“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:7)

For most “gay” men, their early years, before “coming-out,” are often remembered as a seemingly endless time of struggle in which they were singularly preoccupied with an inner need for love. Early on, this fixation coincides with chaos and dysfunction in the family: absentee or self-involved parents, divorce, alcoholism, mental illness, molestation. Sometimes, the pain inflicted is less dramatic albeit just as cutting; for instance, when an especially sensitive child feels pushed-aside or rejected by a disapproving father or an overburdened mother. However, the adult survivors of abuse or neglect seldom equate certain individual predilections with the often stark reality of their lives. In order to cope, or make it all seem normal, many instinctively recoil and become lost in a fantasy world of erotic daydreams, often incorporating the imagery of rescue by a heroic male figure, or become obsessed with the corrosive illusions of “gay” porn. A few went about reinventing marriage and family itself, in order to somehow go back to an image of the perfect childhood that they never even got close to. But, even in that, they wander. Because the greatest kept secret in the history of modern homosexuality during the 21st Century is that the majority of “gay” men now become infected with HIV from their committed, but non-monogamous main patners.1.

In the midst of this search for meaning and some sort of contentment, the entirety of our heartache revolves around a single question: Who am I? We become obsessed with our own apparent uniqueness because outwardly our friends, and even our siblings, reacted differently to the same or more extreme stressors. When other young men may violently lash out, we have become introspective. For this reason, the process of self-acceptance and final public declaration is all important as it supposedly concludes a frequently painful phase of isolation and ushers in a new age of personal freedom, as well as a definitive rejection of shame, and the full integration of the always present, but latent or suppressed, homosexual orientation.

Oftentimes, after accepting that our feelings are inherent and unchangeable, we spend the next part of our lives trying to fulfill our identity; for a large number of “gay” men, this creates a permanent state of restless wandering for what is often the unobtainable image of perfection. Yet, we never quite reach what we are looking for. Everything we touch always seems to come up short. In a sense, it’s a tragic allegory for the “Grail” quest: a band of disenchanted and wounded knights go in search of the magical holy relic that will make everything right in themselves and the kingdom. Yet, the only one who accomplishes the feat is the innocent Galahad. But in homosexuality there is no route to purity: because in a world where masculinity is separated from restraint, provided by the tempering influence of religion and the complimentary power of women, things quickly become fetishized swerving towards the extremes of fascism and self-destruction. This is clearly evident in the surprisingly similar iconography of the glorified male body in National Socialist Germany and the modern “gay” movement. There is an aloof superiority displayed here that is equally off-putting and inescapably mesmerizing. Both the imagery and the ideology behind them, appeal to the disenfranchised and the desperate.

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In the 1970s and early-80s, this desperation reached a crescendo of Wagnerian proportions with the rise of sex-club and bathhouse culture among urban “gay” men resulting in the fiery collapse of disco era hedonism with the catastrophe of AIDS. Then, for a short time, the body beautiful was replaced by the emaciated “gay” man as the quintessential image of homosexual sanctity. Only, with the introduction of new and more effective ways of keeping “gay” men alive, the ever-present specter of imminent death and destruction disintegrated and an even more unavailable goal become the central locus of desire: the gay-for-pay porn star. In the wake of the trauma wrought in the community by the AIDS massacre, this unbelievably handsome and disinterested male, presumably disease free due to his heterosexuality, was the ultimate prize. He was the double for our unloving fathers who we could somehow now reconcile with. This phenomenon has persisted to the present day and become more blatant with the popularity of “daddy” porn and the predominance of “gay” porn actors over the age of forty who are often paired with much younger men.

Only, for many, “gay’ itself becomes a sort of false idol; and, as with all deceptions, once they are stripped bare, we become even more anxious. The often subconscious dissatisfaction with homosexuality is most conspicuous in the unabated high rates of promiscuity among “gay” men, witnessed in surveys and studies, which regularly find that homosexual and bisexual males have at least triple the number of sex partners as their heterosexual counterparts.2. Hence, the continued preponderance of HIV and sexually transmitted infections within the “gay” male community. Yet, despite the risks, even in the gay-friendliest city in the United Sates, the majority of “gay” men in San Francisco practice condomless anal intercourse.3. Why?

