“…you should observe how all pleasures, joys, and attachments are ever caused in their soul by means of the desire and will for things that appear good, suitable, and delightful, being in the soul’s opinion satisfying and precious. And accordingly the appetite for the will moves towards these things, hopes for them, rejoices in their possession, fears for their loss, and grieves on losing them. And thus, according to its attachments and joy in things, the soul is disturbed and restless.”
Ever since I was a kid, and I first thought: “Maybe, I am gay:” my preoccupation was with that one endeavor; I will only find happiness with another man; my destiny is within another man’s arms. Years later, when I finally got there, I discovered: that it wasn’t enough.
I set so much into that one thing…being “gay,” that it turned into my idol. The idea of “gay” became like the unbelievably handsome images of the hyper-masculine men on television and in the movies that I endlessly worshiped: Lee Majors as “The Six-Million Dollar Man,” Gil Gerard as “Buck Rogers,” and Sam Jones as “Flash Gordon.” They were manliness perfected, and, if I could only attain a mere fraction of their embodiment: I would be happy. This fiction, replaced all semblances of reality in my life. As St. John of the Cross wrote, everything hinged on this one goal; in fact, they were a phantasm – a poor substitute for what I really needed: to put it plainly, I was a sad and lonely little boy that wanted to be loved and desperately longed for the day when the other boys would like me instead of picking on my every move. It was a near universal sorrow in the world of “gay” men; I will never forget a rather continually melancholy older friend, who told me how, as a boy in the 1950s, he yearned to just hang-out with the character of “Wyatt Earp” played by Hugh O’Brian; nothing sexual in the picture, he just wanted to be with him.
Tragically, in the “gay” psyche, this rather honest desire in the boy for male companionship becomes twisted and hence turns out to be all-consuming; in essence, it becomes a god, and, therefore, there are no other gods after that. But, as a false god – it’s doomed to failure: first, it will never live-up to the expectations, secondly, because it is not actually what one desires – it will forever leave the worshipper dissatisfied and wanting more. Only, the more we seek it, and turn up with nothing of lasting substance, our restlessness grows as does our desperation. Finally, we are willing to risk more and more. Some continue to push the boundaries – eventually either ending-up with HIV or a plot in the cemetery; others, as has been the recent trend, drop out, couple-up, taking on the trappings of heterosexual domesticity – even marriage, and then pretend as if they are incredibly fulfilled; yet, studies have shown that the majority of “gay” male couples are not monogamous, revealing an ongoing scenario in which, despite outward appearances serving a political agenda, “gay” men continue to feel unfulfilled and hence a pervasive restlessness; this exactly why the vast majority of HIV cases in the “gay” male community take place within a so-called “steady relationship.”
St. John of the Cross wrote: “Even if they possess everything they will not be content; in fact the more they have, the less satisfied they will be.” This problem arises over and over again in “gay:” even in achieving, for example, a certain amount of satisfaction in “coming out,” and even after gaining the acceptance and approval of family and friends, and now, society – the acceptance of “gay marriage,” there is still an overall dissatisfaction with the perceived way in which “gay” men and women view the world, themselves, and their relation to everyone else; this is nowhere more self-evident than in the paranoid fantasy that rampant individual and institutionalized homophobia exists everywhere in the Western world. It’s a detachment from reality, when, in the Middle East, ISIS regularly takes out suspected homosexuals while thousands of “gay” men and women march, usually with a strong contingent of naked revelers, down the streets of nearly every European capital for their annual Pride festivities; yet, despite the fact that homosexuals have reached a level of equilibrium in society that was unimaginable just a few years ago, there is still discontent; and, although they misread this as a lingering effect of inequality, it is actually a symptom of a deeper spiritual malaise; for, John of the Cross continues his argument, in that, we can conceivably gain everything, but until we are “stripped of them all” we will never be happy. But, what does this mean – to be “stripped”?
John of the Cross continued: “Only one attachment or one particular object to which the spirit is actually or habitually bound is enough to hinder the experience or reception of the delicate and intimate delight of the spirit of love that contain eminently in itself all delight.” Now, attachments are in no way singularly peculiar to those who self-identify with their same-sex attraction, for in the wider heterosexual world – there are a whole host of ways that seemingly content and happy men and women voluntarilty enslave themselves: the most notable and obvious are to alcohol, drugs, or to sex; less stigmatized are the penchant some have for manic eating, gambling or shopping when things don’t go their way. I will never forget a group of women who attended a friend’s funeral, he had died very young of AIDS; they enjoyed the company of “gay” men, and seeing that we were incredibly depressed and sad, invited a number of us out to go shopping as sort of retail-therapy; at least for me – it didn’t work. But, oddly enough, that same night – I hit the bars and bathhouses in a concerted effort to find diversion among deviancy; that worked. Yet, as long as I kept that image before me, that “gay” sex was the key to happiness – I was continually kept away from what it was that would truly make me happy.
Only, the scary part of this is – that in order to achieve true happiness, you have to come to the full realization that the way you have previously been doing things is all wrong; for some, that’s almost a near impossibility; especially in the “gay” mindset, because we grew up feeling alienated and beaten-down, the realization of our self, our “gay” self, came about by sheer will and self-determination to overcome what was perceived as a near universal detest and hatred towards us; in other words, our coming to “gay” cost us dearly; now, to just give-it-up is like a surrender. Only, that is exactly what it is – it is giving all to Christ, and, in a very real sense, leaving us with nothing; in the process – we have been stripped of all affectations and attachments; John of the Cross wrote: “In this nakedness the spirit finds its quietude and rest. For in coveting nothing, nothing tires it by pulling it up and nothing oppresses it by pushing it down…” Part and parcel with leaving those things behind is the promise of a new beginning; a sort of rebirth; and, this can be frightening – as, like a child, we are somewhat defenseless and vulnerable all over again. Yet, in out humility, if we Trust in Him, Christ will give us another chance – to grow up healthy and strong into the men He always meant us to be. And, then, finally the happiness and peace that we always longed for, and searched endlessly, will be ours.
“Almost half of the participants (48.7%) were monogamous, slightly fewer (42.1%) reported non-monogamous sexual agreements with some conditions or restrictions, and a relatively small number (9.2%) reported sexual agreements with absolutely no restrictions on sex with outside partners. A third of the participants (32.4%) reported breaking their agreement in the preceding 12 months and 14.8% reported having UAI in the preceding 3 months with an outside partner of discordant or unknown serostatus.”
“Development and Validation of the Sexual Agreement Investment Scale”
Torsten B. Neilands, PhD, et al.
J Sex Res. 2010 Jan; 47(1): 24–37
“Currently, 86% (range 74-90%) of new HIV infections occur within steady partnerships.”
“The contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam.
Xiridou M, et al.
AIDS. 2003 May 2;17(7):1029-38.