AWARENESS OF BEING GAY AND MECHANISMS OF REMOVAL AND UNDERESTIMATION

Let us now try to highlight the typical mechanisms underlying the unawareness and non-acceptance of being gay, in this sense we will consider some of the most typical mechanisms of removal and underestimation of all the elements that, if properly interpreted, would lead to awareness and acceptance of being gay.
BEING GAY 
We assume as a basic definition that being perfectly heterosexual means to fall in love affectively and sexually in an exclusive way with people of the opposite sex and that being perfectly homosexual means to fall in love affectively and sexually in an exclusive way with people of your own sex. Of course, all intermediate positions are certainly possible. Now the problem is to identify, first of all, how the affective and sexual falling in love takes shape. 
What does it mean, for example, to fall affectively and sexually in love with a guy? I’ll try to respond based on the experience gained in Gay Project. 
Falling affectively in love with a guy means: 
1) Intensely wanting for him to be present, creating opportunities to stay often with that guy, trying to delay the separation moment as much as possible when you are with him, perceive that time passes very slowly when you wait to see him and that passes very quickly when you are together with him, exchange as soon as possible texting with that guy and anxiously wait for his answers, try to put him totally at ease, have the pleasure of listening to him. 
2) Feeling for that guy forms of solidarity, feeling discomfort when he is in trouble or is not well, feelings happiness when he is happy even for issues that have nothing to do with you, looking forward to stay close ho him to help him to solve his problems. 
3) Desiring to know as much as possible about that guy’s life: if he has a girlfriend, who his friends are, how he spends his time, what hypothesis he does for his future. 
4) Experiencing forms of jealousy when that guy shows particular sympathy or attention for a girl or another guy, even at the level of important friendship, hope that his love stories will end soon or that they can leave him at least the time to stay with you. 
Falling sexually in love with a guy means: 
1) Perceive the pleasantness of the physical presence of that guy, being struck by his gaze, his voice, his handshake, his way of smiling, moving his hands, walking, seeing something perfect in some physical details of that guy, like the color of the skin, the hair, the harmony of his body, the shape of his hands or face, the heat emanating from that guy, his smell. 
2) Experience the presence of that guy as sexually exciting, to go into erection when you are close to him, especially when you are alone with him, even without any apparent sexual implication. 
3) Asking yourself if that boy is also sexually involved and trying to understand, for example, if he too goes to erection in your presence. 
4) Lingering repeatedly to fantasize about what you would do with that guy imagining him sexually involved. 
5) Dreaming of that guy in situations of nudity or sexual involvement with you. 
6) Masturbating thinking about that guy and dreaming that he can do the same. 
It is obvious that between the forms of affective involvement and those of strictly sexual involvement there are ample coverage and continuity zones and that too analytical distinctions have a very relative meaning. 

A single concept must always be kept in mind, namely that to have a real falling in love, neither sexual interest nor just affective interest is sufficient, the two components are both necessary. 

UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTING TO BE A GAY
People can experience the situation of “being gay” without attributing to the objective falling in love that they live any consciously gay connotation, in this case we cannot talk of gay identity because the meaning of falling in love has not yet been correctly framed by the person who lives it. The problem of understanding and accepting to be gay emerges this way, a problem which, in environments strongly orientated towards heterosexuality, may not be easy to solve. 
AWARENESS 
The most typical mechanisms that delay the awareness of homosexuality are linked to the substitution of the terms that contain references to sexuality with others more neutral, which tend to validate alternative motivations for the interest towards another guy, completely detached from sexuality. Let’s try to synthesize the most typical mechanisms: 
1) ”I am not in love with a guy but I consider him an example to follow because he is beautiful, fulfilled and happy and I am not”. This is the socalled category of the ”model” very in use in the past times to counteract the awareness of being gay by reading the interest in another guy in terms of pure emulation. 
2) ”I like him but it’s just an aesthetic pleasure”. In this classic statement you don’t use the expression ”I’m in love” but in its place the expression ”I like”, identifying the reason for the attraction outside of the sexual sphere in a purely aesthetic dimension. One can say: ”I turn to look at him but only because he is beautiful” and that ”only” tends to exclude the idea of a sexual involvement. 
3) ”I feel physically attracted to him but I am not in love with him because I am heterosexual and therefore I fall in love with girls”. In this regard, I note that the last statement reverses the logic of discourse and transforms what should be the conclusion in the premise. According to the logic one should say: ”I fall in love only with girls (as a matter of fact) so I am heterosexual (I match the definition of heterosexual)”, instead they say: ”I am heterosexual (axiomatic statement assumed by principle) so I fall in love with girls only (due behavior as a deduction from the axiom) ”. I emphasize that saying ”I feel physically attracted to him but I am not in love with him because I am heterosexual and therefore I fall in love only with girls” means to make a separation between sexuality ”being physically attracted” (I note that even here we don’t use the expression ”falling in love”) reserved for guys and the emotional love that would be the ”true falling in love” reserved for girls. Those who use this language are convinced to live for girls a ”higher” love because without sex. 
4) ”It’s just a transitory phase, when I find the right girl, all these fantasies will pass”. This phrase expresses the so-called conception of transitory or evolutionary homosexuality. Here the homosexual attraction is not denied but is debased by confining it in a chronologically limited dimension, but it would be better to say attributing to it a dimension of substantial emotional and sexual immaturity that will be overcome by the advent of a mature heterosexual sexuality ”when the right girl arrives”. I would say that the idea of the transitory phase is particularly subtle because it does not define any concrete temporal limit and allows an indefinite series of referrals of the question to a hypothetical automatic resolution generated from the outside.
The point of view of homosexuality as an expression of an adolescence that has not yet been completed, that is, of surmountable homosexuality, is that adopted by the Congregation for Catholic Education for the admission to the seminary of people with homosexual tendencies. 
The Church ”cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ”gay culture”. Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies. Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”(1)
DIFFICULTY OF ACCEPTANCE
Once you have reached the awareness of being gay, this awareness is not always accepted peacefully, because a number of very rooted preconceptions hinder acceptance. Many of these preconceptions are of religious derivation and are therefore intrinsically dogmatic. The mechanisms of non-acceptance always rely on the need for a belonging (familiar, religious or social) that would be incompatible with homosexuality. 
The most typical ideas that make the acceptance of homosexuality difficult can be summarized as follows: 
1) ”These are things that everyone does, they are just forms of exploration of sexuality”. In this sentence two distinct denialist approaches are concentrated: 
a) ”everyone does it” (which is absolutely not true) so yours is not an authentically homosexual behavior. 
b) ”It’s not about homosexuality but about sexual exploration”, here comes the technique of changing names to things to deny them. 
2) ”Gays are people who are addicted to sex and make things of all kinds and I have nothing to do with them”. With statements of this kind people try to generate a sense of disgust towards homosexuality by degrading it morally. Here one can speak properly of internalized homophobia. 
3) ”It’s a vice that I have to take away”. This statement in a sense represents a step forward because homosexuality is fully aware but branded, even by those who live it, with the mark of immorality. In these situations, the iterate condemnations of homosexuality on the part of the Church weigh heavily. The catechism of the Catholic Church and the papal documents in the matter of homosexuality speak of ”serious depravity”(2) , ”fatal consequence of a rejection of God”(3) , ”lack of normal sexual evolution”,(4) ”pathological constitution”,(5) ”intrinsically bad behavior from the moral point of view”.(6) Saint Pius X, in his Catechism of 1910, classifies the ”impure sin against nature” as second by gravity only to the voluntary homicide, among the sins that ”cry out revenge in the presence of God”.(7) And adds(8) ”These sins are to cry out for vengeance in the sight of God, because the Holy Spirit says so, and because their iniquity is so grave and manifest that it causes God to punish them with more severe punishments”. These statements do not need comment. There is no doubt that a homosexual to be Catholic should consider homosexuality the worst of vices. The idea of homosexuality ”against nature”, which is derived from dogmatic, is still very widespread even among people in other aspects of good cultural level. 
4) ”I must go to a psychologist because things don’t work properly”. Among the most widespread prejudices about homosexuality there is the fact that it is considered a psychiatric pathology or a mental disorder. It should be emphasized that the path to eliminate homosexuality from the catalog of psychiatric disorders has been very long and tortuous, has led to an infinity of controversy and still, despite the contrary positions of professional orders, many psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, who claim ”the right of homosexuals to be cured ”, paradoxical expression, tend to apply therapies aimed at the modification of sexual orientation, the so called ”reparative therapies of sexuality” sustained by Nicolosi in the United States and in Italy by Cantelmi with the support of strong religious groups. I must stress that even today some health workers, who should be reliable reference points, come to confuse sexual orientation and gender identity. 
5) ”If I were gay, I would give terrible displeasure to my parents who expect their grandchildren”. This sentence represents in sublimated terms a reality that should be described in a more pertinent way: ”If my parents understood that I’m gay, my family life would become hell, and since I have no choice, I have to accept to sacrifice my sexuality”. Strong and insistently heterosexual family environments are a very deep reason for concern for gay boys. I must stress that coming out in the family is still a fairly rare reality among gays. 
6) ”Maybe I like guys, but I don’t really feel gay”. Behind this sentence we see the substantial acceptance of homosexuality but not of homosexual identity. ”I can also behave like a homosexual but I am not homosexual”, as if being gay did not correspond to a set of tendencies and behaviors but had a further ontological connotation, that is as if there was a difference between behaving as gays do reasoning like them and being gay in itself. 
7) ”I don’t want to be gay and nobody can impose it”. Behind this sentence hides a further mystification that is to consider the fact of being gay a voluntary choice and not a reality to be accepted for what it is. 
COURTSHIP AND LOVING FRIENDSHIP 
Being gay can manifest to the outside through behaviors that make clear the state of falling in love and tend to get an answer from another guy. These external behaviors constitute the gay courtship. It should be emphasized that gay courtship is often unaware in the sense that several guys, who implement forms of objective courtship against other guys, read their behavior in a very strong friendship, at the limit of sexualized friendship between hetero guys and tend anyway to exclude the classification in the category of homosexuality. If a guy falls unconsciously in love with another guy, courtship can be characterize by an extreme lightness that it is not even perceived as a form of courtship by the guy to whom it is directed, because he is not perceived as such neither by the guy who puts it into practice. In these situations, courtship often manifests in very soft ways and, from the smile to prolonging the conversation more than usual, from the offer to do a stretch of road together or to accompany the other at home, to the proposal to go out with other guys and, in some cases, even to the proposal to go out together alone. Often these ”amorous friendships” are experienced at the beginning in a gratifying way and are transformed into very close interpersonal relationships which however maintain all the apparent characteristics typical of a friendship. Girls often don’t understand why their boyfriend prefers to go out with his best friend rather than with them. Sometimes it may happen that those that seem common friendships are love friendships, that is, at least one-sidedly, unconscious forms of homosexual falling in love.
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(1) Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, n. 2, November 4th 2004.
(2) Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357.
(3) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Human person. Some questions of sexual ethics – 29 December 1975, n. 8 – Homosexual relationships 
(4) Ibidem. 
(5) Ibidem. 
(6) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, 3. 
(7) Major Catechism, n. 966.
(8) n. 967
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BEING GAY: THE LIFE OF GAYS THROUGH THE ANALYSIS OF REAL EXPERIENCES

