Posts Tagged ‘gay’

The Pink Review

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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February 22nd, 2010

So I’m on a work meeting phone conference the other day and one of the guys says that we need a dry run of our presentation. Or, as he says it’s called, a ‘pink review.’

But then he goes on to say that ‘I wish they didn’t call it the pink review. Ya know, couldn’t it just be another color?’

I chuckled, and the other team member chuckled…but I thought about it a little more later in the day and I felt a little sad.

Am I being too sensitive? The implication was obvious…that my teammate didn’t want to participate in a review called a ‘pink review’ because the name was too effeminate.

It’s tough to get a strong take on this. I respect that men in the corporate world don’t want to be perceived as effeminate. But I can’t help but realize that there’s an implication for the other side of the coin…that a pink review is something that’s reserved for homosexual men. And that being homosexual is less than desired.

Again, I may be reading too much into this. My colleagues are good guys. I don’t think they meant any harm with these comments. And I chuckled along with them. But a part of me still feels a little sad. Sad for the next generation of gay kids who hear these messages…and think less of themselves as a result.

They don’t deserve to feel anything but equal.

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Good News

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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December 5th, 2009

It is Christmastime and I long to be wrapped in the excitement of the season — the anticipation of parties and friends and family and church and that wonderful speech by Linus. The challenge: I am somewhere between discouraged and outraged with recent news headlines:

– New York State Senate rules against marriage equality 38-24 (with a report that said Senator Jim Alesi, the first Republican to vote, “hung his head in his hands and said, ‘so many people have called in from my district opposed to marriage equity.’ ” I have to wonder if a majority of people had called in opposing interracial marriage (a reasonable parallel), if this would preclude our representatives from doing what’s right. But I digress…)

–The Manhattan Doctrine, signed by a number of Christian leaders, including some Catholic bishops, with words like this, directed at those (like me) who have same-gender attraction:

We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives. We, no less than they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love and forgiveness. We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it

So many big words that, on the surface, try to appear loving but firm. Now that I am old enough to discern, I clearly read condescension and bigotry. They are just not getting it. I get so charged up thinking about faithful adolescents who this very day are strugging in silence — and who are reading official pronouncements like these and feeling condemned as ‘immoral.’ I remember being in that situation. I remember that NOTHING good I read about homosexuality would sink in…because THE CHURCH said my romantic feelings, if recognized, were immoral. That my romantic life was destined to be about sacrifice, not fulfillment. That was a sad, sad time. I’m glad God pulled me through to a broader discernment in the silence of my heart. I pray that those struggling faithful adolescents today are more open to hearing messages of the positive, affirming, loving, spiritual, and God-blessed celebration of same-gender attraction. But I’m still digressing…

To counter those headlines, I’ve decided to make up a few of my own. Add yours, if you like. Maybe it’s not overly productive, but I’m a firm believer that our attitude is a powerful force in this world. And it’s kinda fun.




November 21st, 2009

I’m here in D.C. for two readings/speakings/booksignings for In Jupiter’s Shadow. Both events were wonderful — signing books at Lambda Rising Bookstore and sharing my testimony for the Allied in Pride group at George Washington University. That’s been a very uplifting experience.

The less-uplifting (would that be down-drafting?) part of this trip occurred when I learned that the U.S. Catholic bishops did move forward to ratify a pastoral letter on marriage that contains this text:

The legal recognition of same-sex unions poses a multifaceted threat to the very fabric of society, striking at the source from which society and culture come and which they are meant to serve. Such recognition affects all people, married and non-married: not only at the fundamental levels of the good of the spouses, the good of children, the intrinsic dignity of every human person, and the common good, but also at the levels of education, cultural imagination and influence, and religious freedom.

I think about my own experience — how I struggled during adolescence with feelings of same-sex attraction in silence. How I didn’t have the hope for a blessed union with a spouse in my life. How these types of statements, put forth by my own church and indicate a legal recognition of my loving commitment to my partner Jeff is a threat to the ‘very fabric of society’ and that such recognition affects ‘the intrinsic dignity of every human person’ are so discouraging.

When I was 23, after ten years of silent prayer, research, and loneliness, I considered taking my own life by jumping off the 11th floor of a resort hotel in Ocean   City, MD. At that time, I felt that God would hate the ‘sin’ of suicide less than the ‘sin’ of me loving another man. Prayerful self-preservation finally kicked in and I didn’t make the leap.

I’m very GRATEFUL that I’m here today to write these words. I’m very BLESSED to share my life with a loving male spouse for more than 12 years now. I’m very CONCERNED about the next generation of faithful kids like me who are out there today, researching (in silence) documents like the recent pastoral letter on marriage. I’m very CLEAR that God intended me to be with Jeff and that, though I’m out here on a Christian limb, I know God is right out here with me.

