Who are you?

I’m a Catholic man in my late twenties early thirties. I live in New England the Boston area. I graduated from a Catholic liberal arts college The Thomas More College of Liberal arts with a degree in literature. I used to work as a teacher, which I found to be challenging, rewarding, and utterly exhausting. I now work part time as a web developer, with as much writing as I can squeeze in on the side. The other things I like are motorcycles, Kung Fu, and writing geeky electronic music.

So are you gay, or what?

You could say that, if you wanted to, although I don’t like the term and don’t identify with it. I’m attracted primarily and almost exclusively to men, and have been since I was about fourteen; but I don’t date men or have sex with them, so where does that leave me? I’m a faithful Catholic, so a romantic relationship with another man literally doesn’t fit into the way I see the world. I don’t see myself as different in any essential way from heterosexual men, so describing myself as “gay” doesn’t seem to fit.

On the other hand, “homosexual” sounds clinical, “queer” certainly isn’t me, and “man who’s attracted to other men” is cumbersome. So, “gay” is a useful sort of shorthand, and I’ll use it from time to time until a better word comes along. SSA (same-sex attraction) is a useful term too, as in “He has SSA” rather than “He is SSA.”

Okay, but can’t you please use some other word besides “gay”? People are going to get the wrong idea.

People have made the point that, by using the same terminology used by those who hold the view that homosexuality is a normal, natural, healthy, super-wonderful sexual variant of human behavior, I’m implicitly legitimizing that view.

This is a valid point. Over and against this point, however, I weigh the fact that the word “gay” is immediately recognizable. If anyone cares enough to read what I’ve written on the blog, they’ll find out what I think about it. And — let’s be honest — “gay” is much better for SEO purposes.

Is Steve Gershom your real name?

Nope. I made it up for an interview I did a while back. My real name is Joseph Prever.

Why don’t you use your real name?

I’m blessed to have many close friends and a large, loving family. My family and my closest friends know that I’m attracted to men. I don’t see why anybody else needs to.

How can I get in touch with you?

Leave a comment, or drop me a line at steve-dot-gershom-at-gmail-dot-com. I’d love to hear from you. I can’t always respond quickly, but I will always respond.

38 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Why? | listeningforthewhisper

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  3. Hannah Hoffman


    Thank you for your powerful witness! I hope you realize how valuable your contributions are to those of us trying to defend God’s plan for sexuality and family life. They can tell me I don’t know what it’s like to be gay, but they certainly can’t tell you that.

    I’ll remember you in prayer at Mass today, that God will grant you continued strength on this very difficult road.


  4. Erica M

    I just wanted to comment to let you know I think you’re awesome. We need more people like you who aren’t afraid to be firm in their belief. :) I have a friend who’s also chosen celibacy. You two are my heroes.

  5. Nic

    Hi Steve,
    Or rather, Joseph,
    Thank you so much for your website, your articles, your humour, honesty and love for God!
    It’s so great to read something like this. I’m going to send the “Catholic, Gay, and Feeling Fine” article to a couple friends of mine.
    Peace and Love, – Nic

  6. Mary Morstan

    Hi, Steve/Joseph,
    I’m trying to understand SSA (and I agree there’s not a simple, good word to describe it). Thanks for your writing. I really enjoy your friendly, calm, rational approach, and I cherish your commitment to Catholicism. Keep writing…you enlighten many people.

  7. Ashleen

    Thanks for this blog and for your witness. I have several gay, celibate Catholic friends. I admire them and I admire you so much!

  8. Peter

    Hi Joey,
    I’m Caitlyn’s younger brother. Please pray for me. I will try to pray for you. I struggle with anxiety and drpression. It seems you know what that’s like. More and more of my distant friends are gay, and your website helps me alot, as it enlightens and gives me hope. Real Hope. Thank you. Some day I’m going to make a movie either about you or greatly affected by you. Bye.

    1. Joey Prever (Steve Gershom) Post author

      Hi Peter! It’s really nice to hear from you. I edited your comment to get rid of your last name and Caitlyn’s, just in case you didn’t want those things public. Hey, you should feel free to write to me privately if you want! (steve.gershom@gmail.com).


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  10. melissa

    Your article ‘Reading: Deep Calls to Deep’ has given new spring renewal to our home school year. A literature major myself, your mother and father’s choices were a joy for me to see. I try to read the greats, or at least my interpretation of what is great. It also gave me insight into the beauty that is God’s creation and how it leads us by the hand through the times we feel less than great ourselves. God made everything beautiful, and I will work everyday to live the beauty He envisioned for me even if I do not feel beautiful in the current interior struggle. Literature can be a painted canvas of the human soul, to reflect it, attract it, and inspire it.

