is succubus of my mother and, maybe I’m wrong, but I thought this was one of the reasons for my homosexuality: I do not want to be succubus of anyone. My father’s dependence on my mother, in my opinion, has something excessive, pathologic. Nevertheless, it does not make sense to try to make a clear speech neither with my father nor with my mother, so the problem does not exist at all.

I have passed my phases of interest in pornography, even exaggerated, but then interest has dropped. More than sex I needed a true friend looking a bit like me, I’m talking about a gay friend, if it was not just friendship, it would certainly be better, but it did not seem to me an indispensable condition. At the university I do not even try, because the risks are too many and there we are just reciting as in the theater. I tried the chats, those a bit hard but they were really a squalid.

After a while, practically by chance, on a Sunday morning I accompanied my parents to Mass. Time ago, let’s say up to three years ago, I was in the parish circles and the environment was quite familiar to me. My parents have known the parish priest for years and were talking to him. I sat on a step waiting for them and saw a group of guys playing football, more or less a dozen guys, but they were not kids, they could have had more or less my age. One of those guys immediately caught my attention, he smiled, indeed laughed very directly, was a handsome, tall, thin guy with light brown hair, smooth, short but not too much short, for a moment we crossed eyes and for me it was like a lightning strike. He had beautiful eyes, just looked like a happy guy. But the thing ended there, my parents came and we went home, but I kept thinking about that guy. Then the study week resumed and I ended up thinking about something else.

On the following Sunday I offered to accompany my parents to Mass, just because I was hoping to see that guy again. After the Mass I looked into the yard and the guy was there, he was sitting on a step talking to other guys, he saw me and gestured with his hand, I responded the same way, he obviously remembered me. Then I left and another week passed.
In short, I went every Sunday to Mass and after a few weeks I started exchanging a few words with that guy, whom I will call Luca. I was comfortable with him, he was very direct and at the same time non-intrusive and then he was a smiling guy. We started to greet us with a handshake, and he held my hand tight and it was a nice feeling.

One Sunday, and I will never forget it, we had to go to Umbria at my grandmother’s house and went to Mass at 7am at the first Mass. I almost got a heart attack when I saw him come out of the sacristy with the dresses on him, coming to say mass. Luca is a priest, I did not suspect it at all. There were few people in the church and Luca made a brief sermon that I still remember. The basic idea was to not judge because we just see the appearances and not the heart of people. That preaching, however, applied to Luke, led me to wonder what the appearance was and what was in his heart.

Of course, seeing that Luke was a priest I was shocked. I kept going to Mass but I avoided looking for him. In the end, after a few days, he was looking for me. Frankly I was afraid he would try to take me back to the sheepfold, but I did not have the impression that the purpose was such, slowly, very slowly, a true friendship was born, of course I carefully avoided talking with him about personal matters but I realized he was comfortable with me and was looking for my company. He lived in the parish, cared for the activities with the boys, and the parish priest trusted him very much but also kept him under control, he told me he would like to have a pizza with me one night but that he could not because he felt controlled and it was a strange speech.

One day he calls me and tells that his grandmother is very bad and he has to go to see her in a country in the province of Varese. He asks me if I am willing to go with him to Milan. I tell him yes and I tell him that we had to get there by car, because getting to Milan by train is easy but getting from Milan to the village could be very difficult. I told my parents that I could stay away for a couple of days and left with Luke at eleven in the morning. The journey was long and in the car we were alone, and so it was almost inevitable that we came to talk about our private. He did not ask me if I had a girlfriend. I just told him: “I have to tell you that I’m gay.” And he replied, “Me too.” Then followed a long silence. We talked a lot, he told me about his life, that he wanted to do something good and that he was not a priest to escape from something but to find something, he told me that he was happy.

In seminary he had talked about homosexuality with his spiritual father who encouraged him to move forward and do not abandon the road undertaken. He also told me that he was very happy to talk to me and that for him it was like a liberation, because he could be himself as never happened to him. I refrained carefully from telling Luca that I had fallen in love with him, because I would have put him in serious trouble, within me I do not deny having experienced some bitterness and I asked myself many questions. Was Luke really thinking what he was saying or was he saying that things because somehow he ought to do so? Certainly he seemed happy to be a priest and I think he was really, but sometimes even having a close friend or something more can be crucial, especially when the years begin to pass. I told him about me, practically everything, just omitting that I had fallen in love with him and I think he also told me pretty much everything, omitting that he had fallen in love with me. But in a similar situation what could we do?

