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.”
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-or-christian-or-gay
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. 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, 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.
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”.
 Cf. Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 12: AAS 107 (2015), 407.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358; cf. Relatio Finalis 2015, 76.
 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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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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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!).
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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.