Ultimately, I remain very HOPEFUL for a brighter future, when all human respect and dignity, including the rights and romances of same-sex partners, is celebrated the planet over.

What’s Right?

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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November 9th, 2009

I write this on the eve of a discussion in the New York State Assembly: The Marriage Equity Act. If this bill is passed into law, same-sex citizens of NYS would receive equal privilege to commit their lives in marriage.

I welcome those New Yorkers who support this bill to make their views known to their representatives.

I challeng those New Yorkers who oppose this bill to consider what is fair and just in this civil — not religious — right that is sought. At the very least, I invite you to talk to someone you know who is gay or lesbian.

And then listen.

October 21st, 2009

I am deeply concerned about reports of an upcoming U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter on marriage that reportedly includes the following statements in its draft:
“The bishops decry the rise of same-sex marriage as ‘one of the most troubling developments in contemporary culture.’ Same-sex marriage ‘redefines the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society’.”

As a 43-year-old Catholic man with a homosexual orientation, I feel it important to share my own testimony with you before such statements are finalized.

I was raised in the 1970s in a very Catholic household with a great respect for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I attended Catholic grammar school, high school, and some college. Through all of these experiences, I was blessed with a close sense of God’s presence in my life; I held a profound awe of His legacy through our Catholic faith traditions, His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and His involvement in our everyday journeys.
My own journey became troubled around age thirteen. At that time, I loved God very deeply – and I began to discern an attraction to boys.
This was a private struggle for many years of adolescent research and prayer. God and I collaborated to try and make sense of the feelings I held inside. There were roadblocks at every turn: the snippets in popular media that poked fun, scorn, or hate at gays without correction; the high school priest who read aloud the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and highlighted God’s condemnation without explaining modern interpretations of inhospitality; the gnawing realization that my beloved church had no sacrament to honor this love I felt at my core.

Catholic resources on the topic encouraged me to form “disinterested friendships” and to “conjoin my celibate sacrifice to Christ’s own.” As a teen, I prepared for this lifetime of sacrifice.
By the age of 23, consumed by a profound loneliness and lack of hope for a Catholic-sanctioned, fully realized commitment to another man, I considered taking my own life, under the erroneous assumption that God would hate the “sin” of suicide less than the “sin” of a homosexual relationship.
At that time, a book saved my life. I prayerfully discovered the memoir “The Best Little Boy in the World” by Andrew Tobias. I identified so strongly with the main character that, for the first time in my life, I realized my feelings of isolation were deceptive. The book propelled me forward on my path to self acceptance.

While that book helped me tremendously, the author was not raised within a religion – and I was not able to resolve some of my internal spiritual conflict through his words. My prayer journey continued with renewed hope. I am very grateful that, after years of reflection and discernment, in May of 2000, I was able to commit my life to another man, having the full certainty that God’s grace has bound us together here on earth.
With this letter I’ve included a copy of my own memoir, “In Jupiter’s Shadow.” I believe sharing this story is the best way I can communicate the profound struggle I encountered at a very young age – and the impact church doctrine had on that struggle.
As your schedule permits, I invite you to read it with an open mind – and to consider, if you move forward with statements condemning same-sex marriage, the hope that will be deprived from future generations of GLBT Catholics due to the misguided perceptions of the past.

I welcome any comments or questions you may have. And I thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns.
Gregory Gerard

Another Great Movie from ImageOut!

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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October 17th, 2009

I am just home from the closing film at this year’s ImageOut GLBT movie festival. Several years ago, they had a wonderful closing film called Big Eden, which is now a permanent fixture in my personal ”top 10 movies” list. Tonight, I have a second favorite, called Patrik 1.5. What a wonderful story of realistic gay love, obstacles, and fatherhood. I think it’s tough to strike this balance and not be cliche, but IMHO Patrik 1.5 achieved all of that and more.

I’m so glad my nephew (Joe) and his friend (Stephen) wanted to go to this film…I had read the description last week and thought ‘Oh, a gay adoption story. It’ll probably be filled with strife and mushy cliches about how gay men can be good parents. I’ll pass!’

Shame on me for prejudging. Thanks to Joe and Stephen for bringing me to this very appealing movie…and thanks ImageOut for putting on another wonderful festival.

Share your story.

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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June 22nd, 2008

Are you living in Jupiter’s Shadow?

Are you struggling to meet others’ expectations,
whether they are misperceptions of God’s expectations,
or unreasonable expectations from family or friends,
or unspoken expectations from society,

instead of just being who you really are?

Do you spend your time convincing yourself of what you “should be”
or how you “should look”
or whom you “should love”?

Leave the shadow behind. Know yourself.