We arrived in Varese in the evening, we did not go to the village because his grandmother had been hospitalized in the city. We went to see her. Luca brought her the Holy Communion, but she was better and the doctors thought she would leave in a few days. We had to come back, I would have liked to stay at the hotel to talk a little and start the next morning, but I ended up proposing to leave immediately because I did not want to create problems. We left. The journey was very nice, we looked like a gay couple, we were fine, but in the end we both chose to omit the fundamental thing, that is, the “I fell in love with you” that could have upset our lives. I drove all night and early in the morning Luca was back in the parish. The parish priest saw that we were back right away and now he trusts me.

Every now and again, more or less once a month, I’m going to have a pizza with Luca. Of course the situation is strange, but I see him happy and every other thought goes far away from me. We have also talked about gay things, sometimes, but always in a very abstract way and above all we have never talked about us. This story is very strange and I can tell you that among the many hypotheses I had made for my future I never took into account such a situation. Now I go on so, I just need to see Luca serene, even though I’m so afraid that things can change from one moment to the next.

If you want, post my mail on the forum. (Obviously the country was not in the province of Varese!).

C. C.


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The gays have long been engaged in the civil rights struggle and in particular to get the right to marriage or to a civil union, if you don’t want to use the word marriage, which produces the same effects as marriage. The conquest of civil rights recognized by law is a crucial first step towards a non-discriminating community, but remains nevertheless a formal step. You can realize this by observing the number of marriages or gay civil unions in countries where the law recognizes them. In general, only a very small minority of gay couples formalize their union in legal terms. On the other hand, in the majority of Western countries there is a general decline in the number of heterosexual marriages and a significant increase in free unions without any legal constraints.

It remains a fact to keep in mind: gay couples that choose not to use the tools that the law makes available to them to attribute civil effects to their union, very often do so because, even though the law declares the substantial equalization of the heterosexual marriages to homosexual ones or civil unions, public opinion remains on the back ground, and discrimination, though no longer on a legal basis, still exists at the social level, and gay people experience it also within their own families. The real core of the problem of equality of rights lies in social inertia, which means that what the law defines and the more enlightened society considers obvious ends up only to permeate very slowly the society as a whole.

The role of new generations in promoting a process of genuine social equality is extremely important because the concept of equality has many implications and the equality of sexual orientations is just a part of a problem that should be addressed in the whole. The role of the gay new generations is particularly delicate because films, television and the internet often offer a very marked and unrealistic picture of homosexuality, for ideological or commercial reasons.

You can nevertheless see very interesting gay books and films, which are in fact faithful reconstructions of real gay moments, because it is always to be remembered that saying “gay” means putting together, taking into account just a single feature, people who are really very different. Trying to transpose into a movie or novel the “gay” life as a general category means to make an ideological discourse. A good book or a good movie must tell the lives of real people, considered as individuals and not as a category.

What would then be the task of young gay men, who can be the true promoters of a new social culture? The answer is simple: who fights in order to make people recognize the normality of homosexuality doesn’t have to take ideological attitudes but simply has to live his own homosexual normality.

I try to explain it better: if it is right for gays to have a chance to meet with other gays, locking themselves in a ghetto that distinguishes “we” (gay) from “they” (straight) means favoring discrimination.

Let me make another example: a sign of the social mentality in the matter of equality of sexual orientation is found in the large libraries. In some large libraries there is a “gay” section; in others the gay-themed books are not placed in a separate department and, for example, among love novels there are also gay love novels and among Sociology books there are also those of sociology of homosexuality, etc.

Another crucial point, beyond the overcoming of the ghetto, is the normality of behaviors. In many countries, public coming out and family coming out are considered critical moments in the life of a gay guy because they are seen as formal and therefore risky moments, where guys are exposed to the judgment of others. It should be remembered that coming out is not a moral duty for anyone, but only an opportunity, if, and I emphasize the “if”, it can be achieved without substantial risks, otherwise it is a choice to avoid because it could be self-punishing. It should be borne in mind that often, in families who are not prepared for the idea of having a gay son, the coming out of the son may be disruptive for parents.