I have been asked several times to make available online the English translation of the manual “BEING GAY” which in the original Italian text has been very successful.
The translation and formatting of such a long and complex text require enormous work. I started this job a few days ago and I think it will take a long time. I have therefore made the translation available online even during its processing, so that the parts already translated are immediately accessible to the reader.
 
(work in progress)
 
I invite readers to report errors or omissions of any kind and to provide suggestions and information on aspects that may be useful to insert in the text.

I sincerely thank anyone who wants to collaborate.

________________

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WHAT I LIKE AND WHAT I DISLIKE OF GAY SEX

Hi Project,

I had big fears before talking to you last night, then those fears have dissipated and I can only say that talking to you was really useful to put aside many unnecessary complexes. I had a very Catholic education, which I don’t consider totally negative, but which also created a lot of complexes about sexuality in me, and the fact that I’m gay has certainly not facilitated things. However, yesterday evening I had no problems, it’s true, but I still limited myself to very general speeches.

Today I would like to go into more specific issues on which I have no chance to compare myself with other guys and then, where I live, it would be not only difficult but also risky because homophobia is quite common here.

I can tell that I’m rather lucky because I attend university in a big city and I have my autonomy, at 22, almost 23, I have done my sexual experiences even if with very variable results. There are things that I don’t like at all, first of all the fact that dating a guy should only serve to have sex with him and then: goodbye, see you next time! It’s absurd to think of being with a guy just to have sex with him. I cannot stand the indecision, the fact that one depends on the decision of the other whether to have sex or not and the other pretends nothing, such an attitude seems hateful to me, sex should not be asked as a grace, but should come spontaneously, otherwise the relationship is not equal. But let’s go into the specific. I like guys who don’t make their partners pray them, who make the first step, who don’t play only in response, the ones who let understand that they are really involved.

Allow me to express myself freely, I don’t like guys who when they are getting ready to have sex (lowering their underpants) are not even in erection, if you don’t have it hard it means that you are not really sexually involved, if it is not my presence itself to make you get hard, what sense does it have to go on? Probably there are other people with whom you would react with a very quick and decisive hard-on, I say this because, if I’m really involved, I react immediately. I don’t like guys who are ashamed to be excited, guys who cover it with their hands, who want to turn off the light, who want to stay under the sheets. But what’s the point of having sex with a guy if I cannot even see him naked and excited? One told me that I’m a voyeur, but if I have sex with you and it’s okay with you, I don’t really understand what you have to be ashamed of.

Then there is the whole unmentionable series of complexes on the size of the penis, on the shape, on the length, on the thickness, on maintaining the erection, etc. etc., here maybe I can understand more the fears of so many guys and what you say, Project, it seems a bit simplistic. At least for me the fact that my partner is well endowed is not indifferent. I take my penis as a model, which is nothing special, but it suits me because I’m used to it. I like guys with a penis similar to mine, so to speak, normal size and straight.

I’ve never met guys with the penis curved in an accentuated way, but I found one with a narrow phimosis and he was a bit complexed by this thing, but I must say that, except for a little initial perplexity it did not create any problem, it reacted very well and in many ways (size and shape) was also well above normal standards and above mine in particular. With that guy I didn’t have any sexual problems of any kind, but the story is over because he went to live in Australia and I was very disappointed, because he was a very good and very intelligent guy. But let’s go on, I don’t like ritual, repetitive sex, sex made with a hard face, without smiling and without joking about what is being done.

