THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY AND THE GAY MOUSE

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

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

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

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

Civil Recognition

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

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

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

An evaluation of the particular Churches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The transmission of the Faith to children in same sex unions

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

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/…ia_en.html
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I don’t intend to comment on this text by entering into the merits, I limit myself just to underline the breadth of expectations that could arise from it in so many faithful and not.

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

Welcome homosexual people

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

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

52. Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it is noted that there are cases in which mutual support until the sacrifice is a precious support for the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church has special attention towards children living with same-sex couples, reiterating that the needs and rights of children should always be placed first.
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastam…03037.html (My translation)
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As we can see, the “Relatio post disceptationem” very strongly restricts the scope of the “Instrumentum laboris”, but also contains some elements that do not speak of openness but of respect at least towards homosexual persons. From the point of view of a lay man who sees things from the outside, however, with the “Relatio post disceptationem”, the mountain of expectations has given birth to a skimpy little mouse. The press, however, welcomes the Relatio as a great opening of the church towards homosexuals. However skimpy, the gay mouse is around the Vatican but the austere Synod fathers are not intimidated by that mouse and armed with their age-old wisdom, are ready to catch it before it escapes officially from the Synod hall. Here the minor circles sharpen their weapons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We believe that there is a lack of emphasis on important issues such as abortion, the attacks against life, the large phenomenon of adoption, the decisions taken by spouses in conscience, as well as greater clarity on the issue of homosexuality. “[5]
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Evidently, the gay mouse has sown panic among the Synodal Fathers, but they have finally managed to capture it.

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

Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the Synod was over and the gay little mouse was no more wandering around the Vatican, the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference) immediately warned another reason for alarm: there are many gay mice, too many gay mice, just outside the Vatican walls! Fortunately, the world goes his way, even if the church goes somewhere else.
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[1] “Concernant l’accueil des personnes homosexuelles, the nous semble clair que l’Eglise, à l’image du Christ Bon Pasteur (Jn 10,11-18), a toujours voulu accueillir les personnes here frappent à sa porte, porte ouverte à tous, here sont à accueillir avec respect, compassion et dans la reconnaissance de la dignité de chacun. Accompagner pastoralement une personne ne signifie valider ni une forma de sexualité ni une forme de vie.”

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

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

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

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

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GAY COUPLES BETWEEN ILLUSIONS AND DISAPPOINTMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry48

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A GAY GUY WHO WANTS TO COME BACK SINGLE

Hello Project, I recently discovered the forum and I liked it, it seems well done and I find many times in myself what you say, but there is one thing on which I feel a long way away. Not that I don’t like what you write, only that it doesn’t seem realistic at all. I try to explain myself better. You talk about gay love, or rather about Gay Love, and it feels good to me, only that they are abstract concepts that I ended up putting aside.

I’m not so young, I turned 35 and I have had my experiences, some important, other less, but they are all over and I don’t regret them, at least I don’t regret them for what they really were, maybe I could regret them how they could have been, but here too we are always in the realm of fantasy. Will I fall in love again? I really don’t think!

I leave a “serious” story because it was so, a story that lasted 5 years. Years of anxiety, expectations, illusions and disappointments and then substantial disappointments. I don’t blame my ex, who was, after all, a good guy, maybe too different from me, or maybe we were not a well-matched couple. He was not so much interested in sex, maybe I was more interested in it, but the point is not even that. I would have liked to go and live together, and we could do it, but he didn’t want it because ” it would have been like show ourselves in the streets”, he said. But at a certain point, if you’re gay, if you feel at ease, or at least relatively at ease with your boyfriend, you’ll have to take a step forward!

We always saw each other secretly, he never wanted to take me to his house. He had no plans for our future, he could go on like this forever, but I wanted something else, I wanted to build something that was a bit like a family, just the two of us, but in one place of our own, in short, one has his needs also of privacy, even of intimacy.