If we try to observe what happens to the straight guys, we can have a pattern of “normal” behavior that should be extended to gays. The straight guys don’t go by their fathers to say, “Daddy, I must tell you something very important!” just to tell them, “Daddy, I am straight!” The young straight guys begin to have straight behaviors from the earliest age, without officially declaring anything at all.
For gays, the road should be similar: attending other boys, taking them home, going out with a boy telling the truth to parents without any further specification, spending Saturday or Sunday with that boy, not answering too much questions.
Let me give an example: “But why do you always go out with that guy?” “Because he is very nice!” Gays often go to crisis because they have internalized the idea that being gay is somehow transgressive and that’s why gays need approvals and justifications.

While it is true that gays, albeit with rare exceptions, grow in highly straight-oriented environments, it’s also true that once they acquire awareness not only of their sexual orientation but of the dignity of any sexual orientation, they should automatically overcome the idea of being somehow subordinate, but this unfortunately does not happen because social pressures are very strong.

To clarify the concept, it’s useful to refer to the obsessive compulsive disorder, the so-called OCD. It is well known that some people, who have a tendency towards obsessive-compulsive character, can develop heavily-structured obsessive-compulsive behaviors around a well-defined thematic core that coincides with the content from which the person is most intimidated. For an old man suffering from an OCD, obsession can be linked to the idea that robbers can rob him and compulsive behaviors, in this case will concretize in armoring doors and windows, in the installation of latest generation anti-theft devices, and in hiding all valuables. Similarly, for a nun with OCD, obsession may be that of sin and compulsion may be that of confessing every day, always remaining with the perpetual idea of omitting something. For a heterosexual young man, obsession can easily be the obsessive fear of being gay and compulsions can manifest in an infinite series of tests (from tests of masturbation with gay fantasies to the use of  gay pornography) that, of course, never provide any answer that can be considered definitive and clarifying.

So, if we observe the incidence of the gay-themed OCD, which I repeat is a typical disorder of 100% heterosexual guys, it is noted that gay-themed OCD is common in Southern Europe of Catholic tradition and in Latin America, while it is very less common in Protestant countries (where the opening to gay couples is much more common than in the Catholic Church.) In some countries in northern Europe, where serious and mandatory sexual education exists, from the earliest age, and where homosexuality is no longer a scarecrow for anyone, the gay-themed OCD, in practice, doesn’t exist at all.

This is a clear sign that negative social judgment on homosexuality deeply affects the straight guys themselves, and causes some of them an obsessive fear of being gay. If this is the effect on heterosexual guys, the result on gay guys is certainly not less. The classic example can be found in the effort that gay guys have to make to accept their being gay as a value, because the Catholic Church affirms in a peremptory way that homosexuality, or rather homosexual acts, are a serious sin against nature. It is certainly no coincidence that a lot of gays in the countries of southern Europe, even though they are substantially  Christians, are nevertheless far from the Catholic Church.

Here comes another idea that generally finds a lot of favor among the gays, namely the idea that the diffusion of scientific thought would be extremely helpful in favoring greater rationality among the new generations.

In 1797, Francisco Goya called an etching of his “El sueño de la razón produce monstruos ” (the dream of reason generates monsters) and in fact, discriminations, which are totally irrational, are precisely the sign that reason has fallen asleep.

Awakening reason leads not to fear the ghosts, to rationally examine each statement before giving it some value. Mythical thought leads to the elation and the blackout of reason, rational thought leads on the contrary to sobriety and to the critical evaluation of events and ideas.

Even morality can be mythical or rational. A mythical morality is dogmatic, its content is stated in principle without any motivation. Rational morality is really such when it resists any criticism because it is endowed with objective evidence.

Personally, I believe that gays have often given impetus to deep innovations in the field of thought, favoring its openness to broader horizons and overcoming dogmatism. Philosophy, literature or art elaborated by a person are the result of the individual experience of that person, that is, they are somehow the daughters of individual psychology, and in a circular movement they tend to change the individual experience and the life itself of other people. That’s why commitment must be maximum: fighting ignorance and prejudice is not only useful for gays but it contributes to the improvement of society as a whole.

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