Then there is a fundamental thing, even if I managed to achieve it only once, the sex must be safe, the risk must be reduced to zero, you do the test together before having sex, you wait the window period and repeat the test, if it came negative both times, then you can be much calmer and you can have sex without being devoured by doubts and concerns. If one does not want to do the double test, sex must be done only with condoms and there can be no discussion, certainly it is much less involving, but if you want to do it in a more involving way then you must adapt to the idea of the double test. But let’s go on.

During sex you have to talk at least a little, and avoid being always silent, A guy told me that before he met me he had been with another guy who told him that he had a ugly penis, here, I consider a thing of this kind hateful. Don’t you want to be with that guy? Okay, you can go somewhere else, but if you stay there you cannot despise the person you’re with. Among other things, the guy who was offended had a very normal and very reactive penis, when I told him it, he felt very gratified, because he didn’t expect it at all. I think that telling a guy that he has a nice penis is a compliment certainly very welcome, telling him that his penis is ugly is really offensive. There is a psychological attitude that I hate, and it is, after having sex with a guy, to say that you did it only for him but that you didn’t really care. So what have you been doing? A charity action? This is a reasoning of an unacceptable hypocrisy.

Another thing I don’t like at all is the lack of reciprocity, that is, the fact that when you did what you wanted to do, everything is over and goodbye, and your partner at most can masturbate on his own. Such a thing is terrible, I heard it but it never happened to me, I think I would have reacted badly. Another hateful thing is using for a guy a female term of endearment. If you want to be with a girl, go there, there are so many girls, there’s no reason to run after a gay guy. Another hateful question: to tell a guy how another guy has sex, especially if the two guys know each other. There is nothing more odious. Sex is done in two and is not told to others. Here I am talking about sex with Project who doesn’t know who I’m and certainly in telling some things I don’t write the name and surname of the people I’m talking about. Another thing that I cannot stand: attitudes of superiority, doing the part of the master of sex, of the guy who has understood everything and can teach others how to do it. People who take themselves too seriously only show off their stupidity. Another important thing: finished the sex, you don’t have immediately to say goodbye, you can have a coffee, a chocolate, go back to a dimension of ordinary life and then you say goodbye.

The spontaneous opportunities to have a little sex can be many, I think for example to take a shower together, which also has a playful meaning (and it happened to me), I think of laughing together. Project, one thing you said about sexual game impressed me: the game is a way to a less inhibited sexuality, it is true and I have experienced it directly.

And here there is the big chapter of sexual practices to be opened. Some may consider it strange but I love cuddles, and especially sexual cuddles, exchanging caresses even the intimate ones but without any specific sexual purpose, beyond sharing one’s intimacy, even physical, just like an exchange of emotional warmth. I really like the idea of falling asleep in the arms of my partner, I would say that this is one of the nicest things of gay sex, then there is mutual masturbation that I think everyone likes without exception and about oral sex the speech is more less the same, even if here there are problems related to the use of condoms, because here there is a risk and condoms should be used, even though many may consider them a completely unnatural and unpleasant thing, however, with the only guy who agreed to do the double test, we did it without a condom and it was very intimate and I would say very pleasant.

As for anal sex, I immediately say I’ve never done it but not only because it’s the most risky sexual practice, but because I’ve never had sexual fantasies of this kind. I thought I was a bit out of the norm for this, but I changed my mind. Out of the five guys I’ve been with, only one proposed to have anal sex and was disappointed when I told him no. With the others the topic was not even touched in the least, even when we had sex almost every day. Of course, common sense would like a couple to find its balance even in terms of sexual practices avoiding any attempt in this field to impose anything on those who don’t like it.

From everything I have written you can think that now I have no doubts and that I know how to behave on every occasion but it is not so. There is a guy I fell in love with and with whom I have never had the slightest contact I don’t say sexual but not even vaguely physical, I will call him Paul, well, I swear, Project, I have never felt so embarrassed as with him, I also desire him sexually, I would like everything of him, because I think he is a very good guy and I would like to spend all my life with him, if you didn’t understand, I am in love with him, like I have never been in love with anyone else, that’s why I never know what to do. I’ve come to a decision, next time I’ll tell him that I love him and when I hear him on the phone I feel happy, but I will not tell him that I also get a hard-on, because I’m afraid he might be scared, it seems stupid but it could also happen and I wouldn’t want to miss him for anything in the world.

I feel very shy, as if I was 14 years old and I was in my first story, but I’m probably in my most important story. My friends tell me that Paul is not beautiful and there is someone better and I should look around, but I spoke several times with Paul and I thought he was a great person, that one you can trust, the one that talks just a little (maybe I talk too much) but he does what he says. In short, Paul is not the beautiful doll to show to friends but he could be the real life partner. Tomorrow I will see him, Project, and I will make him my first declaration of love, I am very hesitant, but something tells me that everything will be fine. I will let you know.

