This year’s San Francisco Gay Pride Parade was billed as “historic” because just two days before, the Supreme Court issued its ruling which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the US. Yet, despite the apparent reasons to be jubilant – little has changed. Since I attended my first Gay Pride at age 19 in 1988 – I saw the same displays of naked guys gyrating on heavily tinseled floats, the same topless lesbians, and the same fervor to get as high and or drunk as possible in the least amount of time; the only major shift I noticed since returning to the Parade as a Christian witness, are the large numbers of minors, especially young girls – who seem to openly and rather pathetically ape the bisexual swingings of current gay icons Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. Other than that – it’s business as usual: drug-induced giddiness that quickly turns to dry-mouthed desperation; despite the bouncing sun-burned raw flesh that is everywhere – there is a peculiar inability to get aroused; and the ever-present and pervasive sense of boredom that even permeates the over-heated and screeching young children dragged their by touting gay parents.
With my JesusLovesGayMen.com and Women.com sign raised high – the older and curious who remember me and the young and inquisitive who want a free Bible, or one of the religious bracelets that I give away, walk up to me. They typically thank me for declaring that Christ does indeed Love gay men and women, then I hand them a card which gives an internet link to an hour long video detailing my life in San Francisco and escape from the porn industry. Most are surprised and want to know more. I give them a quick 1 minute synopsis of my life before, during, and since homosexuality. Even though they sense that I am clearly not a rabid gay ideologue, still, they understand that I too have suffered – therefore, they always immediately tell me their story – which never takes a minute. But, I listen, that’s really why I am there: to simply listen.
This year, I spoke with a number of precious souls: people raised as Catholics, but, sometimes, without actually thinking about, who just drifted away from Church; some told me they still believe, oftentimes visit one of the majestic and awe-inspiring church’s in the City, but that they never go to Mass; some outwardly rebelled against the Church, understanding – usually only half-heartedly, the Church’s condemnation of homosexuality; many more, found inclusive Christian sects that accepted them for “who they are.” The majority felt that they no longer needed the Church, and that the Church no longer needed, or wanted, them. One person got downright angry with me: claiming that I was asking homosexuals to change. I said I was not: “…that was their decision, but they have a right to know that an alternative does exist.” A few try to trap me with loaded questions: “Does God love homosexuals in a committed relationship;” my answer to these questions is always: yes, yes, yes. God always Love His Children; to myself – I think: He does not Love what they do, but he will always Love them. But, every time, I choose to remain non-confrontational – I am there merely as a messenger: giving the option to those who want to listen; ultimately it’s their call: to stay or to leave – however, they deserve to know that a good life does await them outside of the gay lifestyle.
Some conversations swerve from the spiritual and into the purely material: I inevitably get asked what it is like to be in porn. Along those lines, those that know who I am, think they have the right to grab me inappropriately; my backside was squeezed too many times that day; but, I do not give them the reaction they want; because I understand that everything in the gay world is immediately sexualized: it’s a way of falsely pulling something close to you, and, at the same time, shoving it away: for, when something is sexualized, it brings it down to a plain of existence that we can easily understand – that we can touch and feel; yet, it also degrades it…trivializes it – lowers everything to a level that we can idly take-in while refusing to consider the larger questions that are clearly implied. This is because, in the gay community we fear so much: especially those who have hurt us – so, in order to cope, we strive to conquer our fears by having sex with them; i.e. being sodomized by an older man makes us believe that perhaps our father did love us.
One middle aged man that I spoke with, still attractive and “bear-ish” in his 50s, remembered seeing me on YouTube; being of the same generation – we reminisced a bit about San Francisco in the 1980s and 90s; then, he said: that he got hit on 10 times today. I asked him: “Where they younger?” “Oh yes,” he answered rather matter-a-factly, like I already knew what he was going to say: “…they are all looking for a father.” Over the thumping blasts from the numerous DJs, I said out loud: “Precisely.”