    Your ease in relating your experience as a chaste man shows the beauty of what it is to be human. May we more and more be able to see each other as children of God and less as labels and stereotypes. Your chastity is an inspiration to all peoples as it is a pillar of human virtue. We all have lust that must be tempered in many facets of our earthly experiences, sexual and/or otherwise.

    “Well done good and faithful servant” Keep following The Way. I will pray with you for all of us who struggle.

  11. Pingback: The Third Way: Homosexuality and The Catholic Church | Young and Catholic

  12. Tara S

    Joey! Joey! Joeyjoeyjoey! Are you the Steve G in Something Other Than God? I’m freaking out over here.

      1. Tara S

        I had “world’s colliding” moment. Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog Conversion Diary was what first talked me through the process of understanding Catholicism, and now I’m reading in her book about how “Steve G” (a regular commenter on her earlier blog Reluctant Atheist) was a big part of her first giving Catholicism a serious look. 😀

  13. Tony Donovan

    Hi Joseph,

    I just watched your film, “The Third Way.” I am speechless. I am a Catholic man. I am heterosexual. For many years I was harsh regarding homosexuality. I tried to love and respect everyone but this was/is a hard area. Your film gave me a much better perspective. One of my greatest prayers was that I could see beyond the external person and see the true person. You have partially helped to answer that prayer. Forgive me for sometime feeling less that loving toward others with SSA.

    God bless you Joseph!

  14. Andrew Cicero

    I just wanted to let you know, though I in no way am celibate nor do I believe having sex is wrong, I still do not judge you for it or think less of you. I was like that when I was younger, thought because I was attracted to other guys I had to avoid it because the bible said so. Though I have since left that religion, or rather what some people would call it, I do not frown on people that choose to remain in it; to me that defeats the entire message of the LGBT movement, which is inclusion and love of others despite their various lifestyles. If you want to remain celibate that is entirely up to you, and I am sorry if you have gotten grief for it.

    I am early twenties, still on a spiritual journey and figuring stuff out, I just started a gay-straight alliance at my little junior college in a small town which is a little scary just because of the homophobic elements that are rather prevalent in this area. I do pray that the love of God will be pervasive enough that churches will not be the ones to give us grief. I just came back to God a couple months ago, I am probably not someone most would qualify as christian simply because my theology is almost entirely different than any modern day christian sect. I do believe in Christ and the love of Christ, I just disagree with the doctrine some associate with what Christianity is; but I will not write down my entire thoughts on philosophy and theology here lol.

    You seem like someone I would enjoy discussing some issues with, I would love to start a correspondence and do so. I am impressed with you, I have only met one person who professes to have more loyalty to his religion despite his sexuality. I personally believe that my feelings and faith are inseparable, as I believe that experience is inseparable with an honest faith (though not the only part); I am interested in your reasons for staying with the Catholic faith rather than changing your views to fit with your feelings, I would love to hear your story.

    Well thank you for being willing to share so much! I will read more of your blogs, I am sure I can learn much from you. Like I said I would love to start a correspondence if you are willing, I may want to see if you could come down and speak at my gay-straight alliance and Christian Campus group this next academic year; one of my biggest goals while I am here is to show this area that LGBTQ people and Christians do not have to hate each other, and that a person can have faith in Christ even if they are LGBTQ.

    1. Joey Prever (Steve Gershom) Post author

      Dear Andrew,

      Thanks for writing! I know I will keep forgetting to give you a proper response here in the combox, but if you want to email me, please do so. I’m at steve[dot]gershom[at]gmail[dot]com.


    1. Joey Prever (Steve Gershom) Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Clare.

      You might be right. There certainly exists bigotry among members of the Catholic Church. That’s not quite the same thing as saying the Church itself is bigoted, but it’s true nevertheless.

      Then again, maybe my shame comes from other sources that you don’t know anything about. Something as complex as shame isn’t really reducible to a single source.

      Either way, I’m happy that the Church helped me away from that shame.

      Peace & prayers

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  16. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your article “Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine”. Many people in my life look down on my for not condoning “gay marriage” or sexual activity outside of marriage, and reading your story and your view of the Catholic Church’s teachings was so inspiring and encouraging.

  17. Jeff Barbose

    I am genuinely sad that in your current chosen worldview you’ll never experience the joy of being in love and being completely intimate with another human being without also feeling the doom crashing on you that you’re going to hell.

    I truly am. I don’t pity you, but rather, it makes me terribly sad for someone to choose loneliness. I pity you that you’re so far down the Roman Rabbithole that you likely always be so distant from every other person on the planet: knowing unfettered intimacy and love with another human being opens up your heart to the possibilities of, if you must call it that way, “God’s Wonders”.