B. G.

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MARRIED GAY GUYS

This post is dedicated to married gays. I will leave aside all the considerations linked to sexual orientation related to guys who have a straight sex life at the couple level and have a typically gay sex life at the masturbation level, because these considerations have an important meaning only before getting married. I will start here from the situation of married gays, as it showed itself to me through the chats with people living this condition.

The totality (or almost totality) of married gays arrives at the wedding with the full awareness of being gay. These are guys who have been masturbating for years exclusively with gay fantasies, that is, thinking about guys, who often have lived sexual experiences with other guys even after 15/16 years of age and even in adulthood, after 20 years of age, and have considered these experiences as “something that everyone does” (including hetero guys) and therefore not indicative of a gay orientation, even if in reality the involvement of a gay guy in a group masturbation session is very different from that of a straight guy. All this, ignoring seemingly minor episodes, such as experiencing erection in the presence of certain guys or the desire to see them naked in the locker rooms of gyms or swimming pools.

The pressure towards heterosexuality (conscious or unconscious) exerted by the environment on these guys has been so strong as to bring them to stop their gay instincts at the level of masturbation and to orient themselves at the same time towards a couple heterosexual sex.

Generally when a guy who suffered a strong social pressure towards heterosexuality, despite his being gay, that is even though oriented in his free sexuality (which manifests itself in masturbation) towards other guys, experiences for the first time a sexual intercourse with a girl his reaction is not necessarily bad at all and, whatever the level of sexual involvement in the contact with the girl (even minimal) is, that sexual intercourse becomes the typical sign that “the gay problem is overcome”. A gay man is a gay man, not an impotent and, especially when he has lived for years in a situation of substantial sexual deprivation, if he is close to a girl in love with him, in a situation that pushes him to a heterosexual intercourse that has at least some features of intimacy and non-superficial warmth, can very well get to have a heterosexual intercourse somehow satisfying. It is clear that such a intercourse has nothing to do with the expression of the free sexuality of that guy who, even feeling terribly guilty, will continue “episodically” to masturbate thinking about guys, or will eventually completely repress his free sexuality forcing himself to put aside masturbation altogether in the belief that masturbation is the cause of the homosexuality.

The first straight intercourses of a gay guy lead him to the idea of having finally overcome the “gay phase” and to have found a “mature sexuality”. Often, for these guys, the fear that gay impulses will forcefully return to be felt is a push to intensify heterosexual intercourses and to go to marriage quickly. It’s the typical idea: “You saved me from homosexuality”, or: “If I get married and can have sex with her every day I will not think about masturbation and my gay impulses will disappear”. Often, therefore, gay guys who go to the marriage, experience periods of intense heterosexual activity, which however are characterized by a deep sense of ambiguity because in almost all cases, these guys, even making love every day with their girls (or with their young wives, if they have already married them) never talk with their mates about their sexual orientation problems. With wives, in principle, at least for some years after marriage, gay husbands do not even mention the problem of homosexuality, there is therefore no real interpersonal communication between husband and wife, who have daily sexual contacts but without an adequate level of trust and mutual communication.

In a percentage of cases around 10%, the guys talk to the girls openly about their doubts of being homosexuals, doubts that are automatically underestimated by girls, who having a straight sexuality are led to think that their boyfriends, by the simple fact that they have sex with them, can only be straight. Generally, a girl is more afraid of her boyfriend’s infidelity with another girl than of the fact that her boyfriend is gay. In some cases the girl thinks she can sexually reorient her boyfriend towards an exclusive heterosexuality by “sexually cuddling” her boyfriend exasperatedly, what results usually in a very quick and clear reaction of rejection. These attitudes as “Red Cross nurse of love” are lived by the guys as aggressive and not respectful towards them.

In the situations described above, the girl still remains convinced of the substantial heterosexuality of the guy but, in some cases at least (rare but not sporadic) the girl has instead full awareness of the fact that her partner is gay and she accepts him as such, that is, the girl, who is really in love with her boyfriend, consciously agrees to stay close to him without any sexual contact or with a sexual contact limited only to the purpose of conception of children, children who may also be explicitly desired by the guy. These attitudes that have something heroic (in a sense at least) are linked to the fact that the solitude of each of the two spouses with respect to the outside is so strong that they must bind each other with a kind of very close symbiosis in order to survive.

It should be emphasized that when a hug is too tight and too long-lasting it risks taking your breath away. In situations like the one described, mutual dependence is very strong and is felt as a bond that sooner or later ends up becoming constrictive. There are couples, and I have known some, who consciously married only to have children, and there are cases (and I have seen some examples) in which a heterosexual wife helps her gay husband to live like a gay man, an attitude in which the boundaries between pleasure and suffering are very fragile. In all these cases, however (about 15-20% of the total married gays) between husband and wife there is still a frank dialog and at least a relationship of friendship and mutual respect. When a gay guy marries a straight girl and they have no children the problems connected to the possible separation are above all of social and patrimonial nature.