I would have been willing to put myself at risk, but he didn’t want to because he said he would get into trouble at work. He has an important job and is also a character in sight. Well, he did his calculations, I was on one side of the scales and on the other there was his job and all the rest, and he decided he had to sacrifice me. For him everything had to continue as before, I could be the evening side dish of his strong plate that was his job. As a side dish I could go well, as a single dish no! And so, without too many compliments, he presented me his alternative: or so or we end it here. In recent times I had understood that it would end like this and I didn’t have too much effort to say: “Ok, then I go, bye!”

The previous stories, if I have to tell the truth, have left me very little, both in good and in bad. After many years, there is nothing left. For only one guy I felt and still feel some regrets. It was I the one who cut ties with him and I think I hurt both him and me, because maybe he was really different from the others. In practice he is the only one I have seen again sometimes even later. Now he has a history of his own for years but I don’t know much about it.

But does it make sense to look for a boyfriend? Apart from the fact that gays are few, even among those few it is very difficult to find one who can be good. I have some friends, but only friends, in fact my friends are guys that I don’t like physically, so no fear of impossible love. They tell me: but for sex, how are you doing? But there are porn videos, which at least don’t give illusions to the head and compared to the adventures like “a blow and go” at least are not dangerous for health. And then at almost 36 years. . . Well, what should I do? Should I break my head for someone? To crash into a wall of selfishness and stupidity? No! I gladly do without such things. I don’t close the doors to anything, if anything should happen to me, well, I’m ready, but certainly I will not chase guys. That phase is over.

Pornography is an alternative to real life, a non-binding, lighter thing, in which you are alone with yourself, which, after one has experienced many other things, eventually proves to be nothing stupid at all.

As a boy, I got used to thinking that a gay man should just hide, and I avoided those who wanted to come out into the open, then slowly I started to think that sooner or later a gay man or a gay couple must come out, at least going to live together and then I ended up avoiding those who thought as I thought before. In practice, these problems have been very important for me.

Life is a disgusting, Project, a continuous being deceived and also deceiving others, without a moment of real dialogue. Everyone has in mind his own project to achieve and doesn’t worry about others, I too behaved like that, but now I’m tired of going on like this. I want to go back to being alone, at least without a more or less stable partner. I would not go looking for partners for a one evening adventure, I don’t care at all such things, maybe I would be interested, but I’m too afraid of AIDS to throw myself into things like that, the old, healthy pornography, taken even in small doses, is much better.

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me what I think of gay couples and I answered him with a skeptical smile, he looked at me and said: “Ah! I understood!” He wanted to be encouraged by me! He was not making his proclamation of love to me, he just wanted to be encouraged to throw himself with all his shoes in a new adventure, but he didn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about it.

And then it’s not even a gay problem, for hetero people it’s even worse. I don’t understand the meaning of wanting to be together anyway. I understand when it comes to bring children into the world and, to the limit, to raise them, but if there are no children, why this mania to get together? Each one to his own home, even a home suitable for a single person, but nothing more, so that when two guys meet, there is a bit more enthusiasm, but I don’t like the gay parody of the family of the white mill!

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GAYS AND COUPLE STABILITY

In this post I intend to analyze the stability of the couple life of gay guys. The issue is complex and cannot be reduced to the social problems that gay couples have to face. We start with some ISTAT data. In Italy, in 2007 there were a total of 81.359 separations (+ 1.2% compared to 2006) and 50.669 divorces (+ 2.3% compared to 2006), equal respectively to 273.7 separations and 165.4 divorces for every 1.000 new marriages, this means that for every 1.000 new marriages celebrated 439.1 end with separation or divorce. The children involved are 100.252 in separations and 49.087 in divorces. These data are absolutely objective and show how the life of a couple, despite the exaltation of it that is made by many parts, is actually very fragile even for married hetero couples, that is, for couples who, in theory, at least because of the presence of the children, should have the maximum stability.

