St. Augustine said of anger: “It is better not to allow anger, however just and reasonable, to enter at all, than to admit it in ever so slight a degree; once admitted, it will not be easily expelled, for, though at first but a small plant, it will immediately grow into a large tree.” Therefore, not with love, but with anger does the emotional turmoil of the gay life begin. Inevitably, homosexual adults remember a childhood filled with feelings of loneliness, alienation, and rejection from family and peers. It’s often what drives and motivates them: the Matthew Shepard case is the quintessential modern example – of a slight and effeminate young man who recklessly and repeatedly sought out the “rough trade” bar pick-ups that represented his macho oil-rig worker father. I witnessed this same psychology, even in myself, over and over again in gay culture – most evident within the willingness of the passive partner to endure, often seek out, painful extremes in sex. Its root is a seething anger that often turns inward and becomes an extremely perverse form of self-hatred.

Like all things gay, there is an origin within the family; most frequently, in males, a rejection by the father or a failure to identify with the masculine. This separation creates mystery, bitterness, and even hatred; most evidenced in the often bitchy character of some gay men who continually loathe and worship the image of the ideal male. In essence, it points to a desire to love and to be loved by the father, and to ultimately reject him; this psychosis is what eventually causes the hunt and run phenomena in the gay male sexual being – a restless desire to find satisfaction combined with a quick reversal towards disappointment; a strange pattern of choosing men most like our fathers – or like those that tortured us when we were children. Tragically, these stand-ins initially appear as sources of definitive succor – later developing into pits of confusion which inevitably breeds bitterness; towards the end of my imprisonment in gaydom – I spent many a depressing night at the local Castro piano bar listening to endless stories from faded and aged former glamour boys about the numerous men they once loved, but now hated.

Many gay men relive this cycle of hatred throughout their lives: reaching out towards a realization of masculinity and family that they never achieved or enjoyed in adolescence; then, seeking in other men that which is missing; with it continuously eluding them. Tired and dejected, oftentimes, these men will settle into semi-comfortable convenient unions that forestall the encroachments of loneliness and a return towards isolation. True healing, reintegration into wholeness, and a lasting spirit of peace can only be found in forgiveness. As a whole, the gay community is further away than ever from this realization – with their repeated and vicious accusations of hatred against anyone who opposes same-sex marriage: again, this time on the world stage, homosexuals are playing out their need for love that repeatedly becomes corrupted by neurotic self-destruction and paranoia. For, hatred has become a quasi-religion for some – an impetus that further generates a push towards seclusion within homosexuality, and a deepening distance from the fundamental source of pain; only, the pain will take us back to a scary place – as every gay man can recount horror stories about their boyhood – ranging from the inconsequential to the violent; yet, in our darkest moments can be found the Light of Christ.