Often a gay guy agrees to be with a girl by excluding in his mind the hypothesis of having children and when he realizes that this hypothesis for his wife is essential, the marriage becomes a kind of imposition for him. When there are children the problem of the relationship of a gay married with his homosexuality is extremely more delicate. The emergence of a homosexual tendency is experienced by a gay man who has children as something that can jeopardize the relationship with the children and the feelings of guilt can be very profound. I met a 49-year-old gentleman a few months ago, who had never had a conscious perception of his homosexuality (an exception in the field of married gays), he had a son more than 20 years old but nevertheless he realized that he had a sexual interest for a work colleague. When this gentleman contacted me in his words I felt a deep anguish, due to the fact that he had never suspected he could be gay and was scared of such idea, because his knowledge of gays derived only from reading newspapers and from attitudes typical of the mass media. This gentleman, whom I had the opportunity to hear several times, sincerely loved his wife and son and came to speak openly with both his wife and his son who accepted it and, paradoxically, this form of sincerity has strengthened family ties. That gentleman agreed to live his sexuality as a very private thing exclusively in terms of masturbation and fantasy, totally giving up the idea of looking for a mate and as people say in such situations of “making a new life”.

The solution may seem like a compromise solution to gays who have not been married and who have never had a heterosexual satisfactory family life, but for that gentleman radical choices would have involved a violent cut with the previous life and would have had very little prospect of leading to realization of a new life with another man.

In most cases, however, the family situations of married gays are quite different and much heavier. The lack of sincerity on the problem of homosexuality involves the establishment of a series of formal relationships and under them a series of conflicts, affective life becomes over time a sort of recitation or due act. With his wife, if she requires a frequent sexual intimacy, a married gay ends up pretending, which usually involves many problems, such as the lack of erection that can worry the wife but doesn’t worry her husband who knows that during masturbation with gay fantasies erection is all right. These problems touch the sphere of sexual intimacy of the couple and can be disruptive. Generally, at first a married gay guy tries to repress his homosexuality but over time this attempt is useless and the illusion of heterosexuality turns into a fiction of heterosexuality. The gay impulses are strengthened as the relationship with the wife deteriorates.

It is only right that I explicitly break a spear in favor of the wives who are often completely unaware of the true motivation of the deterioration of the relationship with their husbands and who live, also themselves, really difficult moments. Basically, even if their husbands acted in good faith or did not really realize what they would do with marriage, these women were misled about the true sexual identity of their husbands, who, moreover, were also confused about the matter. The fact remains that at a certain point, a woman who has married a gay man without being aware of it, understands that relations with her husband are substantially frozen, sexual intercourses are completely absent, dialogue is completely lacking, at least on important issues, and marriage is in crisis. When there are children the problem becomes difficult to manage, because in case of separation there is the problem of the entrustment that creates further conflicts between husband and wife which are often resolved in court.

How does he live his sexuality a gay married who has passed the phase (which in many cases doesn’t even exist) of the illusion of being heterosexual? Here the answers are the most varied:

1) The husband accustomed to sexual repression up to play the part of the heterosexual, limits himself to live a gay sexuality in terms of masturbation and porn sites found on the Internet. Such situations are, at most, compatible with the preservation of marriage, at least on a formal level, where there are children, because the external aspect of the family doesn’t change. Often this is the state of affairs to which things stop. The husbands can get to forums like Gay Project or other serious gay sites and simply look for friendships with other gays, often married too, in chat and at a distance. This solution allows a married gay to find a safety valve that puts him in a position to talk openly about his problems and also to find serious answers. It is obviously a compromise solution, but in situations such as those in which a gay married and with children lives it is a situation that is in many respects acceptable, since in most cases we are speaking about men who are no longer young and are totally lacking knowledge about the true life of gays. It should be borne in mind that for a non-young man the chances of finding a “serious” companion (that is, not the one-night experience [risk of aids!]) are not very high and moreover few gay men would be available to build an affective, stable and serious relationship with a man who has a family, has children and therefore has a number of other very strong emotional bonds.

2) If the husband thinks he has to regain lost time looking for a companion with whom to live his affectivity and his sexuality, and the husband is still thirty or so, he can experience situations similar to those of the so-called “frenetic phase” of sexuality of those who discover themselves gay or finally release their gay sexuality at a fully adult age. These guys are not content to masturbate looking at a porn site but sign up for erotic chats and dating sites, giving credit to the idea that the problem of finding a partner is actually a problem that can be solved easily “with a little effort”. Through the chat they get to sexual encounters, often even at risk of AIDS, because a user of dating sites can also have over 100 different partners in a year! Apart from the risk of AIDS, occasional sexual encounters generate feelings of disgust and frustration after the first times. However, it does not follow a rationalization of the behaviors but only the repetition of other attempts with other partners. I emphasize that in these situations the emotional dimension, which is essential in a gay’s emotional and sexual life, is practically completely absent. After a little practice of erotic chats and dating sites, a depressive phase takes place that depending on age can be more or less heavy.