In Spain, according to data published by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística and the Ministerio de Justicia (source in Spanish daily La Razón), in four years the law on the marriage of gays allowed the celebration of 13.116 homosexual unions, 8.898 marriages between gays and 4.218 marriages between lesbians. In all there were 159 divorces and 6 separations between homosexual persons. The divorce between homosexual persons in Spain is equal to 1.26% while among the heterosexuals it is around 66%, i.e. every three marriages two couples separate or divorce. The data are not comparable to each other for many reasons but over time and with the spread of gay marriage it is to be expected that the differences between gay and straight couples, in terms of divorce, tend to decrease. A fundamental concept must be emphasized: the so-called gay marriage presents, even after 4 years, extremely marginal percentage incidence because it is in fact an institution that can only be used by a minimum percentage of the homosexual population, i.e. by the publicly declared homosexuals, around 4 % of homosexuals, or approximately 0.32% of the general population. For gays not publicly declared, which make up about 96% of all homosexuals and about 7.7% of the general population, the introduction of same-sex marriage has not changed anything.

In interpreting statistical data, it must be borne in mind that a heterosexual guy is led by the family and the social environment to the idea of forming a couple and getting married. Parents encourage him in this sense. The fact of having a girl is considered as a license of adult life, that not only must not be hidden but that can be exhibited in all environments without any risk. At least theoretically, hetero sexuality is connected with the idea of having children and behaving “according to nature”. If these factors don’t determine the heterosexuals at the wedding, certainly favor the path towards marriage, very often even when the premises for a marriage are in fact lacking. The results of this social pressure towards marriage are easily detected in legal systems rather elastic in terms of separations and divorces, as it happens in Spain, where two out of three marriages break up and the presence of children is not sufficient to prevent their dissolution.

One wonders how many heterosexual couples would exist if social conditions were adverse as it happens in the case of homosexual couples, that is, if there was not the incentive to put children in the world, if heterosexual unions were considered unacceptable on a social level and they had to be lived very often secretly. The life of a stable couple, between hetero people, would be an exception, as it is among gays.

The population of Spain amounts to approximately 46.5 million inhabitants. By admitting a percentage of homosexuals equal to 8% we reach the amount of 3.720.000 gay people, and the percentage of married homosexuals amounts to 0.70% of the homosexual population, a minimum percentage. This means that, beyond the fundamental legal recognition, in Spain, the condition of gays, on a social level, has not really changed except marginally with the introduction of homosexual marriage.

If from the world of gays publicly declared, who arrive to marry, you go to the world of undeclared gays the situation however, at first glance, doesn’t seem to change much. In this case, of course, we will not talk about married gays but about stable gay copies. However, the number of stable pairs appears to be rather low, even if the statistics are much more difficult in this case. Among undeclared gays it is widespread the ideal of the stable gay couple that represents the dream of the vast majority of undeclared gay boys, but anyway you can see few stable gay couples. I emphasize that I do not have said “there are few couples” but “you can see few couples”.

Also the phenomenon “gay couple” is greatly affected by the non-visibility of undeclared gays that are about 96% of the total. Only the gays publicly declared can access the marriage and only they affect the official statistics, the rest is submerged.

Based on what emerges from the chat with the guys, I note that, after the introduction of the internet, the condition of undeclared gays has changed significantly. Until the early 1990s, for an undeclared guy, there was no possibility of meeting other undeclared guys. There were even at that time gay associations, but obviously they were frequented exclusively by publicly declared gays. For the others, the overwhelming majority, in fact, associationism was completely impracticable and isolation was the rule. Things have changed in recent years. For an undeclared gay, there is today the possibility of starting a dialogue with another gay not declared in conditions of total anonymity.

Adopting a common sense behavior it is however possible, with moderate risks, for an undeclared gay guy, to know other undeclared gay guys and it is also possible, and even not uncommon, that two gay guys not declared know each other in person, which it is the basic condition for the formation of a couple between undeclared gay guys.

