Hesychius of Sinai (d. 380), one of the earliest Eastern monks, once wrote: “A heart that is utterly purged of fantasies will give birth to mysteries…” The almost total opposite of this maxim can be found solidly entrenched within the gay lifestyle; for, homosexuality essentially grows out of and develops from a world of fantasy: the imagination of a bullied and wounded little boy who dreams of male acceptance and comradery; of an insecure child that invents a different alter ego for himself – one that is confident, self-assured, and highly masculine; or the abuse victim who compartmentalizes and begins to presume that the molestation is a normal show of affection; in the gay world – these fantasies becomes transmutated over into adulthood. There, in the modern acceptance of all sexual deviation, fantasy can become a sick vision of reality: the boy finds a “daddy” in the form of an older male lover; the once shy kid gets to explore his secret sexuality; and, the fractured survivor reenacts the violence in the often bloody and painful ritual of anal intercourse.

Because gay males are so attached to the physical as their accepted route to happiness, contentment, and self-salvation – they most often disregard anything that attempts to step away from that; the greatest vitriol is reserved for Christianity, especially Catholicism, which worships a God who took on the flesh, but who also said: “That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.” (John 3: 6-7) The Apostle Paul went even further when he wrote: “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would.” (Gal. 5: 17) This sacredness of the body, “Glorify and bear God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20) and the battle against its corrupting influence, is almost always lost in the gay struggle; a recent example was the life and work of Robert Mapplethorpe (d. 1989); along with Keith Haring, the last two gay artists of any note, Mapplethorpe strove to create an otherworldly beauty, but could never fully escape the distortions of the flesh which brought his art down to a level occupied by the vilest of pornography.

Ultimately, in all things, contemporary gay culture has been an abysmal failure – witnessed by the ravages of AIDS, the continuing promiscuity among gay men, and the emergence of new and more deadly antibiotic resistant strains of sexually transmitted diseases. In the early-1990s, I sat back and watched with complacency as, despite the continuing death toll, gay men were unable to forgo the constant inner-pressure which compelled them to seek solace through physical gratification; even if it meant their life – the drive was too strong. Unconsciously, they were grasping for God, yet they could only seize the material: the outer manifestations of their childhood yearnings. Until the fantasies are expelled, gay men and women will forever stay locked into the ephemeral. They will never transcend the here and now. The new obsession with gay marriage is a ruse – a desperate attempt by some to artificially remake gay male restlessness into some warped form of heterosexual domestic stability. After years of searching, the only answer I found came from the Catholic Church: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” (CCC #2359); a difficult proposition for gays, or anyone else, but one that should not be solely disregarded because of its high expectations; by renouncing the pull of the flesh, and the fantasy of eternal gay bliss, will those suffering from homosexuality ever be free to go beyond the merely earth-bound. Then, will the mystery of human perfection be revealed – as well as their own inner worth and beauty that will outlive this putrid shell, which, in the 20thCentury, resoundingly failed gay men.