3) There is however a third path followed by married gays towards their gay identity, and it is a path that can only be done in two. I state that the concrete realization of this third way, which is that of “loving friendship”, is not the result of an individual initiative, but is connected to the idea of being already really in two, that there is an “original affective couple reciprocity” and that a real relationship of affectionate friendship already exists, on which an explicit sexual dimension can also be inserted. Given that married gays who end up in a marriage crisis are not very young and are not only undeclared as gay but are declared as hetero, for them the idea of living their sexuality and their affectivity in a strictly private dimension is fundamental. In dating sites and erotic chats there are often people who don’t have too many problems to declare themselves gay, to go to gay clubs and to be seen around with mates clearly gay. Such things are very embarrassing for a married gay, for whom therefore the option of the amorous friendship remains substantially the most desirable. If that friendship is lived with great discretion, it allows the marriage to be maintained at least on a formal level and in some cases even the wives are not in principle opposed to such solutions that allow a stable relationship between the gay father and the children, avoiding putting their emotional growth at risk. I saw, in about 30% of cases, the development of a loving friendship between a married gay and a friend of his, also gay and undeclared. These relationships, even if they occur between fully adult men, have the freshness and genuineness of the first affective contacts between adolescents, allow the two partners to live a deep affective dimension and to integrate sexuality with moments of non-sexual intimacy, linked to totally sincere dialogue and openness and to mutual trust without restrictions, all things that have an enormous value and help not to trivialize sexual intercourse.

For the moment I stop here. I await further input from readers to be able to broaden and deepen the discussion. I would like to point out that the statistical sites show the constant presence of readers who use on the Google search engine keys to Gay Project as “married gays”. The problem exists and it is not statistically irrelevant as usually believed.

__________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-married-gay-guys

GAY SEXUAL INDIFFERENCE

Hi Project,

here you have another mail of mine after 15 days of silence. I’m the 32 year old guy with whom you talked the night between April 13th and 14th. I don’t know what you may have thought that night but for me it was a strange experience, these days I wondered if I had to write another time or not, it took me a while but I decided to write.

When I called you on the night of the 13th I was very depressed. I don’t know if it’s something typical of gays, but I think it’s mostly something that belongs to me, my mood collapses and I see everything black. I really needed to talk because I cannot do it with anyone. As I told you I had tried several times to find friends on chat but with bad results and on the other hand the loneliness weighs and sometimes you get really bad ideas in your head.

I’m no longer a boy and I don’t feel like it, I think the best of life has gone by now, or rather I think I threw it away. I tried to be straight for years and to have a girlfriend but then I didn’t do it anymore and even though I knew I would be alone I told myself that it is better to be alone than to pretend to be what you are not.

As far as the coming out is concerned, I’m not even thinking about it, where I am, it would be destructive. In my family they still hope that the girl who will take me with her arrives. Where I work the word gay raises acid jokes and guffaws.

Sex until recently was reduced to masturbation, pleasant, I do not deny it, but in the long run depressing, because it is like continuing to dream about non-existent things. As I explained to you, my sexuality has slowly disappeared, but also the only emotional desire. In practice I never fell in love, that is, I never found such a guy that I could say that I wanted to be with him. And masturbation has also become an exception in my life whereas before it was a constant.

At the age of 20, when I forced myself to be straight, I masturbated with guilty about guys and so on, etc., but for me it was a very strong sexual interest that I could not really repress. So my problem was to avoid masturbating thinking about guys, and despite all the good intentions, I could not avoid it. Now that I have accepted myself one way or another, it is as if I have completely lost my sexual desire. I don’t need to repress anything, in fact I don’t get excited and even though it seems strange to me, for me it is absolutely spontaneous.

I saw that a guy from the forum wrote things that somehow resemble my experience and I also read the things you wrote. You say that in the end they are not problems but they become problems just because guys see them like problems, but certainly you feel a bit strange, the guy who wrote the post is much younger than me, but in practice from 27/28 years old I happen to think that I don’t even have a sexuality. Let’s say that if I commit myself to masturbating I can do it, but it’s not like before, before it had a strong sexual dimension, now it’s a bit like an ordinary thing, if you do or do not it it’s practically indifferent. Let’s say that I don’t find any motivation of a physical nature for the fact of having put aside sexuality but it is as if I had removed a part of my personality, or rather as if that part of my personality had fallen asleep.

For the rest things are fine, apparently I don’t feel depressed, indeed, at work I also get better results, a bit as if I had transferred the mental time that before I devoted to sexuality to other things. Of course, it creates a strange feeling to hear my friends, all straight, talking about sex as if it were the center of their lives, for me it is not at all and what leaves me more puzzled is the fact that I don’t even fall in love with guys who are objectively beautiful and who in other times would have attracted my fantasies like a strong magnet.