From the privileged observatory of Project Gay several interesting facts can be observed:
1) Gay people not publicly declared put first in the ranking of the values of their life the possibility of living in couple with another guy. I asked myself if this is only by analogy with what happens in the hetero world. It is clear that for a gay couple there isn’t any incentive relate to children and social pressure, which is on the contrary strongly discouraging. Can, then, only the imitation of the hetero world lead gay guys to consider living as a couple as the first value of life? Frankly I think that for gay guys, and especially for those not declared, the realization of a life as a couple is not just a response to an emotional thrust towards another guy but also has the sense of a revenge on life, represented by the overcoming of a solitude often problematic if not distressing, much more radical for a gay guy, in particular not declared, than for a heterosexual one who does not live in a couple. Basically, for an undeclared gay, living in couple also means overcoming a situation of unease.

2) When creating a couple is possible but not easy and represents a liberation from a state of unease, the life of a couple, which is born against the social judgment, is nevertheless intrinsically strong, so strong as to overcome social obstacles, even by means of a non-visibility accepted as a normal condition. In these conditions the couple stability is high. If creating a gay couple was not only possible but also very easy, the gay couple would intrinsically be born with the same basic fragility of the heterosexual couple, i.e. it would not be born as a realization of a single (or almost) possibility to create a couple, but as a result of a choice between the many possible choices and the idea of modify the choice already made would also appear in the gay field, as it increasingly appears in hetero field.

3) The number of gay couples among undeclared guys tends to progressively increase and especially among younger guys. There are more couples made up of guys between the ages of 20 and 30 than couples of guys between the ages of 30 and 40. Younger gay guys already start with the idea of a possible couple life, the thirty-year-olds are much more skeptical and forty-year-olds consider the life of a gay couple almost unrealizable. However, there are stable couples that have formed between guys well over 30 years, but they are guys who have lived long periods of sexual repression, who have not had previous sexual experiences and have preserved well beyond 30 years an affectivity and a sexuality typical of much more younger guys.

Adopting a common sense behavior it is however possible, with moderate risks, for an undeclared gay guy, to know other undeclared gay guys and it is also possible, and even not uncommon, that two gay guys not declared know each other in person, which it is the basic condition for the formation of a couple between undeclared gay guys.

From the privileged observatory of Project Gay several interesting facts can be observed:
1) Gay people not publicly declared put first in the ranking of the values of their life the possibility of living in couple with another guy. I asked myself if this is only by analogy with what happens in the hetero world. It is clear that for a gay couple there isn’t any incentive relate to children and social pressure, which is on the contrary strongly discouraging. Can, then, only the imitation of the hetero world lead gay guys to consider living as a couple as the first value of life? Frankly I think that for gay guys, and especially for those not declared, the realization of a life as a couple is not just a response to an emotional thrust towards another guy but also has the sense of a revenge on life, represented by the overcoming of a solitude often problematic if not distressing, much more radical for a gay guy, in particular not declared, than for a heterosexual one who does not live in a couple. Basically, for an undeclared gay, living in couple also means overcoming a situation of unease.

2) When creating a couple is possible but not easy and represents a liberation from a state of unease, the life of a couple, which is born against the social judgment, is nevertheless intrinsically strong, so strong as to overcome social obstacles, even by means of a non-visibility accepted as a normal condition. In these conditions the couple stability is high. If creating a gay couple was not only possible but also very easy, the gay couple would intrinsically be born with the same basic fragility of the heterosexual couple, i.e. it would not be born as a realization of a single (or almost) possibility to create a couple, but as a result of a choice between the many possible choices and the idea of modify the choice already made would also appear in the gay field, as it increasingly appears in hetero field.