It’s no accident that the “gay” liberation movement and the “hippie” flower-power crusade simultaneously originated in San Francisco. Even in the 19th Century, the peculiar notoriety of the City was already solidified when British novelist Oscar Wilde remarked: “Its an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.” The gold-rush boom-town party atmosphere of San Francisco, the City’s reputation for tolerance, and it’s location at the terminus of the continental railroad made it literally the last stop on the course of American expansionism.

By 1967, during the famed “Summer of Love,” San Francisco had drawn rebellious youths, and the affluent, but disillusioned, baby-boomers from around the country and the world with the promise of free-love, consciousness-expanding drugs, and societal harmony. But as the homosexual experiment collapsed under the pressure of unsustainable perversity, the sexual revolution ultimately retreated into fear and superstition. The San Francisco neighborhood of the Haight-Ashbury, just over the hill from the burgeoning “gay” community of the Castro, became an early recruiting center for the likes of both Charles Manson and the Hare Krishnas. These cults appealed to those who traveled to San Francisco looking for the end of the rainbow only to discover that the Wizard of OZ was a hoax. However, most couldn’t simply click their heels together and make the past go away; but they couldn’t admit defeat or their own delusion because everyone wanted to believe. So they became susceptible to the quick gnostic doctrines and the familiar stability of an all-accepting adopted family; in the San Francisco Bay Area, this desire was symbolized in the rise of both The Church of Satan and The People’s Temple.

Co-founder of the San Francisco-based psychedelic rock group Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner, said that: “San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality.” Since the pivotal era of the 60s, a period of great historical significance that has not been adequately studied nor understood, the plastic bubble surrounding San Francisco has expanded to cover the United Sates, and much of the Western world; any attempt to flee it, or to even confront its very existence, sets up a dystopic confrontation straight out of “Logan’s Run” whereby the individual with their eyes wide open becomes a subversive criminal element. As a reaction to the horror of AIDS, “gay” culture itself has become increasingly insular and overly paranoid resulting in the constant and completely unfounded accusations of homophobia against those who are wholly decent, but rightly concerned about the continued excesses of modern “gay” life. Recently, with this increased penchant for fascist tactics and totalitarian adherence to a singular view-point, the gay community is solidifying into a cult.

While the demonic were clearly at work in the apocalyptic death cults of the 1970s, is there an evil spirt functioning in homosexuality that drives some to the inexplicable behaviors exhibited in “gay” men?

Homosexuality is a somewhat rare confluence of family dysfunction, mental illness, and a crisis or lack of Faith. Because “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” refers to the homosexual inclination itself as “objectively disordered,” when the inclination, or desire, becomes part of the identity in the “gay” man or woman, a sense of “disorder” takes over. Therefore, the Church is correct when stating that homosexuality “…constitutes for most of them a trial.” Although this suffering is hidden and usually not even acknowledged, it is repeatedly self-evident in the actions of those who have embraced the “gay” identity. For the most part, the growing desperation in “gay” men is exhibited in an increasingly frantic and dangerous sex life. The opposite effect is actually seen in lesbians, causing “gay” provocateur Camille Paglia to write: “Gay men may seek sex without emotion; lesbians often end up in emotion without sex.” But because of the trauma inflicted on “gay” men because of AIDS, the sort of staid domesticity which was always present in lesbian circles, has appealed to a small group of “gay” men.

