Jan 20, 2011
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 and Kung Fu.
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.