3) The number of gay couples among undeclared guys tends to progressively increase and especially among younger guys. There are more couples made up of guys between the ages of 20 and 30 than couples of guys between the ages of 30 and 40. Younger gay guys already start with the idea of a possible couple life, the thirty-year-olds are much more skeptical and forty-year-olds consider the life of a gay couple almost unrealizable. However, there are stable couples that have formed between guys well over 30 years, but they are guys who have lived long periods of sexual repression, who have not had previous sexual experiences and have preserved well beyond 30 years an affectivity and a sexuality typical of much more younger guys.

Anyone who wants to try a couple life aims at sexuality and the couple in themselves, largely disregarding the person of the other guy, completely neglecting the basis of the couple’s life which is founded on the authentic and reciprocated love for another guy. Basically on this basis what is formed is not a couple but an image of a couple that lacks the strength of cohesion that a gay couple born on a relationship of love really has.

2) Gay couples built on weak foundations can last in spite of their fragility because the opportunity that determines their dissolution may not materialize. A fragile couple, without external shocks, resists but at the slightest impact it shatters. Often the fracture element is constituted by the presence of alternatives. If the reason that caused the fragility is this, to the dissolution of the couple follows, at least for one of the guys, the almost immediate constitution of a new couple, the so-called alternative couple. A few years ago, when gay couples among undeclared guys were very rare, they were also very stable, now they are much less rare and begin to present aspects of fragility, it is believed that with the increase in the number of couples made of not declared gay guys, their fragility will also increase. If for an undeclared guy it is more difficult to establish a couple relationship than it is for a publicly declared guy, the relationship between two undeclared guys is ultimately more stable precisely because the realization of an alternative appears much more improbable.

3) There are some situations in which the break, usually non-traumatic, of a relationship between undeclared gays is not followed by the establishment of a new couple relationship. Often non-traumatic breaks of this type occur among men no longer young, even well over 40 years, who have a relationship of cohabitation of several years behind them. In these cases it is not the will to create an alternative couple that leads to the dissolution of the first couple, but a slow and progressive desexualisation of the relationship that can also be due to external factors linked to work or other contingent situations. In these cases, the couple’s relationship becomes a friendship that is gradually narrower and ends up dissolving within a few years. Guys come back this way to status of single.

4) Sexuality is one of the fundamental elements of the life of the couple, and couple sexual compatibility is only one element, even if very important and delicate and often critical, which contributes to the stability of the couple, but it should be emphasized that life as a couple should not be considered as an individual objective but, in fact, as a couple goal and should not be understood as a completion of the self but as a creation of a “we”. A concept that must always be kept in mind when observing the phenomenon of the fragility of the couple, and of course also of the gay couple, deserves a specific reflection, it is the relative dimension of the truth. In essence, beyond the purely formal dimensions, such as cohabitation, which is an objective fact, all that truly animates the life of a couple remains in the domain of the subjective, because the subjectivity of the evaluations of the same fact affects so radically its interpretation that the data itself, in its objective consistency, is completely distorted to the point of losing meaning.

The two partners of a couple can read the same fact in radically different and even opposite ways and on this basis they can feed tensions and conflicts. The couple dialogue, even if it is very useful to prevent and resolve possible differences, can in no case avoid subjective interpretations. Since what matters in the couple relationships, rather than the facts, are the interpretations, it remains that the diversity of the interpretations on the part of the two partners represents a factor of original and unavoidable fragility of the relationships of the couple. Basically, the couple, even in the best of cases, i.e. even when it is really interpreted as a “we”, remains formed by two individuals with different characters, with different experiences and also with different objectives. The consequence of all this is the concrete possibility that the interpretations of the facts can become so divergent that they endanger the same life as a couple.