  18. Christy


    From what I’ve seen and read about Steve/Joey, he experiences much love, closeness, and intimacy. He’s spoken about his previous loneliness and struggles, and s incredibly full, happy life now. He reflects on his own experiences on a blog, in a documentary, in speaking engagements. He reaches out to respond to people who respond to his blogs, and in plenty of other ways you and I you don’t know about. How then do you come to the conclusion that he’s distant from people? Do you know his relationships? Can you measure the love and intimacy he experiences with his family and friends? Jeff, can you see that intimacy goes beyond the physical level? Sex isn’t the requisite ingredient for intimacy, but rather honesty, trust, acceptance, and charity. Do you remember that charity is true love, and the true meaning of love is to want the best for the object of your love. So for example, if you love someone, you want that person to be be in peace and free both in this life and eternally,, even if it means sacrifice of one’s personal pleasure. This love is not to be pitied, but to be imitated.

  19. Michele

    Joey you are doing something wonderful for our Lord!
    I saw you in The Third Way and am so grateful to you and others who did that documentary because it helped me (and others) reconcile the teaching of the Church with the real live people I know and care about. You helped me articulate better what I already sensed, that affirming the gay lifestyle was not really the better and caring thing to do.
    Many of the gay friends and family I know or have known have had a depth of awareness and sense of realness about them that has made them interesting and enjoyable to know and talk with.
    Suffering does carve depths into our soul we perhaps could never attain without it. People who have suffered one way or another do find kindred spirits in each other.

  20. Patti

    Dear Joey,

    My 20 year old son shared with my husband and me last year that he was experiencing same sex attraction but that he was fully committed to living out his Catholic faith. He understands that we all have crosses that need to be carried and this is his. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a blessing to everyone.

    God Bless.

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  22. A

    I find it disturbing that you cling to your “gay” identity. Seek the healing of Jesus to be set free from this horrible compulsion. It is not OK or necessary that you stay there. You can be set free. Joseph Sciambra wrote about your article and I think he is right on, what’s more the Church does. The Archives of Sexual Behavior reports “One of the most salient findings of this study is that 46% of homosexual men and 22% of homosexual women reported having been molested by a person of the same gender.”
    Marie E. Tomeo, “Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescent Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 30 (2001): 539.

    1. Joey Prever (Steve Gershom) Post author

      Hello A,

      I’m not sure what you mean by my “gay identity”. Did you read the above questions and answers?

      I’m not sure what compulsion you are referring to. I am not subject to any compulsions that I can think of.

      I’m not sure why you refer to to molestation. Nobody was talking about that.


  23. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook

    Hello, Joey! I’m your second cousin, but we haven’t seen each other since you were 5 and I was 15. I remember that you were startlingly good at playing checkers. :-)

    I checked out your blog after Sarah mentioned it on Facebook. It’s good to see you finding a way to live comfortably as yourself. I especially liked the Four Graybles post that mentions dancing because you’re happy without thinking about whether you “look gay” or not. That’s a level of comfort we all deserve that is hard to achieve because of the kazillion ways a quirk of behavior or appearance can trigger assumptions about what “kind of person” you are and what that means. It’s great to reach a point in life where you aren’t worrying about it ALL the time, at least.

    I was raised Unitarian and am now Episcopal; from either perspective, it’s fine to be sexually active with whichever consenting adults you choose–but that open-mindedness also needs to be open to the option of celibacy. I have certainly heard the “All adults should have sex; anybody who doesn’t is repressed and pitiable” bias, and when I was younger and more defensive about my own choices it was easy to slip into thinking that way, but over time I’ve come to recognize that it makes about as much sense as, “All adults should drive cars”–sure, you are missing out on some experiences, but that’s a choice you can make, and it doesn’t mean you are less grown-up or lacking any particular trait. The recent celebrations of FRREEEEEDOMM regarding the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage have bothered me a bit, even as I support the idea of people who want to register their sexual relationship with the government being allowed to do that if that’s really what floats their boats, because so much of the rhetoric has swirled around the idea that of course all same-sex attracted people want to be in married couples because of course that’s what all people want, and that idea actually allows for very little freedom.

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading about your life and thoughts and coming-out process. Thanks for writing this, and I hope you’ll come back to it from time to time. Let me know if you’re ever in Pittsburgh; it would be fun to get to know you as an adult and play some more checkers.

  24. Michelle

    I wish you could be on every tv station sharing your witness!! Please!?!?! This would give courage to all those who are probably silent on the issue. You would be the perfect poster child for http://couragerc.org/

  25. William Correll

    You walk a hard, righteous road. You face intolerance from the self-professed “tolerant” on the left and baseless criticism from the ultra-traditionalists on the right.

    You are a paragon and an inspiration. I offer my prayers.


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