I don’t feel anaffective, but asexual, that is I like the company of guys (even that of girls) with them I’m fine, with my straight friends I go out a little but there is a relationship, practically as before, only now I have stopped already looking with another eye a couple of them that previously interested me even sexually.

Project, when we talked, you tried to encourage me in every way but I don’t feel depressed, I feel good, not at all frustrated by this thing, let’s say that thinking about it is substantially a form of intellectual curiosity. Here are three pages of my diary that could explain the situation better. If you think it useful, publish everything I sent you (I have already changed the names).

See you soon.
__________

DIARY

January 12th 2009
Work finished, and I think quite well. I have some free time what do I do? I’m going to rest for a while. Mh, I don’t think about sex for a long time, it’s been months since I’ve opened my last porn. I go to the pool twice a week, I see a lot of naked guys but I remain totally indifferent. Before I needed a titanic strength to control myself now it is as if I were in a female dressing room. I’m moving away from these things and it seems to me almost impossible.

January 13th 2009
This morning I saw Matthew, beautiful as the sun! But I really did not give a damn. We went down to get coffee, he was casual, nice, always behaved in the same way, I went to the bar but I felt distant, stranger, and yet Matthew has been my fixed idea for years. Maybe when you understand that he is not for you, the fantasy comes away.

January 21th 2009
Yesterday I went to see “The Reader” a tragic film about a German guy who goes with a woman much older than him and discovers that she was a kapò, film strong, beautiful, the protagonist is a handsome guy and I have also seen him completely naked. In other times it would have shocked me, but yesterday it didn’t make me hot nor cold, at most the idea of exploring the nudity of that guy, but just zero sexual involvement. But is such a thing normal? Boh! It’s just as if I didn’t care about it.

February 6th 2009
Matthew asked me to go swimming with him. In other times something like that would have sent me into orbit. I told him yes, but I don’t really care about it.

February 10th 2009
I’ve been swimming with Matthew and I saw him naked for the first time, he’s a nice guy, also well endowed, but he didn’t make me hot nor cold. He does not think that I can be gay, of course … zero reaction! But the fact is that I think that actually saying that I’m gay doesn’t mean anything. I’ve been, maybe, but I’m not anymore, of course I’m not straight, but if to be gay I have to have fantasies about a guy, then I’m not anymore.

February 21th 2009
In the pool there was a new guy, very young, 20/21 years old, I think, he asked me how the pool works and I explained it to him, then I invited him to the bar and we got a drink. He was alone, without friends, then he told me that he was going to get ready for the pool and he said to me: “Are you coming?” I told him that I would go shortly afterwards, actually I waited for him to go to the pool, then I went to change. I don’t know if I avoided going there when he was there for fear of erection, the fear that could happen was there, anyway when he was there I didn’t go. Perhaps I was afraid that it would “not” happen. At home I have thought about him several times, but with tenderness and nothing happened, at most a half erection, but so, spontaneously, just thinking of a guy, it had not happened to me for a long time. Perhaps next time I go to the locker room with him.

February 28th 2009
With the guy of the pool I think we will be friends. I’m very comfortable with him. I think I’m a bit taking advantage of him. He does not talk about sex, neither guys nor girls, he’s really a good guy, this time he invited me to the bar, then same scene when he went to the locker room, I waited and went there a few minutes after but then I felt very uncomfortable and when he came out I went out too and we ended up in two showers nearby, I was afraid that I would get an explosive erection but nothing happened and he too was completely flaccid, I think he is straight. But it’s a nice guy, naked more than dressed.

March 2, 2009
I know that something is starting to happen to me. I often think of Andrew, even in a sexual key, I would like to cuddle him a bit when he is more melancholic, I think a hug would please him. Thinking about him in a sexual key makes me strange, it’s too young for me and I feel like a maniac, I know that I like this guy, but just as a person.

July 14th 2009
Andrew went to Sicily with his family. But why? This thing crashes me, in the last five years he was the only guy who made sense to me. With him I was really good, there were moments of mutual beautiful tenderness and maybe I would even fall in love with him, I began to have a sex life, that is to masturbate, with so many feelings of guilt, I admit, a bit as if I were a thief of his youth, because I was beginning to fall in love, but now? What should I do now? Write to him? I have his cell phone, I don’t even know if he’s gay, just that I was fine with him. Andrew! Why don’t you contact me again?

July 26th 2009
End of the story! Andrew sent me a beautiful postcard signed also by his girlfriend. I’m happy for him and also because our story was taking a road that I could not control. I feel dry, I don’t want to write anything. That’s enough! I am 32 years old and I feel like a failure from all points of view.

__________

If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-sexual-indifference

JULIEN GREEN CATHOLIC HOMOSEXUAL

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

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

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

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

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

BIRTH OF A GAY LOVE

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

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

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

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