Listening separately to the two partners of a relationship that has gone into crisis, we realize that the behaviors that to one of the two appeared irrelevant or almost, were interpreted by the other as signs of betrayal, lack of love or selfishness. Most of the couple crises derive from a set of interpretations that gradually become more divergent over time. Often at the basis of these differences of interpretation there is an idea that constitutes for one or both partners an unspoken assumption given almost for granted of the couple relationship, this assumption can be summarized as follows: “Now he does not represent what I would like because he has some flaws (he has no will, he has the fixed idea of sex, he is rather indifferent to sex, he wants to include me in his world without giving up anything, is touchy, selfish, etc. etc.) but I will change him and I will make him exactly as I wish him to be.” A similar premise is often the real cause of the failure of a couple relationship. Usually, such reasoning remain in the “unsaid” and can conflict, on the other side, with other unsaid assumptions, of a different sign.

There remains another fundamental question related to the fact that over time people change their points of view and their ways of reacting and that what seems possible and even opportune today could appear completely incongruous after a few years if not even months. Couples built quickly, giving too many things for granted, couples who have elements of original weakness (strong differences in social status, very different previous experiences, strong differences in age) are characterized by a high potential risk. At the individual level, common sense and prudence discourage the rush to build a couple and above all to sexualise a relationship born on an emotional level. The sexualisation of the relationship makes you lose sight of many elements that should be understood before making more engaging choices, and sexual contact, which may seem desired today and consciously desired by both, can easily, over time, be interpreted by one of the two in negative key. The couple life is not the heaven but it is a complex and often difficult reality usually very hard to build, which could, and one must be aware of it, bring more anxiety and worries than serenity and well-being, this is why living as a couple is a difficult choice whose outcome is never a priori predictable

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GAY DATING IS HARD

This post is a kind of response and extended commentary to an Australian guy’s post.
I deal almost exclusively with guys “in the closet”, but the subject is very general: how to meet other gays is practically, and I would say of course, the most recurring thought in the minds of gay guys, what is difficult to understand is that these meetings involve real people and, as I often repeat, the “gay + gay = love” theorem has not ever been demonstrated but there are many evidences that indicate that it is just fantasy.
The Australian guy writes:
“I spent a very long time while I was in the closet convincing myself that I could never have a boyfriend and I had to get comfortable with that idea. Now that that’s changed and having a boyfriend is totally an option, I didn’t realize how important a romantic relationship is to me.”
In fact, the facilitated methods to meet other gays with specific apps or through dating sites and erotic chats, completely neglect the emotional dimension, which in reality is fundamental. The extreme simplification of the so-called “love speech” and the ease of access to other gay guys seem to promise happiness at a low price, but the meetings often show themselves disappointing, because the filter of careful selection through behavior is completely lacking. In the reality of everyday life it is possible to build step by step increasingly important affective relationships. Some think that friendship is a banality and that sex is happiness, but experience teaches that things are not like that at all.
Then there is the social pressure that leads us to think that having a boyfriend is synonymous with being adults. In fact, many guys complain that they are alone and don’t have “yet” a boyfriend, as if having a boyfriend was something mandatory, a real license for adult life. But before you feel good in two you have to feel good about yourself, which is anything but easy.
This is what the Australian guy writes:
“The strong independent guy in me say’s don’t worry about it and concentrate on being happy in yourself. But there’s a part of me that starts to wonder. At what point does it start to get weird that I’ve never actually had someone who I would refer to as my boyfriend?”
And he concludes his post with a bitter joke:
“But because I’d like to be optimistic I’ve already started planning my wedding to be determined at a later date.”
So many guys think that being openly gay is a necessary condition to create a happy couple life, but it’s not like that at all. I know many couples of gay guys “in the closet” or rather not “publicly” out who have their gay friends, and who live a wonderful couple life. They are usually stable couples of not very young people, far from the logic of the apps.
Has the Internet really facilitated things? In other words, has it made it really easier for gay guys to create real emotional contacts? Frankly I don’t think so. The idea of sex and also of affectivity as a consumer good is spreading and in this way the best of being gay is lost.
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GAY MARRIAGE AND PATERNITY

