Sunday, 6 July 2014

Travail and sorrow...

I was speaking with a dopey young Muslim called Mo[hammed] a few weeks ago about women - he instigated the discussion, not me. He was asking me the sort of questions you might expect from a sex maniac; what kind of women I was attracted to, what I look for in women, etc. I am loath to tell anybody about my suffering from sexual perversion; it is my wont neither to confirm nor deny. (Of course, there are people aware of my being queer - usually people who ask). I was telling him such things as "women are the ruin of young men," and "I don't particularly care for women," but he wasn't getting it. Well it transpired that he found out from somebody else about my being queer. He apologised unreservedly if he had offended me. You see, after the discussion about women he moved onto homosexuality and how, in Islam, homosexuality is a damnable sin (much like Christianity) and that if he had a homosexual son he would probably kill him.

I didn't particularly care for his apology because of his confusion. He seemed to think that being homosexual was in the mind, that you "believe in it." What on earth does that mean? In reality, you can only speak of actions as being homosexual and repeated, habitual actions lead to a homosexual lifestyle - a lifestyle which I do not live. As for his comment that my "belief" in homosexuality had no bearing on our "friendship," that was probably his fear that I might have him disciplined for homophobia coming out. Of course now that he knows about it he avoids me like a leper - how sad. Equally sad, and distasteful, is people's obsession with knowing. It starts with "do you have a girlfriend?" or "are you married?" Then, after more questions, to put their minds at rest one is perforce to admit "I'm actually gay..." This is by no means a gratifying admission. Then comes the assumption that you regularly visit gay bars, that you are in a civil partnership, that you are politically liberal, that you don't practise any religion, etc. Later, from people with no qualms at all, comes questions about what rôle you take in bed! To a young man who asked me that recently I said: "I will not tell you that. For as long as you know me that will be an unsolved riddle in your mind."

I guess this is one reason I get along with the elderly much more than I do so with my own generation.


  1. When people find out that I am homosexual they seem to assume that they know everything about me. They assume that I am a left wing Democrat and that I hate Republicans. They assume that I never miss a Pride Parade and that I hate Christianity, or at the very least attend a safe "gay-friendly" church. They assume that I am sexually active and a strong supporter of same sex marriage. The truth is that I am a believing Orthodox Christian and even though yes I am in a relationship of eleven years standing, it is a non-sexual one based on friendship and love. I don't want to hide the fact that I am homosexual, but as soon as people find out that I am I become a poster boy for attitudes and beliefs that in fact I find abhorrent. And if I try to clear up the confusion I bring hostility and anger down on myself. Being gay has become like subscribing to a creed and I am definitely a heretic. When I first came out I thought it was all about personal freedom. In fact, it has become just another kind of conformity.

    1. One thing I forgot to mention, vis-a-vis your comment about conformity, is that to remain "in the closet" would be seen as dishonest or at least that one is fearful of reprisals (at best). What people don't realise is that admission of being homosexual has nothing to do with that (at least for me). Admitting to being homosexual is like admitting to having a terrible disease and that it is a cross to bear. And since admitting to that is, for all intents and purposes, admitting to what one prefers sexually, it's tantamount to saying I think about nothing but sex all day.

      A homosexual lifestyle is not a reasonable or acceptable lifestyle choice. But since we are accepted neither in the trendy LGBT world nor among most church-goers (that is to say, most Traddies or even Orthodox), what then? Castration? Or keep it all to yourself and risk being shunned as homophobic or "in denial," or whatever?

  2. My problem as an Orthodox Christian has little to do with being homosexual per se, especially since I am not sexually active, but with being a single male. Orthodox parish life revolves around kids, which I don't have and don't plan to have. If you aren't married, an Orthodox parish is a very lonely place. Furthermore, my only reason for going to church is to worship God. Now stand around during the coffee hour and listen to the sorts of conversations that people are having. Everyone is talking about their families or their jobs or last night's football game or how much they hate Obama. In my experience, most conservative churches in the US are ghettos for white middle class Americans who are trying to recreate the 1950s. They are not spiritually vital places. The supreme irony is that if I want to have an intelligent conversation about religion I have to go home to talk to my same sex partner. It is all very depressing.