Odd Man Out

Sorry, readers, I’ve been stuck somewhere at the junction of sick and lazy. I’ve spent the last few days mostly in bed, something I unfortunately needed to do. At the same time, I’m grateful that my station in life is such that, if I need to, I can spend a few days in bed. When my sister or my spiritual director gets a horrific cold, there are still babies to be changed and Masses to be said. So.

I’ve also been thinking about (1) the site redesign and (2) the tagline. I think I agree with many of you, that it’s a bit unfriendlier and a bit harder to read. So it’s back to the old page for the moment. As for the tagline, it or something very like it will be coming back to stay, too. The consensus seems to be that, perfect or not, the word “gay” works well for my purposes here.

Speaking of the word, Odd Man Out has an excellent post on the topic. A couple of excerpts:

I don’t think there’s much to learn from comparing my experiences as a gay Christian to those of a Christian who struggles with greed or dishonesty, simply because I don’t want to downplay how drastically my experience seems to differ from the experiences of my straight peers. I don’t say this out of a masochistic desire to dwell on how strange I am, and I’d be the first to tell you how much more drastically my experience synchronizes with my peers’ in the most significant ways. But if sexuality is so centrally tied to who we are as people and how we connect with other people—I mean, people all across the spectrum of belief get that sexuality is a big deal—then living as someone whose experience of sexuality is atypical suggests my life is going to differ in some fundamental ways, and it’s helpful for me and for the people in my life to keep those differences in mind as we seek to connect with one another.

He goes on to describe some of those ways. These are things that, in an effort to avoid self-pity, I’ve sometimes tried to downplay — but they’re real, they’re big, and I’m grateful to him for pointing them out:

like how how my well-intentioned interactions with women have often done harm because I did not consider the perceptions they might naturally generate; or how those gender-specific environments that provide a relaxing, head-clearing respite from sexual temptation for straight people (like locker rooms or all-male Bible studies) are sometimes the most confusing and charged environments for me; or how my earliest feelings of romantic attraction were sources of fear and confusion rather than delight and thrill; or how a compliment from a man is more likely to flatter me toward vanity than is a compliment from a woman; or how the Super Bowl commercials that make me uncomfortable may be different from the ones that make straight men uncomfortable; or how I feel an increased risk of misreading demonstrations of affection from both men and women.

The whole post is here. I was grateful to the author for saying a lot of things I’ve been unable to say, and for reminding me of a lot of things I’d like to pretend were otherwise. I think it’d be a great post for the straight folks in the audience to read, too.

11 Comments on “Odd Man Out”

  1. Rivka says:

    Thanks for introducing us to another interesting blog. Let me guess…you were reading this when trying to decide whether to keep the tagline?

  2. Mark from PA says:

    Thank you for sharing the post by “Odd Man Out.” It was excellent. I find that people that don’t like the word gay tend to not like gay people. I think it is difficult for some as they want to deny that part of themselves. On a religious site one man criticized another man for calling gay people “animals” as he felt that was insulting to his dogs. SIGH! It made me realize how far we still have to go.

  3. Mark from PA says:

    Forgot to mention that I hope that you are feeling better soon. May God bless you with good health.

  4. Melissa says:

    Glad to hear from you again, Steve. We’ve missed you!

  5. Pat says:

    I imagine it’s just a setting somewhere in the blog-realm, but would you mind letting us feed-readers have the whole post? The current settings give us the first 200 characters or so and makes us click through for the rest, and this switched from recently.


    1. Oops, yes, I will change that when I get a chance. Thanks for pointing it out.

  6. Sarah says:

    Feel better, Steve! Missing your posts!

  7. Nayhee says:

    You know, I don’t know a whole lot of childless people who are as compassionate as you are when it comes to how parents and priests are endlessly-caring-for-the-Helpless-and-Poopy. We parents were, at one time, childless too, and although I know we may seem “whiny” at times, it is because we are exhausted and the pace is quite relentless! Once we get a little rest, maybe we will be able to extend ourselves outward again, with compassion. I hope so. Because I seem to be incapable of doing it WITHIN the exhaustion… (sigh)
    But you, Steve, have certainly inspired me to try to be more understanding of everyone, at any state/phase/struggle in life, because that’s what you do. So thx.

    1. Rivka says:

      Although it can be a little hard to be compassionate if, as a single alone person, you’re secretly jealous of those who have little poopies to love.

      1. Rivka says:

        (That’s an attempt to show that compassion can work both ways.)
        As someone with an autistic spectrum disorder that makes it less likely I would end up with a family…

  8. Mike says:

    Great blog! I just came across it by chance. I can’t stop reading! Thanks.

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