However, this world of emotionless, even faceless sex, sometimes constituting sticking the member through a hole in the wall to be served by an anonymous male on the other side, continues to thrive in male homosexuality and has become progressively worse. As a result of these desensitizing and brutally demeaning behaviors, “gay” men persist in pushing the sexual extremes in order to feel anything at all. I can recall, as a somewhat trepidatious 18-year-old young man just entering the “gay” community of San Francisco, feeling secure in my mind about my sexual boundaries and completely confident about what I would and would not do. Less than five years later, I was eagerly getting involved in situations that I never could have imagined. This same sort of constant revising of our limitations and our tastes goes part and parcel with certain addictions to pornography where a man or boy begins with becoming incredibly excited by rather softcore images and then finds himself completely unenthused by those same images when they eventually become mundane. Later, now a porn addict, the man or boy must successively delve deeper into more hardcore pictures and videos in order to find and recreate that initial level of stimulation. Only, nothing works. But, at that point, most cannot stop. In the realm of homosexuality, the possibility of recognizing the failures in the “gay” experiment is more unlikely because the desires and the identity are inseparable. Here, thus begins a sort of endless pilgrimage that never reaches a holy shrine.

Some of the Saints have been explicit in the origins of this wandering:

Saint Augustine –
“Behold with what companions I walked the streets of Babylon, and wallowed in the mire thereof, as if in a bed of spices and precious ointments. And that I might cleave the faster to its very center, the invisible enemy trod me down, and seduced me, for that I was easy to be seduced.”

Saint John of the Cross –
“An angel of Satan, which is the spirit of fornication, is given to some to buffet their senses with strong and abominable temptations, and afflict the spirit with foul thoughts and very vivid images, which sometimes is a pain worse than death for them.”

Saint John Bosco –
“The demon of impurity…When this demon wants to enslave someone, he does so behind his back to hide the ugliness of this sin and make it appear to be a mere nothing.”

Inherent within these descriptions, especially from Saint Augustine, are the same themes revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ in the parable of the “Prodigal Son.” In terms of homosexuality, the sudden departure of the “Prodigal” from the home of his unapproving father mirrors the sad reality of broken family relations when oftentimes a newly out “gay” child will disown parents, relatives, and friends once someone earnestly voices their concerns. Recently, in certain homes, there exists the unfortunate phenomena of family and friends wanting to “accompany” their “gay” loved ones; unfortunately, this passive codependent approach has been advocated by some in the Church. Although unintentional, this safeguard of unhealthy attachment sustains a sort of ceaseless descent whereby the dangers of sexual recklessness are mitigated because someone is there to reliably support and not criticize, thus reinforcing the orientation; I experienced this with a Catholic priest – who said that in the midst of my near-death wanderings, one day, I would meet someone and settle down. As a consequence, those who eventually do hit-rock-bottom: smash with immense ferocity; usually resulting from an HIV diagnosis, drug addiction, or suicidal depression. Yet, even when many of their dreams are shattered, the vast majority of homosexuals believe that they have no other alternative, but to continue down the same path.

For myself, the greatest teaching of Jesus Christ is that radical change is always possible. All those years ago, when I was literally lying in the gutter, bleeding from every orifice, somehow I remained steadfastly proud. I was dying, but I thought I could pull through this. I thought back to how I withstood the disappointment of my childhood and those early tormented feelings of abandonment and loneliness. But, had I? Because I ran into the arms of any man who I thought would love me – expecting to find the acceptance and approval I had always longed for; only to discover that they only wanted me for sex. I was alone again, but I met friends my age who shared the same struggles. I had hope, and I wanted to go on. Later, I regretted that I had to wake up in the morning and attend another funeral for a once beautiful young man who suddenly died of AIDS. I was scared and I was alone again. So I sought safety and seclusion with one partner. Rather quickly, casual dinners at home with my boyfriend and some close friends turned into sleep-overs. Even with that, I grew bored. Nearing my late-20s, I took one last chance at finally uncovering what I was never fully able to find. But when I did reach the end of my journey, I dropped down to my knees in front of something that only then could I comprehend: that in seeking happiness through the world and the flesh: I found only desolation and death.

Saint Augustine –
“Far, indeed, was I wandering away from You, being even shut out from the very husks of the swine, whom with husks I fed.”

When we are at our lowest; when we are hopelessly mired in filth and perversion; when we just spent the whole night edging and looking at internet porn; when we got lonely and picked up someone for a quick diversion; when we have gonorrhea; when the HIV test comes back positive; when someone we love is unfaithful; when someone we care about leaves for good; when we waited to marry our same-sex partner, only to find that something is still lacking; at those moments: Grace abounds. For when everything seems lost, is when we are truly found. When we stop wandering, when we realize that we have gone astray, that is when we turn back towards home.