Hello Project,
I write to you to ask for advice, the situation is complex and also quite delicate.
I’m no longer a boy, I’m 38 years old. Until recently my life was quiet, I could not tell you if I was happy, but certainly I was quiet. I’ve lived with my partner for almost 15 years, we got together a home just to live together, we loved each other. To tell the truth we were also lucky, we never had work problems or even big health problems and in 15 years, I personally never looked for alternatives and I don’t think my partner did either. 
Our love was overwhelming only at the beginning, and later became a peaceful coexistence. We shared everything: money, friends, interests, not work, because we work in very different areas, but we’ve been together for 15 years. When we decided to go live together we had to face many problems because our families didn’t approve of such a choice, I especially think because it was a disliked thing at the social level. But we went on the same and built our own autonomy, without changing city, and resisted social pressures and gossip, and we slowly gained respect from neighbors and even their friendship. They now treat us well, they invite us to dinner even if they have teenage children, they no longer regard us as dangerous people.
I must point out that there is no marriage bond or civil union between me and my partner, we are two affectionate singles who are good together but we are not legally a couple, we could also be two friends sharing the apartment to reduce costs. However, the absence of any legal obligation has never caused any problems and there have never been discussions with my partner about it.
You could tell me that in such a situation there are no problems of any kind, and objectively until recently there was no problem, then a new thought began to get in my companion’s brain: formalizing our union, and from there my problems began.
Project, it may seem paradoxical, but in my opinion, we have been well together for 15 years just because we didn’t have any mutual obligation. We were well aware that everyone could go away when he wanted, and this awareness was calming. Frankly, I had never even thought about legal obligations with my partner, it just seemed a useless thing. In the face of his hypothesis, but it would be better to say of his request, to legalize our relationship, I started to ask a thousand questions but without talking to him directly. It was the first time I felt tight and I didn’t talk to him freely. Project, I don’t want legal obligations! And then why does he feel the need for such a thing? So far he had spoken of a desire for paternity, which had put me in alarm, but then the subject had been set aside. 
Today, after the talk about legalizing our relationship, I believe that the old idea of paternity desire is the background spring that pushes my partner to legalize our relationship. And here, Project, I have to say the whole truth, I think that the idea of paternity, as long as it remains an idea, is fine to me, but thinking of concretizing it through adoption or foster caring seems to me frankly a business beyond of our forces. We work both with the most amazing times and often far from home, we don’t have the support of our parents, because my parents are death and he has only his mother who has a thousand health problems, and then, as much as personally, I think I’m not really fit to grow a child. I’m afraid my partner underestimates all these things and feels everything very easy.
It’s been almost a month since every now and then the talk of legalization reappears, I try to slip away but he insists on having some answer, but I just don’t feel like telling him okay. I’m afraid that, in the long run, this situation can put our relationship into crisis and I just don’t want it to happen. Let’s assume that I’m going to give up on his requests, as far as legalization is concerned, perhaps forcibly, but to live quietly I could get there, although I don’t like such things at all, but if the topic of paternity came out I would feel very embarrassed. I would not want to disappoint my partner in any way, but if I gave him my unconvinced consensus, in the end I would take the role of the parent not spontaneously and this could be a big deal.
Project, now you understand what it is. And then I’m tired of the legal problems of adopting or foster caring. I’m very scared of these things. Gay couple okay, married gay couple okay, but much less convinced, gay couple growing up a baby, okay but only if it is a thing really wanted by both. You cannot do such a thing not to say no to your partner! What should I do, Project? With him I don’t even feel like talking, because I did not understand where things could end up. I repeat, if it was only legalization, all in all, I could even do it, but then why? What does it mean? But if there was anything else behind the legalization, I would be very embarrassed. 
Thank you, Project. I’m waiting for your answer. If you can, post my mail in the forum, I would like to hear also other opinions.
Charles
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