I have always found it interesting that the Stonewall Riots in New York City nearly coincided with the across-town funeral of actress Judy Garland and that the famous “rainbow flag” is an obvious homage to the song “Over the Rainbow.” In particular, the film remains an obsession for the “gay” male community. At the height of the AIDS crisis, the song became an anthem and was repeatedly sung at the funerals of those who died of the disease; by 1994, I was sick of hearing it. After the recent mass-murder of several men and women at an Orlando “gay” bar, the song strongly reappeared at memorial services and tributes from New York City (by Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft) to San Francisco (at the Castro District’s gay-affirmative parish of Most Holy Redeemer.) The song has always been bitter-sweet, but in this context it’s tragic. For at what cost are these souls finally free?

Well-regarded “queer” historian Michael Bronski remembered “Over the Rainbow” as the “recessional” hymn, played at closing time, in his favorite San Francisco leather club. That was the 1970s, like many others, Bronski saw the prospering sex clubs of San Francisco as “home” for the bullied and betrayed wayward boys of the world. For that generation, the price for this momentary realization was an almost immediate and grisly death; the beauty of the male body that they so honored, in the end – was cruelly ripped away from them. The stubborn perseverance of AIDS during the early-90s, made The Village People siren song “Go West,” and it’s even more seductive 1992 remake by The Pet Shop Boys, all the more disappointing. Today, for many, the wandering has apparently ceased because every young man and woman with same-sex attraction indelibly knows they were “Born this Way.” Only, that has not been the case. In fact, the aimlessness has become more determined with innumerable “gay” men on Grindr walking about like entranced “Pokémon Go” players looking for their next “potion.” In homosexuality, you never find it. You just keep looking.

*Despite current propaganda, the vast majority of “gay” men continue in their unsettled existence; for according to a recent a Gallup Poll, supposedly after waiting through decades of oppression, the percentage of “gay” men (and women) who are married after the Obergefell case rose less than 2% from 7.9 to 9.5%. In this instance, it was interesting that the majority of those representing the immense need for same-sex marriage were lesbians and middle-aged preppy males. For these men, monogamy or marriage is the summation of their wanderings: settling into a reimagined form of conservatism probably best realized in the rather sentimental advertisements for such diverse companies as Nabisco to Marriot Hotels.

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1. “Ninety-nine percent of couples reported having an agreement. Specifically, 45% had monogamous agreements, 47% had open agreements, and 8% reported discrepant agreements.”
“Relationship Characteristics and Motivations behind Agreements among Gay Male Couples: Differences by Agreement Type and Couple Serostatus”
Colleen C. Hoff, PhD., et al.
AIDS Care. 2010 Jul; 22(7): 827–835.

“Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the United States are experiencing an alarming increase in HIV incidence. Recent evidence suggests that the majority of new HIV infections in YMSM occur in the context of serious relationships…”
“The effects of sexual partnership and relationship characteristics on three sexual risk variables in young men who have sex with men.”
Newcomb ME, et al.
Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Jan;43(1):61-72.

“Men who have sex with men (MSM) in primary relationships engage in condomless sex both within and outside their relationships and a majority of HIV transmission risk may actually occur within primary relationships.”
“Relationship Power, Sociodemographics, and Their Relative Influence on Sexual Agreements Among Gay Male Couples.”
Perry NS, et al.
AIDS Behav. 2015 Sep 21.

2. “MSM reported more sex partners in the past year than MSW; 29.1% of MSM and 8.7% of MSW reported 4 or more partners.”
“Men Who Have Sex With Men Have a 140-Fold Higher Risk for Newly Diagnosed HIV and Syphilis Compared With Heterosexual Men in New York City”
Preeti Pathela, DrPH, MPH, et al.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2011;58:408–416

3. The HIV Epidemiology Annual Report 2015:
https://www.sfdph.org/dph/comupg/oprograms/HIVepiSec/HIVepiSecReports.asp